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I'm in the same boat, and think the usability of the new interface is terrible. And the pretentiousness of the "form over function" design still makes me gag. But Chrome plugins like "Minimalist for Everything" make it almost bearable.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bmihblnpomgpjkfdde...

This and similar tools let hide and modify GMail with custom CSS and Javascript. Instead of trying to convince Google to behave rationally, it's easier to try to warp the new interface into something usable. I think about half the things in the article are already covered.

If only I could figure out a way to get the "stars" on the same side in the message view as on the overview...




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