This new Gmail quick settings menu is an inbox godsend

Gmail is launching a new quick settings pane, which will make it much easier to see how changes to your inbox will affect how you view your emails. While the existing full settings menu is still available, this new Gmail quick settings will change the layout of the inbox in real-time, so that users can see how each setting works.

Those with the new UI will see a different pane pop up when they click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Gmail web interface. That will include option for different interfaces, inbox types, and display options. Click one, and the inbox will instantly update.

Google is clear that this isn't a new set of actual view settings. Instead, it's just making them easier to browse through. Until now, you'd have had to go into the full settings, make your changes, and then exit back to the inbox to see the results. This way that process should be a lot easier.

It's likely to encourage people to be experiment more with the options available – or simply show users what's already out there that they might not have realized. You can change the density of the text and the information displayed, for example, from a more compact version that fits more emails on the screen at one time, through to the default which shows attachments separately to subject lines.

It'll also be where you flip between the default inbox, or views that have messages flagged as important or unread first. Themes can be accessed too, changing the basic white Gmail background to more dramatic versions with different graphics. Finally, there'll also be the option to add the reading panes, which preview message contents more readily.

Figuring out how best to sift through your email inbox is one of those very personal things, though many Gmail users probably aren't aware that there are settings that control the UI and can cause it to vary so considerably. Google says the new Gmail quick settings will be rolling out to both personal Gmail suers and G Suite customers over the next month or so, and turned on by default.