While a Gmail widget upgrade has made everything smaller, Google aims to better optimize first-party Android widgets for tablets.
Today’s widespread rollout of version 2022.08.21.x eliminates most of the padding in each mail card. Although the benefits per line are tiny, this has the unintended side effect of making the text appear smaller.
The archive button on the right is also crammed in with the other items at this point.
One benefit is that you may now view more emails on each screen. In one of the examples below, it’s five against eight. On tablets, however, if the widget isn’t tall enough, the bottom bar containing shortcuts to launch Chat, Spaces, and Meets has vanished.
This is most certainly a major issue because it makes text harder to see, yet many who initially thought Material You added too much padding may come to appreciate the updated appearance.
The Gmail update that shrunk the widget began to trickle out last week, but it’s now available to more people this afternoon. With the arrival of the subsequent patch release, it should be fixed.