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AndroidTab_June18_CTablets running Google’s operating system – Android – are becoming an integral tool to many business owners and managers. One reason they are so useful is because of the apps one can install on their device. One of the most popular of these apps is Google’s Gmail. This app, which brings the browser version of the email service to your device, has been recently updated with a brand new look.

Here is an overview of the two major changes that have been made to the Gmail mobile app. These changes apply to Android devices running Android 4.0 and newer, as well as the iOS version.

A new layout
When you upgrade to the new version of Gmail on your mobile device, you’ll notice that the layout has changed drastically. Sure, your emails still take up the majority of the screen space, but the change is in how they are presented. Along the top of the screen you will now see the name of the folder you are looking at, an envelope with a plus symbol, (pressing this will allow you to compose a new email.), and a magnifying glass symbol which allows you to search your email and three vertical squares through which you can access the settings.

If you look at your emails, you will notice that each email now takes up slightly more space and shows a preview of the first few lines. At first glance, you see that the square box you used to use to select multiple emails, which was located beside each email, has been replaced by a bigger picture, (if the sender of the email has a profile picture), or the first initial of the sender. The picture, or letter, now functions as the multiple select box. Tapping on it will allow you to select as many emails as you wish.

When you select more than one email, (by tapping on each picture), you will notice that the menu bar at the top of the screen changes to display five icons:

  1. Checkmark – will uncheck (deselect) the emails.
  2. Box with an arrow – will archive selected emails.
  3. Open or closed envelope – will change all selected emails to either unread or read.
  4. File – will allow you to move the selected emails to various files or tabs.
  5. Three vertical squares – will bring up the options, which include: Delete, Add star, Change labels, Mute, etc.

These labels also appear when you open a single email. The compose email window has not been changed.

When you are on the main inbox screen, you will notice three horizontal lines at the very top-left of the screen. Tapping on these will cause the inbox and label menu to slide open, allowing you to select different inbox tabs and labels.

Tabbed inbox
The recently launched tabbed inbox for the browser based version of Gmail has also been introduced to the mobile app. If you activated this, you should see the tabs pop up in the main Gmail screen when you have a new email. You can tap on the tab to be taken to that category and view the emails that Gmail has moved there.

As with the browser version, Gmail will organize your inbox and emails into five different tabs:

  1. Primary – emails that are person-to-person and usually important.
  2. Social – emails related to the various social networks you subscribe to.
  3. Promotions – emails from promotion websites or those offering deals.
  4. Updates – emails from auto-senders that are meant to be updates e.g., bank statements, bill payments.
  5. Forums – emails from various forums you may subscribe to.

You can view emails in these tabs at any time by tapping on the three horizontal lines in the top-left of the screen and selecting the name of the tab from the menu that slides in.

If you would like to change the settings and layout of the new app, you can do so by:

  1. Pressing the three vertical squares and selecting Settings.
  2. Tapping on your account.
  3. Changing desired settings. e.g., which tabs are shown can be changed by selecting Inbox Categories.
  4. Pressing the back button on your phone until you are on the main Gmail screen. Your changes should be automatically applied.

The new version of the Gmail mobile app brings about some interesting changes that will definitely take some time to get used to. If you would like to learn more about this app, or how any Android tablet or device can help with your business, please contact us today.

Published on 19th June 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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