Google is set to retire a significant feature of Gmail, discontinuing the basic HTML view. Commencing from January 2024, Google will cease support for this feature that has been part of Gmail for over a decade. Users accustomed to this simplified email interface will be automatically shifted to the Standard view after the specified deadline, as communicated by Google through email notifications.
In their message to users, Google clarified, “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 further confirms the discontinuation, emphasizing, “Important: You can display Gmail on your browser in Basic HTML view until January 2024. Following this date, Gmail will automatically switch to the Standard view.
Upon attempting to access the HTML version, users are greeted with a message indicating its design for “slower connections and legacy browsers.” It seeks confirmation from users if they wish to continue without the standard version.
It’s essential to note that the HTML version lacks numerous features present in the standard Gmail interface, such as chat, spell checker, search filters, keyboard shortcuts, and rich formatting. Despite these limitations, the HTML version remains valuable for individuals in areas with low connectivity or those who prefer a straightforward email viewing experience. Currently, it remains uncertain whether Google plans to introduce an alternative mode for low-connectivity scenarios.
This move to discontinue features within Google services follows recent announcements about the shutdown of Google Podcasts and the discontinuation of Jamboard, a collaborative whiteboarding app, along with its associated hardware device.