Gmail update finally adds pinch-to-zoom and swipe gestures [VIDEO]


Wow… I almost thought this day would never come. Since back in the “G1 days,” there was always one particular Google app that bugged me: Gmail. Why? Well, a complete lack of pinch-to-zoom in the when viewing emails is why. Where 3rd party email apps handled this “feature” with no problem, the Gmail team seemed to put zooming on the back burner. Here we are, almost 4 years later, and in an update that just landed in the Google Play Store — Gmail has finally added pinch-to-zoom (Android 4.0+). Thank you, Google. Thank you.

The strangest part about the update is the fact that Gmail’s most notable new feature isn’t even enabled by default. So, when millions of people all around the world update their Gmail app, most will be completely unaware of this new change. The one feature that could change their life forever. But, for the millions of people that read our fine blog, simply jump into your Gmail app, press Menu > Settings > General Settings > Auto-fit messages. Now, enjoy troublesome-free, email viewing.

Also added in today’s update was the ability to swipe messages either right or left to archive or delete. Works pretty much in the same way as swiping notifications away in the notification area. Snazzy. This can further be customized in Gmail’s settings to only delete (in either direction) or turn off altogether. I feel like my whole life has just been upgraded. Hit up the Play Store to update your Gmail app right now.

[Google Play]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. I want an official explanation as to why this took so long.

      1. RUDE!

        1. I mean, it’s Google. You have a hard enough time getting them to respond to legitimate issues let alone release “explanations” :p

          1. wut. That’s not what I’m saying rude about. My initial comment disappeared..

    1. its been there for about a month now… when Google updated GAPPS for 4.2, which came before 4.2 actually

  2. Maybe I’m missing something… I can’t pinch zoom in gmail with my S3 running stock touchwiz JB

    1. You have to enable it in settings first.

      1. Hmm, I was in settings twice and missed it both times… Thx, it’s working

    2. (See article above)

      1. lol

      2. I would reference it if I knew how to read

  3. The feature doesn’t work very well in my opinion — for HTML emails, the default zoom level is too far out for my liking, and zooming in doesn’t reflow the text… So you’re stuck scrolling back and forth to read things. And my eyes are pretty good. The default (and unchangeable) zoom level for the non-zoomable mode is perfect, not sure why it’s different. But a matter of preference, certainly.

    I re-disabled the feature almost immediately when I got it on my Galaxy Nexus with 4.2, but all this new chatter has led me to enable it again. I’ll give it a few days and see if my opinion has changed.

    1. Hm, just found that you can zoom to your desired level, and then double-tap to reflow the text. Not exactly intuitive, but it’s probably good enough.

  4. “The strangest part about the update is the fact that Gmail’s most notable new feature isn’t even enabled by default.”

    Thanks for adding that in the article, putting in the headline would have been better for those of us to excited to wait, and went straight to update, and started cussing. Not enabled by default is stupid, most user will never find this.

  5. This has made archiving tremendously more entertaining.

  6. I love phandroid

  7. Soooo about that lwp….. Where can I find it?

  8. Its about time, this should of been in gmail on the G1 from day one.

  9. I saw this article and automatically went to download it, opened an email, and could not zoom. I freaked the hell out for a minute. Until I read the article. Phew!

  10. My goodness, emails are so much more pleasant to look at now.

  11. LOL @ “Life Upgraded” comment, Mr. Chavez! Please continue to throw zingers like this into future articles…the laughs are very much appreciated. : )

  12. Chris this has been out since before 4.2 was released…did you just get the update?

    1. The update is now out to 4.0+ devices, not just 4.2.

  13. Anyone else getting the message “could not connect” every time when pressing the refresh button? It’s been popping up since I updated the app earlier today.

  14. This was so overdue in my Galaxy Note 2….. I don’t even have to pinch to zoom

  15. “Where 3rd party email apps handled this “feature” with no problem”

    What email apps have this feature? I’m looking for an IMAP client that defaults, or can be configured to full zoom…

  16. Cool live wallpaper. What is it called?

  17. Don’t forget, they finally changed the Archive icon to match the one on the web-based Gmail. hallelujah!!

    Oh, they should add the capability to define:
    Swipe Left = Delete
    Swipe Right = Archive

    That’ll be cool.

  18. Still no html in signatures??

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