Gmail for Android Moves to 4.2, adds more features

Alan Buckingham
Dec 4, 2012
Updated • Dec 4, 2012
Gmail, Google Android

Gmail, along with other Google services, is a core part of the company's Android operating system for phones and tablets. Today the popular email service got a much needed update with a host of new features coming along for the ride. Version 4.2.1 features improvements for archiving, picture viewing and a whole lot more.

Before we get to the feature updates, it's worth noting one important fact here -- Gmail version 4.2 requires your device to be running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or newer. That will include all of the latest products, but many older ones have become stuck at version 2.3 (Gingerbread). With that said, anyone using version 2.2 or newer can benefit from some bug fixes and performance enhancements included in the update.

So what is so special about this humble little update? Plenty. Let'stake a look.

Android 4.0+

• Auto-fit messages to screen and message zooming
• Swipe messages to archive or delete
• Attach photos and videos from within Gmail
• Larger photo previews and gallery view for photo attachments
• Bug fixes and performance improvements

Android 2.2+

• New Labels API for 3rd-party app developers
• Performance improvements

The new swipe feature contains custom setup, allowing users to choose if they would like to have it "have no effect", "delete or archive"or "delete only".

You can also zoom in and out on messages, but you will need to enable this feature in the Settings. In addition, you no longer need to launch the gallery to attach photos and videos.

This is a slew of features to be contained in one update. Version 4.2.1 will also likely take care of many of the most user-requested features for the Gmail app. The email service is an integral part of Google's mobile operating system, making it a key product needed to satisfy users and keep the platform moving forward. Today was a nice step into that future.


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  1. Mark said on December 4, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I am running ICS 4.0.3. I found out that there isn’t any attach file option, only attach picture or attach video. Yet both selections will open a menu to choose type of attachment, isn’t this defeat the purposes of letting me choose picture or video file to attach in the first place?

    Another strange thing is: you couldn’t select your attachment from Google Drive but selecting from Dropbox is ok!

  2. ilev said on December 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

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