Gmail on Android gets new chat and space notifications

A change is rolling out to Gmail on Android that update notification icons for “Chat” and “Spaces” which were previously indistinguishable from each other. This icon modification was spotted by 9to5Google, who was able to reproduce it on a Android device running Gmail version 2022.02.20.x. Previously, the notification icon for Google “Chat” and “Spaces” – which both live in the Gmail app – was the same, which was confusing for some users.

You may recall that last year Google renamed its old chat room “Rooms” to “Spaces” in an effort to compete with business messaging apps, such as Slack. Additionally, Google has also opted to replace its classic “Hangouts” app with the more comprehensive “Google Chat” app. Both were previously integrated into the Gmail app on Android and Desktop as separate tabs under the new integrated Gmail layout.

This tweak removes the double fill message bubblewhich represented notifications for both apps and now shows a a single hollowed-out message bubble for “Chat“. In contrast, “Spaces” now displays a more conference-centric icon with three avatars. This matches the appearance of icons on the desktop version of Gmail.

Chat and Spaces icons in Desktop Gmail

It looks like this update is still rolling out for Android users and not yet widely available.. I haven’t replicated this on my Pixel yet, but I can’t wait to see some unique notification icons and be able to tell at a glance what they’re for. We’ll keep an eye on that and let you know once this feature officially rolls out.