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Gmail and Drive to benefit from a handy new feature on Android

Google would prepare a new version of Gmail where attachments stored on Drive would be displayed as a preview thumbnail. This display option was discovered in a beta version of the mail client. Another new feature, related to Drive's scanning tool, has also been discovered.


Regularly, Google enriches its applications, whether on PC or Android. Recently, the 
Mountain View firm has been working to standardize the user experience across all of its services. This standardization is achieved through application design, of course, but also through the mutual integration of services. Search with Maps. Maps with Hangouts. Hangouts with Gmail. Gmail with Drive. Etc. And of course, these integrations are tested before being implemented in the consumer versions available on the Play Store.

The XDA Developers site has found two new APKs available only in beta. The first one is about Gmail. And the second is Drive. By exploring these two archives, two new features appeared. The first in the Gmail APK. And the second in the Drive archive. Even if they don't revolutionize the use of the mail client or the online storage service, they are two very interesting features.

The first is a perfect illustration of the improved integration of services with each other. Gmail for Android is enhanced with a preview of attachments stored on Drive. So far, if you want to integrate one into an email, the file selection interface only shows a list of folders and files (with the last modification date). The new version of Gmail shows folders and files as icons. And if a preview is available, it's displayed to make it easier to choose the right file. This works with all file types that already have a preview in the dedicated application.

Google Drive: soon a scanner as good as Acrobat?
The second novelty discovered is thus directly in the Android version of Google Drive. And more precisely in the scanning tool. Two changes have been made. Firstly, the scanning automatically straightens the scanned documents so that they are straight (which is more convenient for reprinting for example). This tool is clearly inspired by the better known scanners such as Adobe Acrobat. Then, the virtual buttons to access the image editing tools have been moved to the bottom of the screen, taking advantage of a slight reorganization of the interface. This makes them easier to reach on phonebooks.

These functional and ergonomic new features are not yet available on the consumer versions of Gmail and Drive. They may never be available if Google doesn't think they're of sufficient interest. However, there's a good chance they will.
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