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Google Updates Gmail For Android With New Visual Changes And Improved RTL Support

May 19, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Google has updated the Gmail for Android app tonight and it brings some useful new features that you definitely won’t want to miss out on. This update should put your Gmail app at version 4.8., so if it isn’t showing that version your app hasn’t been updated yet and it likely is just taking its time getting to your device. There are a few minor changes here but nothing over the top. This is still the same Gmail we know and love but with some refinements.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is that, when you drag to slide out the menu from the left where you can manage which Gmail accounts your viewing as well as your current inbox and all your other categories, the accounts are no longer displayed as the simple list name but are now accompanied with the round image that is associated with that Google accounts profile photo. These are the same round images you’ll see in G+ on your own profile and in hangouts. The other visual changes that have been made are the ability to now see which Gmail account you’re using at the time which is denoted by the check mark that sits next to the account name. You’ll notice that when you pull to refresh the inbox that the “refresh” bar is sporting new red/blue/green/yellow colors just like when you pull to refresh inside of Google+, and Google has also moved the settings, send feedback, and help options to the slide out menu with your accounts and all your mail categories.

As far as functional changes go, you can now save things to Google Drive which is a big plus. No longer will you have to bother with saving email attachments to your devices internal storage space, as you now have the option to save attachments to Google Drive instead. Should you save things to Drive but want to download them to your internal storage later, you can do so. Google has also added in “reason” tags to the emails that are sent to your spam folder so that you know why exactly a specific piece of mail was sent to spam and not to your inbox. This can help you to avoid missing stuff that might have gone to spam by mistake, or just inform you of why something was considered spam if you were simply curious. Google has also improve the RTL support within the app, making it feel more natural for users who read things from right to left in their native language to read and view everything within Gmail. Although I personally read and speak English, this was probably one of the more useful features in this update.