If you’re an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher user, you’ll be delighted to know that the latest update of the official Gmail app (v4.2.1) is now available for you, and brings along its several nifty features that were so far exclusively available to the lucky few Android 4.2 Jelly Bean users only. For starters, the app now supports the much-awaited automatic fitting and zooming feature for conveniently viewing your emails. In addition, you can now attach photos and videos right from the Gmail app itself, without having to rely on Android’s native file sharing method. For your photo attachments, the app not only offers large thumbnail previews, but also lets you view them in full-screen via a dedicated gallery. While viewing your inbox items, you can now swipe sideways on an email to quickly archive or delete it. Besides all this, there are several routine bug fixes and performance enhancement tweaks to go along with the update. We shall take a closer look at all the newly added features after the break.
Rather surprisingly, the aforementioned zooming and auto-fitting feature isn’t active by default in the updated app. Instead, you’ll have to manually enable it by navigating to Menu > Settings > General settings, and checking the ‘Auto-fit messages’ option. Once this option is enabled, the app will automatically shrink your relatively expansive emails to fit them to the screen. Using the pinch-to-zoom gesture, you can then zoom your emails accordingly while reading them. Although this particular option is quite handy in its own respect, it would have been even infinitely better if support for text reflow upon zooming in were added as well.
By default, the app lets you archive an inbox item by swiping sideways. However, heading over to the ‘Swiping conversation list’ option within the app’s settings, you may opt to permanently disable the swipe gesture, or choose between archive and delete as the default action.
While composing a new email/reply, you may now hit the Menu button to attach a picture/video right from within the app. For me personally, the best part about the entire update is the way in which the app presents all the photo attachment previews at the bottom of the message body, instead of showing them right at the top. Tapping a thumbnail takes you to the gallery view, from where you may see other attachments directly by swiping sideways on screen, without having to go back to the email view.
We would like to remind our readers that this particular update is meant only for devices running Android 4.0 or higher. You can hit the link provided below to grab the latest Gmail app from Google Play Store.