As we usher in the holiday season, if you are an Android user and you prefer to use Gmail to send and receive your mail, Google is making your holiday by rolling out an update to the app that will bring some great features including support for downloading Zip files, support for printing on KitKat and of course, just what we need, vacation responder. The update that started rolling out this morning updates Gmail for Android from v. 4.6.1 to 4.7, a major update and it sure does bring major changes. These include:
Vacation responder: Now that we are in the holiday season, keeping your contacts informed when you will be away having a good time with the family is easier with Gmail for Android. The Vacation Responder feature added to Gmail 4.7 lets the user set the start and end dates of the vacation and set a message to send as reply to emails or have it send to contacts. The vacation responder is easy to use as the user can enable and disable it with a simple toggle.
KitKat printing support: Integrated in the new Gmail 4.7 is a feature that makes it possible to print documents and images on the cloud if the device is running on Android 4.4 KitKat operating system. This feature allows the user to select a message or more to print or print entire message threads with ease.
Better device performance: People with budget devices with low RAM who couldn’t use Gmail because of a serious lag can now breathe a sigh of relief as the new Gmail update is optimized for better performance even on devices with limited memory. The official announcement posted by the Gmail Team mention that devices that have low memory will notice tremendous improvement in performance when they installed Gmail 4.7.
“If you forget to set a vacation responder as you scramble to pack for a flight, you’re in luck since you can now create or update an auto responder message right in the Gmail app on Android. In addition to photos and videos, you can send attachments—documents, PDFs, zip files—of any type. You can also print hard copies of your emails if you’re using Android 4.4 KitKat. And finally, you’ll notice enhanced performance of the app on low memory devices as part of Project Svelte (http://goo.gl/zD5thU).”
Download archived files: One of the biggest weaknesses of Gmail 4.6 and older is the inability to download zipped or archived files. The new update solves this problem as it can download various types of archived files attached to a mail including application/zip, application/x-gzip, application/x-bzip2, application/x-compress, application/x-compressed and application/x-tar files. Better still, you can now send almost any file type via Gmail for Android.
The update is not live everywhere yet, if you cannot wait for the official update, you can find download links on the Android Police page on the sources links below.
What do you think of the developments in the new Gmail update? Do they change your perception of the app?