This Chrome extension makes Gmail easier to use

This Chrome extension makes Gmail easier to use
Patrick Devaney

Patrick Devaney

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Gmail has a whopping 1.5 billion users worldwide, so Google has obviously done something right. If you ask any of those 1.5 billion users, however, we’re sure each of them would have their own little gripes as Gmail also has its fair share of problems. One of the major gripes would be that Gmail is too complicated.

Simplify Chrome extension for Gmail

There is good news though, for anybody out there who thinks Gmail has too much going on. If you only ever press a tiny fraction of the buttons you can see when you open Gmail, and don’t even know what half of the Gmail features are for, you might want to simplify Gmail, which you can now do thanks to a nifty little extension for Google Chrome.

Gmail Access now

Simplify has been designed by one of Gmail’s former lead designers and cuts down all the clutter

Between the years of 2005 and 2018, Michael Leggett was at the forefront of the tech world, working as a designer for both Facebook and Google. One of his major projects was working as a lead designer on Gmail. He’s since left the two titans of tech to work on a project that aims to reverse climate change, but he also has a pet project. In his spare time, Leggett has been working on an extension for Google Chrome that simplifies the Gmail interface on desktop.

Rather imaginatively, Leggett has decided to call his extension Simplify, presumably because that is what it does. It takes the Gmail interface and makes it much simpler by moving around a few key features and making it easier to hide others that aren’t used much at all. The search bar has been moved up to the top-left of the screen, rather than going right across the top and all the sidebar options have been moved into drop-down and pull-up type menus. Another cool change is that Simplify moves the primary functions bar to the top of the screen rather the top of the inbox.

A screenshot of the new Simplify extension for Chrome
The sidebars can be removed altogether to offer a much cleaner interface

Another big deal about Simplify, considering it is an extension that works with your email inbox, is that doesn’t collect any data and won’t serve up ads. The Simplify page on the Chrome web store says, “Simplify is mostly some CSS plus a little Javascript to apply the CSS. There are no trackers. No data is sent or shared.” If you’re ever downloading anything that will have access to your online accounts, you need to make sure you’re not handing over too many permissions. That Simplify clearly states it won’t collect any of your data is reassuring.

A look at a simpler Gmail interface
Simplify states that it has no trackers and will not harvest any user data

All in all, Simplify is a solid extension for anybody who feels a little overwhelmed any time they open their Gmail inbox. If you miss the recently dropped Inbox, you should give it a try. You can add Simplify to your Chrome browser by clicking here.

Patrick Devaney

Patrick Devaney

Patrick Devaney is a news reporter for Softonic, keeping readers up to date on everything affecting their favorite apps and programs. His beat includes social media apps and sites like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Patrick also covers antivirus and security issues, web browsers, the full Google suite of apps and programs, and operating systems like Windows, iOS, and Android.

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