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[Update: Widget dark theme] Gmail for Android updated with ‘swipe-to-switch’ account gesture

With its Material Theme update last year, Gmail for iOS added a very convenient gesture for switching accounts. After appearing on other Android apps over the past month, swipe-to-switch is now available in Gmail for Android.

Version 2019.08.18 (via Android Police) of the Gmail Android client this evening lets users swipe on their Google Account avatar in the top-right corner of most screens. Swiping up or down works, with the profile icon featuring a fill-in animation while the rest of your default inbox loads.

Incredibly convenient, this UI element helps make the always-present avatar that identifies what account you’re using even more useful. A similar, but horizontal swiping action was available in the old navigation drawer account switcher, but the Material Theme equivalent is much more prevalent.

On Android, swipe-to-switch oddly first appeared in Google Maps and then Google Drive, while Google Contacts followed yesterday. The two latter appearances in productivity services makes more sense than the mapping/navigation client. With most users today having more than one email account, it fits naturally in Gmail.

This is the only change currently live in Gmail 2019.08.18, though a dark theme has been in-development for the past several releases. A partial darkened look appeared back in June, with strings in today’s update showing that work is still underway. It will presumably apply to the inbox view, but applying a dark mode in the body of emails is not that straightforward.

<string name=”prefs_general_theme_title”>Theme</string>

<string name=”view_cv_in_light_theme”>View in light theme</string>

Update: While not enabled in the main app, Gmail has a darkened homescreen widget with this release. If the system-level Dark Theme is enabled on Android 10 (Night mode on Pie), the widget switches to a dark gray background. Meanwhile, the folder name and compose email button adopts a very light shade of red.

Gmail for Android’s switch gesture is rolling out now via the Play Store with version 2019.08.18. It’s also available for sideloading from APK Mirror.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: