GOOGLE is discontinuing a popular Gmail feature, leaving fans angry.
Gmail users who use the site’s HTML Basic view mode will no longer be able to do so starting January 2024.
According to a notice on the company’s support page, after that date, Gmail will only be available in Standard view as a default option.
The basic HTML view is essentially the same as Gmail’s design in 2007.
It is commonly used by people with slow WiFi connections.
This is because some of Gmail’s standard view features do not need to be loaded, such as: B. the chat field, the spell checker or importing contacts.
However, blind technology expert Pratik Patel has warned that the discontinuation of HTML Basic View will be a major blow to the blind and visually impaired community.
“I know a lot of #blind people who use GMail’s HTML view,” he wrote in a Mastodon post.
“Not only will you be confused, you will be unhappy.”
HTML Basic View makes using screen reader technology much easier for blind people.
The standard interface has become more user-friendly for blind people, but many stick with the plain HTML version because they are familiar with it.
Many Mastodon users agreed, saying that this is the latest instance of “Big Tech” backtracking on accessibility features.
“I’m not saying the standard interface is inaccessible,” Patel continued.
“I think it’s pretty good and have been using it for many, many years.
“It has a certain cognitive load compared to the HTML interface.
“Some people will not be willing or able to use the standard interface.”
Gmail has been ignoring default settings and switching HTML Basic users to the default view for the past few months, one user claimed, suggesting the death knell was a long time coming.
While Google is officially discontinuing the feature as a default option, Patel believes he has found a way for fans to continue using it.
He recommended that fans bookmark the link where they can access the HTML view.
This means fans can access it this way instead of loading Gmail via a web link or app and using the standard version.
However, it is possible that Google will delete the link from the support page at any time after January 2024.
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