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What’s going on with Gmail? If you’ve recently used the app and noticed that your emails are suddenly easier to read, your heart may have skipped a beat and a funny thought may have crossed your mind: Are Google finally embracing responsive email?

We were caught by surprise this afternoon when a few keen email designers got in touch, telling us that their emails were suddenly looking very different in iOS Gmail. When we fired up the app, we were quick to notice that many emails are now prefaced by the alert, “This message has been modified to fit your screen. Tap here to show original.”

Looking at this, it’s very tempting to assume that media queries have come into play – but you’ll likely be disappointed to know that instead of following our meticulously-crafted CSS stylesheets, Gmail is simply bumping up their font sizes. Like iOS Mail, Gmail now has baseline font-sizes, which is a great move as far as readability goes – but for followers of the #letsfixemail movement, it feels like getting the salsa, but missing the full burrito.

Just to rub it in a little bit more, here’s what iOS Gmail looks like, alongside iOS Mail. Only iOS Mail is putting our media queries to good use:

How will this affect your email designs?

In early tests, the main issues that we’ve seen are the larger font sizes shifting or breaking table layouts, plus the odd issue with email buttons – especially those that are fixed width, or feature a repeating background image. If the text in your email button isn’t really meant to wrap onto two or more lines, it’s worth testing your email campaigns again in Gmail.

If you’re using our Canvas email builder to create and send campaigns, you’ll be pleased to know our templates still look great after the update – we used a Canvas template in the screenshots above, so you can be the judge.

Although Inbox by Gmail has not been updated, these feel like first steps by Google towards a better mobile email experience. Could this be the precursor to full media query support – and consistent responsive email display, across arguably one of the most popular mobile apps? Should we be excited? Watch this blog – we’ll be sure to share our observations as both Gmail and Inbox by Google continue to evolve.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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