Google yesterday updated Gmail to version 4.2.1, which brings a host of new features for devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above, including the much-needed auto-fit feature that resizes your mail to fit onto a mobile phone screen. “No longer will your favorite email newsletters get cut off at the edges; with this latest version, you can now choose to have the emails resized to fit neatly on your screen and pinch to zoom for a closer look,” Google stated on Google+.

The update includes a new swipe feature that lets you archive messages from your inbox with just a swipe. Changing the command in the ‘Swiping Conversation List’ in Settings can change this action to let you delete messages by swiping.

Images have also been given priority in this Gmail update. Image attachments now appear as thumbnails as opposed to just a bar with the file name. Each picture attachment in an email is represented by a thumbnail; you can tap on a picture to go to a gallery and view all the images attached.

Another much-awaited feature in terms of convenience is the ability to attach photos and videos to mails from their smartphones. The update also contains the regular dose of bug fixes for improved performance. 

But fret not if your handset is running Gingerbread or Froyo, for there is a small list of new features for the older versions of Android too. The update brings performance improvements and a new labels API for third-party app developers.

Gmail for Android update has useful new features

Gmail for Android update has useful new features

Google has been going all guns blazing to improve the look and feel of the web-based version of Gmail.  Last week Google announced that Drive has now been integrated into Gmail, allowing you to directly attach files to emails from Google Drive. This feature allows you to attach a maximum 10 GB worth of files to your emails. Google explained that since the files being sent are stored in the cloud, this feature would let the recipients access the most recent version of the file.

Google also released an update last month to improve the search function of Gmail by letting users search for mail by size and date. For example, emails 5 MB or larger in size can be quickly located by using the operator 'size:5m' or 'larger:5m'. To search for email that are over a year old, users can enter 'older_than:1y' in the search box.

The compose mail function also underwent a facelift in October. The new compose box opens up like a chat box within Gmail to let users quickly compose mails while continuing to view their inbox and mails.

You can download the Gmail update from the Play Store here.  

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