Those who are old enough to remember 3G connectivity will remember when Gmail had a dedicated HTML browser. This HTML browser was as basic as it comes. There was no real UI to speak of, nothing fancy or pretty. This was the poster child of function over fashion. However, in a world where the internet is new and data is silly expensive, you don’t need more than that.
Nevertheless, we are not in the early 2000s anymore and time has moved on. Our interfaces are more streamlined. Our services do more than just deliver us a sequence of emails in the order in which they arrived. We also expect more of the services we use. They have to have built-in calendars, chat functions and calling features. Our modern day is just too taxing for simple browser interfaces.
While using the HTML version of Gmail you are losing out on a bunch of great quality-of-life features. You miss out on things like Gmail’s chat feature, rich formatting, and spell checkers. All of these are things we just take for granted. We just expect these things as default in our platforms. For that reason, Google announced in a recent blog post that it is shuttering the browser in 2024.
Until then, you can enjoy your HTML view until the January 2024 deadline.