Google has revamped the design of Gmail with the introduction of the Material You for some time, and over the months it is slowly reducing the size of the bottom bar. The latter, which appears only if you have activated the display of Chat, Spaces and Meet within the settings, is now appearing even more streamlined to various users: as you can see in the screenshots below, Google has removed the labels dedicated to Mail, Chat, Spaces and Meet, but in some cases left the one for writing a new email.
The latest Material 3 guidelines consider the text label as optional, as long as the meaning of the icon is clear and unambiguous. This appears to be the case with Gmail, with users who should now be able to clearly understand the various sections. The bottom bar is now even lower, and there is therefore more space for the email list. The news seems to be quite widespread among users who have at least the 2022.08.07.x version of the application, but it is most likely a server-side change.
Written by Matteo with love from Italy