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Android How To: Use Gmail on Android

February 4, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Those of you that have just picked up an Android device for the first time may not have ever used Gmail before. But now that you do have an Android device, it’s probably a good idea to sign up for Gmail. So if you haven’t already, you can do so here. All of your settings on your phone are backed up to your Gmail/Google Account, as well as all apps, music, movies, etc., that you purchase from the Play Store will be tied to your Google account. Now how do we use Gmail on our Android phones and tablets? Here’s how.

The Basics

When you first open your Gmail app (found in the app drawer) you see a screen similar to the one above, except the emails will be your emails, and your email address will be at the top.

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Compose new email: Tap the first icon on the left at the bottom that looks like a letter with a “+”.

Search for emails: Tap the magnifying glass next to the compose icon, and enter your search.

Manage Labels: Tap the label icon next to the search icon, it’ll be the third one from the left.

Refresh your Inbox: Tap the refresh symbol all the way at the right, to refresh your Inbox.

General Settings

To get to settings, either tap the 3 dots icon, or the menu button on your device, if your device has one, then hit Settings. Then you should see something similar to the screen shot shown below.

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Shrink messages to fit on your screen: New in Android 4.2,  Settings > General Settings > Auto-Fit Messages CHECK

Hide pictures in Messages: Settings > General Settings > Hide Pictures in Messages > OK

Turn off Gmail Notifications: Settings > [[email protected]] > Notifications > UNCHECK

Change your Signature: Settings > [[email protected]] > Signature

Turn off Gmail Sync: Settings > [[email protected]] > Gmail Sync > UNCHECK auto-sync app data

Manage which labels to sync: Settings > [[email protected]] > Manage Labels

Download attachments: Settings > [[email protected]] > Download Attachments

Composing an Email – Tips & Tricks

Add Bcc/cc: Compose > Menu button > Add Cc/Bcc

Attach Videos: Compose > Menu button > Attach video

Attach Pictures: Compose > Menu button > Attach picture

Save as draft: Compose > Menu button > Save draft

Switching email addresses: Tap your email address at the top, then select the one you want to send as.

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Send email: Tap the arrow in the top right-hand corner.

Deleting Messages

There are a few ways you can delete messages in Gmail.

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Swipe to the left or right to delete or archive (new in Android 4.2)

Tap the checkbox to the left of the message, then select the trash can at the bottom.

There’s a quick tutorial of how to use Gmail on your Android phone or tablet. Some of these features are new in Android 4.1 or 4.2, which are noted above, but the rest you should see on your Gmail app, as long as you’re running the most recent version available to you in the Play Store. If there’s anything we missed, please be sure to leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to add it to this post.