Google Chat gets new bottom navigation bar on Android, iOS

A few weeks back, Google Chat picked up a new icon and redesigned navigation on the web. It added shortcuts for Home and Mentions to the left navigation panel. This UI update is now rolling out to mobile apps. The Google Chat app is getting a new bottom navigation bar with four tabs on Android and iOS.

Google Chat mobile apps updated with a new navigation bar

Before this update, Google Chat mobile apps had two tabs on the bottom navigation bar—Chat and Spaces. Google is updating the app with a four-tabbed navigation that corresponds to the web redesign. Firstly, we have the Home section which is a one-stop hub for any new activity across all conversations. You can use filters to quickly narrow down unread messages.

Sitting next to Home is the DM (direct messages) section. As you might expect, it houses all your one-to-one and group conversations. Like on any other messaging app, pinned conversations appear at the top of the list. Spaces is a compact list of all your spaces with pinned ones at the top. Finally, the Mentions tab serves as a shortcut for quickly finding messages from conversations and spaces where you’ve been mentioned.

Google Chat app update bottom navigation barGoogle Chat app update bottom navigation bar

Screenshots shared by Google show that these four buttons will sit in a horizontal pill at the bottom, with a “new chat” FAB (floating action button) next to it. Additionally, each button will show an unread badge. The integrated Chat view in the Gmail mobile app, meanwhile, will shift the whole navigation bar above with a single Chat icon in the bottom bar, sandwiched between Gmail and Meet.

The integrated UI design is a bit cluttered. Previously, Chat had only two buttons on the navigation bar and both appeared on the Gmail navigation bar. However, with this redesign, Google can’t house them all in the bottom bar of Gmail. Hence, it is moving Chat’s navigation bar above the Gmail bottom bar. The Chat icon at the bottom shows a unified unread badge.

This update is rolling out widely

Google is widely rolling out this navigation bar update for the Chat mobile app. It will reach all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google accounts over the next couple of weeks. There is now admin or end-user control for this change, of course. So it will show up as soon as you update the app or it is automatically updated. You can check for updates on the Play Store.

Google Chat app update bottom navigation bar Gmail integrated viewGoogle Chat app update bottom navigation bar Gmail integrated view