Google has revamped the mobile Gmail website and, because of the way Google reuses the website, the Chrome offline app got updated as well. The new look for the mobile Gmail debuted in the iOS app.
Given that the iOS "native" app is just a wrapper around the web-based Gmail app, the move is hardly surprising.
While Facebook may have abandoned HTML5 as the basis for native apps, Google is sticking to it.
It designed the mobile Gmail website to be easily packaged into "native" apps and did just that with both the iOS app and the Chrome offline app.
In fact, the Chrome offline app exists precisely because Google made the code portable and self-sufficient.
Google hasn't updated its mobile website in years, so the move is definitely welcome. In fact, the site only now got the "new" Google look spearheaded by Larry Page a couple of years ago, with the introduction of Google+.
From a strictly visual point of view, the new site and the apps based on it look better and the slightly better spaced layout makes for a cleaner look without sacrificing much detail.
The new apps come with a redesigned search experience and integration with Google Calendar.
The Chrome offline app is based on the tablet version of the site, so you get a split view by default, with a list of messages on the left and the detailed view on the right.
The offline Gmail app for Chrome is more "app-like" than the regular Gmail, which may be a selling point for some users. This makes it perhaps better for a quick update, when you need to check out new messages or fire off an email fast.
But you'll be reverting to the regular site for more advanced users. The main reason why you'd be using the app is offline access though, it's the only reason it exists after all. Since this is a visual update, that part of the app hasn't changed.