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Gmail for Android update adds save to Google Drive option

James Temperton
20 May 2014
Gmail for Android
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Major update to Gmail for Android improves interface and adds new features

Google has released a major update to the Gmail app for Android, improving the interface and adding some useful new features. 

A lot of the changes make Gmail for Android look more like other Google apps. Swipe-down to refresh now brings up the red, yellow, blue and green scrolling bar, rather than a blue line. An update to slide-out navigation panel sees all the settings and options put in one place.

Different accounts connected to Gmail are now displayed using avatars rather than radial buttons. Notifications explaining there are no new emails, spam messages or saying a search result has been unsuccessful have also been changed.

The new, friendlier notifications proclaim "Hooray, no spam here!" and "Whoops, we didn't find anything" rather than the previous "No conversations".

Some new features have also been added. Users can now save files from emails directly to Google Drive, while long-tapping on an image will display an option to view the image outside the email pane.

Another new feature better explains spam emails. A small yellow box now appears detailing why a message is in your spam folder, including if you made a rule to send such emails to spam or if Google detected it automatically.

Google has been busy updating all of its Android apps to have a similar look and feel as it moves to a more consistent interface. The company is also hard at work on Android 5 L, which will see the whole operating system given a major facelift. Android 5 L is expected to launch sometime in the autumn.

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