Google graced us with a fancy, new Gmail.com last month, and like, great! It’s nice to have new stuff to play with, including a snooze option that should have arrived ages ago, and a smart replies feature I’ll try out but probably never consistently use. But there is one thing about the redesign that’s driving me absolutely crazy, even if it’s just a temporary issue. The new Gmail feels incredibly slow, and it’s not just me—is it?
This was a problem back in 2011. When a preview of the then-new Gmail.com arrived, Wired published the following headline: “Revamped Gmail Looks Nice, But Performs Badly.” In the story, they essentially called for Google to bring back the classic “Beta” moniker that sat for years beside the Gmail logo. Eventually, the then-new Gmail seemed to become less slow, and everything was fine again.
Change is never easy for folks who still depend on typing out gmail dot com into their web browsers every day. The new design feels busier, louder, and altogether more crowded. Many of the additions, like the option in the main view to bubble up attachments hidden inside emails, haven’t proved all the useful for me yet. Still, for some reason I don’t want to revert back to the old Gmail. I’d rather suffer a slowdown than tether myself to something that’s doomed to obsolescence.
I’m not totally alone here in my frustration. On Sunday, Jacky from Hong Kong tweeted, “Tried new gmail for about two weeks and switched back. Too damn slow.” Days earlier, Nicholas from Texas tweeted about six-second load times in Firefox. A couple other Twitter users had similar complaints, and on the Gmail Help Forum, one user reported that “this new load animation is slower than the older one.” But hardly anybody appears to be publicly enraged about this except for me—and I am indeed very annoyed.
We’ve reached out to Google to find out if it has received similar complaints, but until then, what say you? It’s not just me, is it?