Google updates Gmail for Android with auto-fit and improved attachments

Google has launched a massive update for Gmail on Android 4.0 (and above) devices that improves readability and attachment options significantly.

Gmail 4.2.1 has been released as an update on the Google Play store. Among its new features, arguably the biggest is to do with message zooming. You can now set messages to auto-fit, so you’re not left panning left and right when those media-rich emails are sent through.

You can also manually zoom in and out of messages through the time-honoured pinch gesture – a fairly basic feature that the otherwise excellent Gmail app has inexplicably been missing up to now.

Elsewhere, there’s a new swiping gesture that can be set to either archive or delete messages (it’s set to archive by default). And don’t worry – there’s an instant Undo key every time you initiate this command, lessening the likelihood that you’ll accidentally swipe away an important email.

Attachments have been improved, too. There’s a larger preview thumbnail gallery for attached photos, and tapping them brings up a full-screen viewing gallery that allows you to swipe through each image in super-quick time. Both features are especially welcome on large HD displays like those found on the Samsung Galaxy S3, Google Nexus 4 and the HTC One X.

While we’re on the subject of attachments, you can now fix any videos you’ve taken from your phone’s camera to your Gmail messages.

You’ll also get all the usual big fixes and performance improvements. If you haven’t already, check out the My Apps section of the Google Play store and you should find the Gmail 4.2.1 update waiting there for you.

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