Google announced today that a new version of their Gmail Android app has been made available in the Android Market. This update is for users running Android 2.2 (Froyo) – (EVO and Droid Incredible users: see the update at the end of the post). This new update includes several great features, as well as limited support for the new Priorty Inbox feature.
Read On to find out more.
The biggest change is that the message actions (reply, forward, star) are now kept at the top of each message, instead of being at the bottom. Even as you scroll through a message it will keep the buttons at the top of the screen, making them easily accessible from anywhere in the message. It defaults to showing you the reply button, but the little arrow next to it will expand to show reply all and forward. You can also change the default action of a message to be reply all if you prefer that option.
Google has also improved the ability to review previous quoted messages, allowing you to actually see all of the prior quoted e-mails, rather than just bits and pieces. It’s very handy when you’re included on a conversation that’s been going on for awhile. They have provided a link within each e-mail that will show or hide the quoted text.
Finally, Google has added some support for the Priority Inbox feature they’ve rolled out to Gmail web clients. While you don’t get all of the options to promote/demote messages, you do have an “Important” label that will show you the priority messages. You can also create a shortcut on your home screen to that folder if you like – providing a more direct link.
The new Gmail app also seems to handle threaded conversations better. If you have a thread of 4-5 emails, you can actually click on each one and see the full message, as well as reply specifically to any message within the thread.
I’m very happy to see that Google is starting to move many of their apps out to the Market. This allows for them to continually update the applications without having to wait until a full system upgrade is done. It also means that phones like the Motorola Droid can get these updates even if they never see the next Android version. I’m just a little disappointed that they didn’t allow the upgrade on 2.1 devices.
Update: There is a known issue with important actions not sticking to the top of the screen on HTC phones running Anrdoid 2.2, like the EVO 4G and the Droid Incredible. Google is working to address this.
Update: Search for Gmail in the Android Market to find it or here is the AppBrain Link