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I can handle the new design, but on my (albeit underpowered) Chromebook, new Gmail takes ~30 seconds from initial page load to starting a reply to a thread. This is not progress.



I have a new MacBook Pro, and while it doesn't take 30 seconds, there's still a ridicules slow load time for Gmail now. If you live in Gmail all day it may be completely fine, but if you just check your emails every now and then during the day, it's pretty frustrating.

You almost get the feeling that something is broken when you load Gmail at this point. The Gmail interface is... fine I suppose, but I'd much prefer a native client. Sadly the best you can hope for these days is Apple Mail, and that's also just "fine".


Fastmail web interface is pretty darn snappy


> Sadly the best you can hope for these days is Apple Mail, and that's also just "fine".

Ever tried Mailmate?


“Fine” from a performance standpoint, or a UI one?


I don’t use emails much on my MBP (2016), but I had to send one today. I loaded up gmail, waited a bit for it to load, then clicked ‘compose’ only for the interface to show ‘something is wrong’ in various places.

In the end I just setup email in the Mac email client.

This was in the latest Firefox, and I know chrome is supposed to perform better for gmail, but writing an email on a 3 year old laptop shouldn’t be a big issue, but here we are.


It messes up the browser cache somehow. It's happening 4-5 times per day for me if I check the e-mail often.

You can press Command+Shift+R to force reload and it works fine afterwards.

Also, running GMail in Firefox (on MBP) makes Firefox consume 100% of a single CPU core very often. But if I open developer tools to track down the source of the problem, it stops consuming 100%.

Well, at least they stop me from checking e-mail too often. I used to check e-mail like 5-6 times per hour before. Now I do it 2-3 times per day and I feel like it increased my productivity on stuff that actually matters. So, it isn't all that bad ;)


You can load gmail is basic html mode, it might help.

According to https://support.google.com/mail/answer/15049?hl=en, the following link should set it to basic html mode (I haven't tested it) https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/1pq68r75kzvdr/?v%3Dlui

I've used the basic html mode before when the normal (js heavy) one was a bit slow, and it ended up being much faster even if every action requires a whole new page request/render.


I thought the whole idea of JavaScript-heavy frontends was to make things faster. A rhetorical question: How is it that Google is somehow a leader in frontend technology and design when they often don't practice what they preach?


I'm sure it achieves that when you use Chrome on a recent developer workstation and only have one tab running. There is a nice JIT in the browser, plenty of RAM, and lots of high-end cores available for the task.

Today I'm struggling with 8 GiB of RAM and 2 cores. Admittedly I have many tabs open, but that is to be expected. Web site creators might believe that the world revolves around their web site, but really it does not, and so they must share my machine.

Weaker systems are of course unusable. Suppose the hardware is a 32-bit PowerPC Mac with one core and 512 MiB of RAM, and there are a bunch of tabs open to similarly taxing web sites or worse. I've mostly had to retire a system like this, which makes me really annoyed because it is quiet due to being fanless.

Note that the "weaker system" described above is not really weak. Long ago, I used the old gmail just fine with far less. There was a time when 32 MiB of RAM was enough to open several browser windows (we didn't have tabs) and run them. JIT didn't even exist yet, but the web ran fine.

It's the usual problem I think: software developers are rewarded with high-end developer workstations to keep them happy and productive, and then they test the software all by itself on this high-end hardware and everything looks good. Nobody is testing on older low-end hardware with lots of other things running in the background.


To be fair, my developer workstation has a fuckton of things running in the background.


They pretty much started it. Google maps was probably the first real attempt at a “single page application” written in JavaScript. Everything else at the time trying to do the same thing was java/activex. Chrome also pushed JavaScript speed so much it enabled doing much more complex things with it. They’ve just become a much bigger company since thenwhich makes being “nimble” a lot harder.


I imagine their metrics are based on what's faster for their servers rather than the user. It's the only explanation.


Thanks, that does load a whole lot faster. I feel like I'm using old Yahoo! mail again :P


3 seconds to load interface, almost instant transitions to mail and reply. Windows, Google Chrome.


15 seconds to load interface, 5 seconds to mail and reply. Mac, Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, 22MB/s download/upload, 2.9Ghz cpu running nothing else.


Is it the same speed in Guest Mode (no extensions)?


The only extensions I have are my password manager, an RSS feed manager, Vue.js dev tools, and Reddit Enhancement Suite, none of which should impact loading times on gmail.


I'm not familiar with those particular extensions, but if this is your general reaction based on how heavyweight you think an extension is, you may be in for a surprise. An extension (like a password manager) loading something like jQuery for every iframe easily slows down a site like Gmail by a few seconds. Instead of guessing, I recommend using the Performance tab of the browser console (click the "Start Profiling and Reload Page" button) along with the call tree (group by subdomain) to see where most of the time is being spent.

Also, Guest & Incognito seem to be intrinsically faster for some reason even compared to an entirely fresh profile, so you may want to compare against an empty profile instead.


I suspect this has more to do with network speed than platform or browser time spent parsing / executing js.


You should disclose the fact you work for Google beforehand because you blaming the issue on something else looks bad for Google.


Ah yes, sorry, to be clear I wasn’t attempting to shift any blame to a network provider, just remarking that the OP might be experiencing faster load times on the same browser / OS because of network conditions. And, network conditions aren’t entirely outside of Google’s control either- the size of the payload and where it is served from have massive effects on that. I am speculating about the cause of the relatively faster data point I was responding to.

I do work for Google as a web engineer, but not on Gmail and have no insider insight on gmail speed.


I'm on gigabit fiber and it's still slow as molasses


That’s not being fair to the molasses.


GMail is incredibly slow on every browser that isn't Chrome.

I have gigabit internet and I can assure you it's not a bandwidth problem.


Watching what's going on onscreen, for me, it appears to be Hangouts blocking functionality until it finishes loading, and Hangouts takes the longest of anything else.


No, takes a ridiculously long time on my school's network, which is blazing fast. It's limited by my laptops cpu and ram, which is maxed the whole time it's loading


I'm on a 2 year old MacBook Pro.

Gmail will completely freeze for ~10-15 seconds while performing a search.


What on earth are you doing with your Chromebook? I'm typing this on an almost 5-year old Acer C720, one of the most basic Chromebook models ever produced, and it can go from closed-lib hibernating to Gmail up and replying to a message in little more than five seconds.


Nothing special, just a few tabs and Termux open. 30 ms ping time to gmail.com.




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