According to a notification on the company’s Support Page, Google will discontinue offering the Basic HTML view for all Gmail accounts starting in January 2024. The business quietly announced the move on its website, but it did not elaborate on its reasons for doing so.
Several users on Hacker News claim that the firm emailed them with the following message: “We’re writing to let you know that the Gmail Basic HTML view for desktop web and mobile web will be disabled starting early January 2024.” The Gmail Basic HTML views, it continued, “do not include full Gmail feature functionality and are outdated versions of Gmail that were replaced by their contemporary successors more than ten years ago.”
It is unknown exactly when Google will stop supporting its HTML format, although according to a statement on their Support Page, “You can read Gmail on your browser in Basic HTML mode until January 2024. Gmail automatically switches to Standard view after this date.
The HTML view option in Gmail was first made available more than 10 years ago, and it has the extra advantage of swiftly loading content so users may access it on outdated or older devices with slower connection speeds. Although features of Gmail like chat, spell checking, search filters, and keyboard shortcuts are helpful, removing the straightforward HTML view drew criticism for failing to take the needs of people with visual impairments into account.
In a Mastodon post, Pratik Patel, a “blind technologist who finds himself championing #accessibility for fun and necessity,” disagreed with Google’s choice. “I know many #blind people who use Gmail’s HTML view. Not only will they be confused but will be unhappy,” he stated.