I hate the new Gmail
November 19, 2018 9:33 AM   Subscribe

After being happy with Gmail for a long time, the forced switch to “new Gmail” hasn't gone well. In short: it sucks and it’s full of bugs. It loads slowly, it reloads on its own for no reason while I’m in the middle of doing something and it keeps having me send attachments back to people who just sent them to me when I reply, which is embarrassing. On Twitter, people are asking to revert to old “classic” Gmail but Gmail’s response is that a switch isn’t possible. Well, I’m making my own switch...

I’d like to keep my current Gmail address, but I want to use something else for email that isn’t so difficult to use and so buggy. What is my best option to keep using my Gmail address but through another provider?

I would prefer to use something web-based so I don’t need to download a dedicated app on all three of my computers. I'd like it to have an Android phone app as well. Is there anything out there like the original Gmail - simple, lightweight email with threaded conversations and a way to star or flag certain ones? I am thinking maybe I could sign up for another email service and use aliases + redirected mail to manage my Gmail account from another provider. Would that work? Any security concerns?

I should note, I don’t use or want any of the new features Gmail has added. I am not interested in machine-suggested replies to my emails. I don’t need to snooze emails. I don’t want Gmail “nudging” me to respond to certain emails. I’ve also never used the primary/promotion/social/etc email sorter. I’ve never used the “important” flags. What I use and want are: threaded email conversations, stars/flags, labels to organize my email, a strong inbox search function. That’s really it.

[P.S. I've cleared my cookies and cache and tried to troubleshoot these issues but it just hasn't worked. I've sent Gmail feedback through the "send feedback" button and have not seen any changes nor gotten any replies. I tweeted at them, but they ignored me.]
posted by AppleTurnover to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
Whatever you end up doing, you can use IMAP to fetch and manage emails which go to your gmail inbox -- that should avoid any confusion with mail forwarding, and is "just as secure" (so long as you use SSL, which gmail does, and any reasonable client will as well). Caveat emptor: any additional moving part poses a risk, but within reasonable certainty your data will be as secure by this method.

p.s. I work at Google and I also don't like the new gmail for the exact same reasons. So you're not alone...
posted by =d.b= at 9:53 AM on November 19, 2018 [14 favorites]


I also don't like the new gmail, but I exclusively use my phone for emails these days. You could probably open an account with just about any webmail provider and forward your emails from gmail to there. That'd be more trouble than it is worth to me and I'd be more inclined to use a desktop app or ditch gmail entirely, but ymmv.

After trying dozens of email applications for android my recommendation is Edison Email. It does have a smart reply feature, but you can turn it off in the settings.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 10:01 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I use Outlook for one of my GMail accounts. Seems to work well.
posted by AugustWest at 10:03 AM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I have used Google Inbox for the past few years and am not looking forward to being forced to migrate back to Gmail, mostly because Inbox integrates so well with Google Keep and mobile task notifications.

I'll be trying out Gmail, but at the same time I'll also be trying out Desktop Outlook, which is pretty powerful. The biggest challenge I have is that I use one Gmail/Inbox account to manage multiple accounts. I don't know if I can repurpose Outlook to do that, or how much work it would take.
posted by JamesBay at 10:07 AM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


There is a "basically 1999-era HTML 2.0" mode available in Gmail, via a link in the bottom-right while you're loading. It's pretty fast, though it doesn't have the shortcuts you're probably used to.

I use Thunderbird on my Linux and Mac boxes, seems OK.

Sucks that Google killed Gmail.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:18 AM on November 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


I also found a Medium article explaining (sort of) why new Gmail is so slow, with a couple of iffy things to try like blocking certain Google domains.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:04 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I got fed up with GMail a few redesigns ago, and switched to Fastmail. I kept my GMail address and you can configure Fastmail to send send/fetch mail from Gmail. (It's fairly slick, but buried - go to Settings -> Identities & Fetch -> Add Identity/Fetch and enter your Gmail - it will let you auth against Gmail and then you can send & pull email from Gmail.)

