Four Gmail mobile app tricks for iOS and Android

Ben Patterson
19 March, 2015
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Gmail, business, ios, android, macworld australiaThere’s more to the recently revamped Gmail app than a pretty Material Design. Read on for four new Gmail tricks, starting with…

Set a vacation responder 

You can set a vacation reminder directly from the Gmail app, perfect for letting friends, loved ones and coworkers know that you won’t be replying for a good long while.

For iOS:

Tap the menu button in the top-left corner of the page, then tap the Settings button (the one shaped like a gear) next to your email address.

Flip the Vacation Responder switch, then fill in the blanks – you know, start and end dates, subject line, message and so on. Tap the Save button.

Bonus tip: Any vacation message you set in the web version of Gmail will automatically sync with the Vacation Responder settings for the Gmail app, and vice versa.

gmail app tricks vacation reminder 1

For Android:

Tap the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen, scroll down and tap Settings, then tap the Gmail account for which you’d like to set an out-of-office message.

Tap Vacation responder, then fill in the start and end dates, a subject line and the body of your message. Checking the box next to ‘Send only to my contacts’ will ensure that only people you know will get the message.

Flip the ‘Vacation responder’ switch on, then tap Done.

Shush an annoying email thread 

Gmail makes it easy to ‘mute’ an annoying message thread – like the kind where everyone chimes in with a “congrats!” or “so cute!” or “see you there”…over and over again. Once muted, the thread won’t appear in your inbox again unless you’re the only person in the To field.

gmail app tricks mute annoying thread 2

For iOS/Android:
See a message thread you’d like to mute? Open it, tap the three-dot (for Android) or down-arrow (for iOS) menu in the top corner of the screen, then tap Mute.

Want to unmute a message? Search for ‘is:muted’, open the muted message you’d like to unmute, then move it back to the inbox. That’ll clear the thread’s Muted label.

Swipe between message threads 

Here’s a handy little Gmail feature that’s easy to miss. Want to read the next message thread in your inbox? No need to tap the Back button to return to the inbox screen. Instead, just swipe from right to left (for older threads) or left to right (for more recent threads).

gmail app tricks swipe between message threads 6


Attach big Google Drive files to your messages 

With a little help from Google Drive, you can send a massive file – as in, say, more than a few GB – to a friend via email, or deliver a large batch of files.

Don’t have a Google Drive account? Well, if you’re using Gmail, you’ve actually got one already.

First, you’ll need to load the files you want to send into Google Drive. Open your Google Drive account, then drag the file you want to send onto the web page. The file should begin uploading automatically.

gmail app tricks attach big files to email 7


Next, open the Gmail app, compose a new message or reply to an existing one, tap the Attach button (it looks like a paperclip), then tap Insert from Drive.

Find the file you want to send, tap it, then tap the Select button (for Android) or the curved arrow (on iOS).


Images from Ben Patterson.

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