Gmail app for Android got a massive update last week. The most noticeable change comes by way of new contact images next to emails, which are turned on by default. The issue is that not everyone has a contact image associated to each person that will send them mail, meaning there are often big, randomly-colored letters next to the emails instead. We wouldn't disagree if you thought this was a waste of space and looked a bit cartoonish.
So here's how to turn them off.
• From the main Gmail inbox view, head to your settings (via your phone's hardware menu button or the action bar menu).
• Select General settings.
• Uncheck the box labeled "Sender image".
• Go back to your inbox view and you'll now get a wider view of your emails without distraction.
Unfortunately this means you can no longer hit the images as a way to select multiple messages; you'll now have to initiate that multi-selection with a long-press on any email in the list instead. Cheers.