Fastmail is $30 and up a year, but IMO, worth it for having a responsive company that provides email services. You can also add your own domain(s) to Fastmail and create aliases pretty easily for spam filtering, etc.
posted by jzb at 12:28 PM on November 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'm also a happy FastMail subscriber.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 12:51 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


You can load the *really* classic original recipe gmail by visiting this link:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/1pq68r75kzvdr/?v%3Dlui
posted by odinsdream at 12:52 PM on November 19, 2018 [9 favorites]


jessamyn made a style sheet to improve the new gmail - in projects.
posted by Rumple at 1:36 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


>I also found a Medium article explaining (sort of) why new Gmail is so slow, with a couple of iffy things to try like blocking certain Google domains.

Just to be clear, the slowness is a big problem, but far from the only one. The thing with me sending attachments back to people drives me fucking nuts. It seems to be an issue with the way the new Gmail handles embedded components in emails. In fact, that brings me to another issue: I had an email forwarded to me from another Gmail account that had a lot of embedded images and HTML markup, and instead of forwarding the email in the same format so I could read it, it stripped all the pictures out of it and sent them as attachments. The email was unreadable.

I access my Gmail accounts from a range of devices, various computers, etc. so I can't sit around trying to painstakingly change the browser settings on each machine in hopes that Gmail function properly. I used to be a big fan of Google but more and more I've felt disenchanted with the moves they have been making. Seems making really good products has taken a backseat to other things, like mining our data. It's just frustrating that after a decade of me using it, Google decided to ruin Gmail. So, it seems my only option is to start using something else.

>jessamyn made a style sheet to improve the new gmail


Again, just to be clear, these aren't aesthetic design I-hate-change issues. These are fundamental issues with how the product works. I can't use an email provider that chooses to reload itself or log out for no reason in the middle of me using it. I've cleared my cache, cookies, etc whatever they tell us to try.
posted by AppleTurnover at 1:43 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Gmail Classic userstyle (HN).
posted by WCityMike at 1:51 PM on November 19, 2018


These are fundamental issues with how the product works. I can't use an email provider that chooses to reload itself or log out for no reason in the middle of me using it. I've cleared my cache, cookies, etc whatever they tell us to try.

I think what people are trying to tell you is that Gmail has changed how fast the pages load and added some dumb features that nobody likes, but the issues you are describing are not actually part of how most people are experiencing new Gmail. So, the answer to your question is, I think, fastmail, but I'm just reporting that I am another person who did not have time or patience for resetting a bunch of settings on multiple computers and after I made my userscript to change the look.feel, the function was almost exactly the same. It sounds like your Gmail is getting stuck in plain text mode somehow or you have cookies from multiple accounts affecting your experience. I think a move to fastmail will cure what ails you.
posted by jessamyn at 2:36 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


i think you should seriously consider changing providers regardless of whether you keep/forward your current gmail address. it's not like google is ever going to make it any better.
posted by lescour at 5:30 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


FWIW this could be my question too. Been using GMail since 2008 or so. The latest update is not just inconvenient, it has rendered the whole client unusable, for instance through folders/pages not loading at all. I've been trying to workaround by scrolling to the the bottom during the page load, and clicking on the 'HTML' link, but it's basically broken at this point. I'm pretty close to just abandoning it, and the alternate suggestions in this thread are ones I will be looking into.
posted by carter at 5:44 AM on November 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


We just made THE BIG SWITCH away from Google for email and everything else. (It was hard, but so worth it.)

We switched to ProtonMail, which offers encryption, and we're super happy with it. I'm forwarding everything from my old Gmail address to ProtonMail, and it's working great.
posted by nosila at 1:49 PM on November 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


« Older How do spacey millennials save for retirement?   |   Help identifying electrical connector Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments