“Starting later this month, Gmail and Inbox by Gmail will support emails created with responsive design, meaning their content adapts to fit screens of all sizes.”
There is a ton of buzz about this update. It will certainly be a game changer. So what does it mean?
Media query support
Of course, the huge news is that Gmail will be supporting media query styles in the head stylesheet. Media queries allow you to add styles specific to a device width or screen size, giving you control over the desktop and mobile experience. Having this extra control is crucial in delivering the best experience to readers on any screen.
Inline no more
In the past, Gmail would strip out the css styles found in the head of your email, forcing email developers to add styles inline. Every table, table cell, and image would have redundant styles added inline throughout the email to ensure that it rendered correctly in Gmail. All other major inboxes already support head stylesheets, and with Gmail being the last remaining holdout, inline no more. This will drastically reduce the time to code and edit emails as well as the file size of the email, by reducing redundant code.
Gmail has also provided a great resource (the first of it’s kind for an inbox), which gives support and guidelines for development of email. By the looks of it, their hope for the future is to allow a web-based approach to coding emails, free from table layouts. However, tables are still required for Outlook to render correctly, so we can only hope this means email standards will continue to make progress towards a brighter future of email development.
Keep an eye out for more updates about Gmail and training to help make the transition to responsive and non-inlined email development.