Updates to GMail (Rooted and Froyo Only) Brings Floating Controls and Text Selection


If you’re on a rooted device with the latest version of CyanogenMod and the newest GAPPS distribution package, you probably already know that Google’s been working on improving that already-decent GMail client of theirs. There are two very notable changes to be had: you now have floating reply controls no matter where you are in the message and you can now select text within an email.

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I tried these out on my CM6 RC2-laden EVO 4G and the few features it does bring are lifesavers for me. The floating reply controls gives you the ability to star a message, add the message sender to your contacts, and reply to the message (reply, reply to all, or forward) regardless of where you’re scrolled to. This eliminates the need to scroll through the entire message just to get to response controls (which is a pain if you keep up long conversation chains).

Another feature that has been hidden under the “More” menu is the ability to select text to copy in an email – something I know I’ve been dying to see ever since I was on Android 1.1. It works just like it does in the stock browser application where you just thumb from the beginning to the end of the text you want to copy and lift your finger for it to be added to your clipboard.

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We’re not sure when or how Google will deploy the new version of GAPPS – and I’m not entirely sure on what else is new in the latest version of GMail (or if any other GAPPS – like Google Talk or YouTube – have any new features) – but I hope they get everyone upgraded soon because these are features that’ll make life easier for everyone. Have you tried out the new GAPPS on CyanogenMod’s latest? If you haven’t, give this download link a try and flash it on top of your current or new installation of the latest CM6.

[Note]: Other ROMs for other devices may or may not support the latest GAPPS. Check with your community and/or ROM developer of choice to see if this is something you can flash without an issue. These changes appear to be only for Froyo.

[Update]: As I don’t dive deep into GMail’s settings often, I couldn’t tell if there was anything new from the previous version, but after checking on another Android-based device, there are definitely some new goodies to be had here, as well. Nothing as huge here, but cool nonetheless.

[via Android Central]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. text selection has been there since 2.1update 1 or froyo cant remember which one. but the other stuff is new

  2. Really? I’ve always looked for that feature but never could find it. Then again, I haven’t checked since 1.6 first came out. If it was in other versions of Froyo (Sense, Droid 2) then I wouldn’t know as I wasn’t able to check while I had my Sense ROM installed.

  3. google is losing the war with facebook :(

  4. I’m waiting anctiously for Google to implement proper selection. Having to select text that’s located under your finger simply doesn’t work!

  5. @ben
    That was random….. And I think you’re wrong. Just wait till q4.its gonna be a good one

  6. @Mark Gjol, trackball works, if you have one :)

  7. Still havent gotten the OTA on my D1. It’s now the 18th…. wtf?

  8. gxhe,

    you work in Google ? what additional revenue stream does Q4 bring to google ? is youtube close to becoming massive revenue earner ? I am kinda sad that google is losing to facebook, I am depressed :(, most of Google’s revenues comes from search and search is slowly losing out to facebook social referral.

  9. 8/16 has come out. Includes a voice search library missing in 8/14

  10. Only one option interests me. Should be a no brainer.
    The ability to select which email address to send FROM when another app opens gmail. It always uses the last opened account with no option to change it.

  11. gxhe,

    aah you meant gingerbread. Hmmm lets see.

  12. Uhm, am I the only one who’s had these features since… forever? I’m using a N1 with stock Froyo, non-rooted, and those are not news to me. :O

  13. The feature I’m waiting on is the ability to change your *from* address among any you have configured in standalone Gmail. Being that I have at least 3 different email addresses I use on a regular basis, that would be a priority for me

  14. I have a non rooted N1 with Froyo installed. I have the text selection option but no hovering reply board and I can’t seem to find the update in the Market?

  15. @gxhe Yeah, well you just wait until Q1 2018….

  16. @Matt: Yea, the select text option has been in stock Android for a bit now, not sure if it was 2.2 or 2.1 though for GMail. But you won’t get the hovering reply/forward/star box from the Market just yet. It’s only in the new GAPPS (Google Apps) package that is listed together with the ROM installs from Cyanogen and company.

    @Mark Gjøl: YES! I never use the select text feature because it can be difficult to get any amount of precision with just a thumb. And you can use the trackball, but even then its not like there’s a cursor to tell you where you are starting to select text (unless its from a text input box, but I’m speaking to a sent email or another established text). It’d be nice to have that cleaned up somehow, but its hardly at the top of my wish list.

  17. The hovering reply board is for rooted with custom ROMs only I think

  18. BTW trying it out with CM6. Outstanding.

  19. Google has nothing to fear from fecebook.

  20. have froyo on Droid (non-rooted) and floating reply not there. Are we supposed to download a newer version of gmail? I DO see other improvements. My desire? ability to send or forward to my groups.

  21. And Arabic letters are connected probably( titles. Only ) in Gmail app

  22. I’ve been able to copy from established text on my droid since it was released… slide open the keyboard and hold shift, drag a finger over where you want to select and when you lift up it copies. Can be a pain in the butt with precision, but it works.

  23. @Dharma: Thanks! I missed somewhere in the article where it said it was *only* included in GAPPS for CM6 and the like. Definitely looking forward to when Google rolls this out officially…been wanting something like that for awhile now.

    @Drake: See comment 16.

  24. it works for the Droid stock 2.2. FRG01B.. just download from here [link i found from xda] and install like a regular apk thru linda file manager or astro

  25. Until Gmail allows you to download attachments and view them in a nice and orderly fashion, Gmail = Gfail. I just don’t get how Google can overlook some of the simplest feature sets that their competitors have had since the beginning. Keep trying Google. Maybe this time next year?

  26. GMail text selection on N1 has been there for some time.
    View a mail,
    goto menue -> More -> Select Text, a cursor arrow will appear,
    move the arrow to the beginning of the text you wish to copy,
    hit the trackball to begin text selection,
    move trackball to select text,
    press trackball to copy selected text to the copy buffer.

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