T-Mobile G2: His Review | Her Review

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New version of Gmail for Android 2.2 now available

Just today, Google announced on their mobile blog that an updated version of Gmail is now available in the Market for all phones running Android 2.2, Froyo. The update brings a number of new features, including a completely redesigned message header. The header now stays docked at the top as you scroll down, making replying, starring, and other options very easy to access.

The Star and Reply buttons are at the top right, and the sender is at the top left. By tapping the right-most arrow button, you can expand a set of options that include Reply, Reply All, and Forward.

The new version also adds the ability to tap "show quoted text" as you're replying to expand the message you're replying to. This has long been a feature of the desktop version of Gmail, and now it's available on Android.

Finally, this version includes preliminary support for the new Priority Inbox. If you have Priority Inbox enabled for your account, you will see an Important label in your label list. Tapping this takes you to your priority messages. You can even add this label as a shortcut to your homescreen to have one-tap access to your priority inbox.

The update is available in the Market now for all phones running Android 2.2, Froyo. Unfortunately, no mention was made about previous versions of Android. There are some comments saying that it's not available on international versions of the Market, but that is likely a temporary issue.

This app joins the ranks of Voice Search and Street View in being decoupled from the core OS to allow updates via the Market. This will allow people to update the apps even if their carrier refuses core OS updates. To download the new version, search the Market for Gmail, tap here from your phone, or scan this QR Code.

This is excellent. This version is very similar to a leaked version that was making the rounds a few weeks ago, but it's even newer and better. I love the way the header stays at the top, it's so helpful. And the update works perfectly on my rooted G1, it even seems faster than the older version. Hopefully it comes to other versions of Android soon, so everyone can enjoy the new features.

Updates to Gmail are always a good thing. This will help make the mobile experience more similar to the desktop experience. I'm not sure how I'll like the Priority inbox showing up as a label. I think I would prefer it if it was organized like the desktop version, and just listed in order, instead of having to go into a separate label. There could be a checkbox to turn it on and off to toggle views. But the label system will work for now.

I'm also glad that it's a separate app that can be updated separately, because these carriers can't be trusted...

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