Google has announced a new quality of life improvement for the Gmail desktop client, which will allow Gmail users to preview video attachment much more conveniently. Contrary to how Gmail video attachments worked up until now, the new update will allow Gmail users to watch video attachments in a pop-up playback window without having to download the file locally.
According to the official press release, the new feature uses the same infrastructure as YouTube, Google Drive, and other video streaming applications. With that in mind, video attachments will be delivered "at optimal quality and availability", and they will be represented by a thumbnail linked to a video player nearly identical to YouTube, complete with playback speed controls and a volume slider. The update will be launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release channels, and is currently rolling out gradually to all users. Google expects every Gmail desktop user to be able and take advantage of this new quality of life improvement within the next 15 days. Availability aside, it's interesting to note that this quality of life change might be more relevant for smaller video files rather than large ones. This is due to the fact that Gmail file attachments larger than 25 MB are automatically added to Google Drive and can be accessed through a link within the email. The 25 MB rule applies to all file types and it's unclear whether or not this will continue to be the case for videos. Nevertheless, video file attachments smaller than 25 MB are sure to take advantage of the new feature, as they will now be easily accessed and viewed from within the body of the email without having to be downloaded on the local machine.
The update at hand comes just a few days following another official announcement from Google in regards to the Android Gmail application, which was recently updated to support monetary transactions and allow users to send and request money through Google Wallet. This feature has been available for Gmail desktop users since 2013 and only recently made it through to the Android platform. Earlier this month still, Gmail for Android was updated to support shortcuts, allowing users to pin shortcuts for different Gmail accounts on their home screens.