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October 2014

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Gmail Update

Updated September 2014


I suppose that there will always be Gmail updates. Always. I should get used to it.

Exploring the Inbox

As with many other Android apps, Gmail features a navigation drawer. It slides in from the left side of the screen when you touch the App icon in the upper left corner of the screen, as illustrated in Figure 1. (If the navigation drawer doesn't appear, then keep touching the App icon until you're viewing the main Gmail screen.)

Figure 1
Figure 1. Navigation drawer on the main screen.

Messages are flagged by large, colorful icons. The icons show the first letter of the contact who sent the message or, when the person is one of your contacts and that contact has a picture, you'll see the contact picture.

Basic Gmail commands can be found atop the screen, as shown in Figure 2. Additional commands, such as Settings, are found at the bottom of the navigation drawer (refer to Figure 1).

Figure 2
Figure 2. Gmail Inbox commands.

Select multiple messages by touching the contact icons, as illustrated in Figure 3. Continue selecting messages, then use the actions atop the screen to do various interesting things with the messages. Additional actions are available by touching the Menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

Figure 3
Figure 3. Selecting messages.

Creating a New Message

To write a new Gmail epistle, hunt down the Compose button, shown below.

compose icon

Touch that button to view the Compose window, shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4.
Figure 4. Message composition window.

To save a draft copy of the message, touch the Menu icon and choose the Save Draft command.

To cancel the message, touch the Menu icon and choose Discard. Touch the OK button to confirm.

To change your Gmail Signature, follow these steps:

  1. Touch the App icon to display the navigation drawer.
  2. Choose Settings (at the bottom of the drawer).
  3. Choose your Gmail account.
  4. Choose Signature.
  5. Edit the existing signature or type in a new one.
  6. Touch the OK button.
  7. Touch the App icon (in the upper left corner of the screen) or keep tapping the Back icon to return to the Gmail inbox.

Replying and Forwarding

Replying to a message is done by choosing a reply option, illustrated in Figure 4. These options — Reply, Forward, and Reply All — always appear at the top of a message, as shown in the figure.

Figure 5.
Figure 5. Reading a message.

The commands in the gray area (above, in Figure 5), are Archive, Delete, Change Labels, and Move to Label.

The Reply All command is found on the Action Overflow menu for a message (next to the Forward icon).

Adding Message Attachments

Attachments in your messages look similar to Figure 5, adorned with the popular paperclip icon. Touch the menu icon to control how you'll deal with the attachment, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6.
Figure 6. Dealing with a Gmail attachment.

Your two key options are Preview and Save. Choose Preview to display the attachment in the message. Choose Save to download the attachment. It can be viewed by using the Downloads app.

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