Update: This Gmail client update is only for devices with Android 2.2 or higher.

Gmail for Android received a substantial update from Google this afternoon - and the AndroidPolice team has agreed: some of the improvements are long overdue, while some of them are just plain cool.

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The change blurb that you'll find on the Market page lists some of the biggies, but a major one (for us, at least) has been excluded: quick folder switching. In the top left corner of whichever folder you were in, there was a simple label indicating the name of the folder. This is now a button, similar to the account button at the top right. No more pressing the menu button to get to your folders!

So what else has changed?

  • Priority Inbox Support (You can now set it as your default folder, too)
  • Major changes to reply / compose UI
    • New send / save buttons at top right
    • "Respond inline" and "include text" options in reply screen
    • Reply / Reply All / Forward toggle menu in reply screen
  • Compose screen allows you to choose to send from any address linked to your Gmail accounts
  • "Bug Fixes" (I noticed sending emails with attachments happens a lot faster, whereas before there was a major delay)

The new send and save buttons look very Gingerbread to me. All other stylistic changes for Gingerbread would probably be happening at the API level, so we'll have to wait and see on that (text boxes, check marks, menus, etc).

If you want to grab it with a quick tap or a snapshot, here's the QR link.

QR code for market://details?id=com.google.android.gm