Google is set to retire Gmail’s basic HTML view, a feature that has been around for over a decade, starting in January 2024. This feature provides users with a simplified email viewing experience. After the specified deadline, Gmail will automatically switch to the standard view. While the basic HTML view lacks several features like chat, spell checker, and search filters, it has proven useful in low-connectivity scenarios. It remains uncertain whether Google plans to introduce an alternative mode for low-connectivity situations. Google has been discontinuing various features recently, including Google Podcasts and the collaborative whiteboarding app Jamboard.
Google is discontinuing another feature, this time within Gmail. The company is phasing out Gmail’s basic HTML view, a feature that has been in existence for over a decade, with the change set to take effect in January 2024. For those unfamiliar with it, Gmail’s basic HTML view allows users to access their emails in a simplified format, devoid of additional frills.
Google has updated its support page to reflect the forthcoming change, indicating that Gmail will automatically switch to the standard view after the specified deadline. The company has also communicated this update to Gmail users via email.
In the email sent to users, Google states, “We’re writing to let you know that the Gmail Basic HTML view for desktop web and mobile web will be disabled starting early January 2024. The Gmail Basic HTML views are previous versions of Gmail that were replaced by their modern successors 10+ years ago and do not include full Gmail feature functionality.”
Gmail’s support documentation also confirms the discontinuation of this feature, with a note that reads, “Important: You can display Gmail on your browser in Basic HTML view until January 2024. After this date, Gmail automatically changes to Standard view.”
When users attempt to access the HTML version, Google displays a message indicating that this version is intended for “slower connections and legacy browsers” and requests confirmation if the standard version is preferred.
While the HTML version lacks numerous features such as chat, spell checker, search filters, keyboard shortcuts, and rich formatting, it remains a useful option in scenarios involving low connectivity or for those who prefer a minimalist email experience. It is currently unclear whether Google intends to introduce an alternative mode catering to low-connectivity situations.
Google has recently announced the discontinuation of several features, including Google Podcasts. Last week, the company revealed its plans to discontinue its collaborative whiteboarding app, Jamboard, by late 2024, along with the discontinuation of its associated hardware, a 55-inch connected whiteboard that was originally priced at $5,000.