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Next-gen Gmail with Material Design available for download

Google's Android Lollipop ready Gmail app is ready for download with support for Yahoo, Outlook and other non-Gmail accounts.

The redesigned Gmail app, which also supports non-Gmail accounts, is now available for download ahead of its official release on Google Play.

The revamped Gmail app for Android delivers a number of feature and design updates, with Google waving its Material Design wand over the app in preparation for the imminent release of Android 5.0 Lollipop .

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The redesigned Gmail app. Image: Liam Tung/ZDNet

Some of the notable design changes include the addition of a solid red bar at the top of the inbox, and a changed approach to read emails, with the new app swapping out faded grey box for simply grey finer font text on a white background. Unread emails remain in bold.

Google has also cleaned up the top panel, removing the settings icon and the compose new email icon from the top right, where now only search remains. Settings have moved to the navigation panel and integrated as drop down menu from the user’s Google plus photo. Meanwhile, compose has shifted to the bottom of the screen as a floating red icon with white pen. The app also introduces new icons in the navigation panel for starred, important, sent, outbox, and drafts.

The other big change on the feature front is that Gmail now lets users add any email that supports IMAP/POP or Exchange, so users can add Yahoo, outlook.com, AOL Mail, and other accounts. In effect, the update makes the Gmail app the de facto email app for Android by cutting out the need to use the stock Android email app to manage non-Gmail accounts.

The new Gmail app should be available in a few days from the Google Play Store. However, users that don't want to wait can find the links on Android Police to download them independently.

The Gmail app is the latest to get the Material Design scheme it's encouraging developers to adopt in their apps for Android Lollipop, which is due for release in the next week or so. Other Google apps that have already been updated include the Google Play Store and Books.

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