Google has finally added the feature that we've been wanting since Google first started adding functionality to notifications back in Ice Cream Sandwich: the ability to archive email directly from the notification shade. Now, when you get a new email, you can choose what to do with it immediately. This is extremely handy for the chronic email checkers who would like to be able to dismiss the clutter as it comes in, rather than let it pile up later


This is something that seems so obvious that when Ron reviewed Jelly Bean, the lack of buttons was a disappointment in an otherwise fantastic update. Still, it's a welcome addition. The app update also brings faster search results and better search suggestions, so your Gmail-ing should be better all around.

We've also found one new feature that escaped the change log. Now, you can swipe to remove a label from an email when you're viewing said label's search results. This is combined with the old ability to archive from the inbox or delete from system labels. The action performed by the gesture depends on the context in which you use it.


Here's the full change log:

What's in this version:

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and up:
• Reply, archive or delete from notifications - no need to open the app
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and up:
• Faster search, even when you're offline
• Bug fixes and performance improvements

The update is live on the Play Store now and can be downloaded immediately. So have at it!

Source: Google

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/PigeonFudge Ashley

    Want for Google Voice!

    • John

      There's a reason they've abandoned that app for not (i think). We're all just hoping it'll get a nice facelift when they reveal the unified messenger later this year.

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        Let's hope the whole app is scrapped and just merged with Android and Chrome full stop.

  • Brandon Schneider

    No "Delete" option?

    • http://twitter.com/PigeonFudge Ashley

      Not sure I've ever deleted an email in Gmail before...

      • Michael Ayoub

        I still very much enjoy deleting Gmail emails. If it's useless, it's useless, y'know?

        • EMullins

          I delete emails all the time because I don't like making my inbox huge and loaded with crap I will never need again.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I delete like mad and never archive. I don't get the whole archive everything approach - it's an extra action after reading an email. I leave it alone if I need it and delete if I don't.

        Not deleting just crappifies search and adds all these results you don't care for.

        • mesmorino

          That's just Google having a brain fart. I have never archived an email in my life either, like you said if I need it, I leave it. If I don't need it, I delete it. Simple is as simple does.

        • xnadax

          If I might need it in the future, I archive it. If I don't need it, I
          delete it. It's not so different from what you do, if I'm not mistaken. The only
          difference is that my inbox is completely empty once I've answered or
          read all my e-mails. Archiving e-mails makes it easier for me to see which e-mails I actually have to take care of, and as a bonus I feel good when my inbox is empty. :)

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            That's what I use stars for. If I need to revisit it, I star it.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

            Yeah, but you don't always know you need to revisit it. That's kind of the point they're making. Though, I think functionally what you're talking about is the same. You just leave things in the inbox and delete the shit you know you don't need, where as some people delete the shit they know they don't need and archive stuff instead.

            Functionally, there's no difference between leaving things in your inbox and archiving them, but without archiving, clean freaks and people who like to keep their inbox clean have no option at all. Aside from creating a "Miscellaneous" label, I guess.

        • Freak4Dell

          Archiving removes it from the inbox but keeps it alive just in case I need to reference it later. The 30 days thing doesn't help. I've had to go back to emails years after they were originally sent or received. I delete all the random subscriptions that I know I'll never look at, but at least a good 80% of my email gets archived.

    • sahilm

      The headline says archive, reply, or delete, so I'm guessing this is something you can configure in the settings.

      • Brandon Schneider

        Woops. Missed that.

  • mechapathy

    Uh oh. Seems to break Light Flow. Heads up.

    • mechapathy

      Also, why would someone downvote this? It's useful information.

      • Alex

        Lmaoo who knows...

    • Sean Stone

      Actually, uninstalling and reinstalling, then restoring the Light Flow backup seems to fix it. Not sure what's different between that and just clearing data, but it seems to work for me now.

      • mechapathy

        I tried that. Seems to only stop it from crashing until you receive a notification.

        • Sean Stone

          mm, you are correct.

    • http://www.About.me/PHADE PHADE

      HEADS UP!!!

      *** This Update Does NOT Break LightFlow ***
      Go into "Accessibility" and ReEnable LightFlow.

      • mechapathy

        I've tried that. I've tried clearing data. I've tried reinstalling entirely. It seems to fix the crashing until you get a notification that's handled by light flow. It does break Light Flow. Sorry.

        • http://www.About.me/PHADE PHADE

          Noooo! You Broke My LightFlow (Joke...see the rest)

          I had a couple successful notifications come in but when I got the email that mechapathy replied to my comment.... LightFlow broke again.

          Hope it gets fixed soon!

          • mechapathy

            Haha sorry bout that. The devs are usually pretty good about this kind of thing. I'm also eagerly awaiting a fix.

    • http://twitter.com/Kartik_N Kartik Nagarajan

      LightFlow update addressing the issue is already live.

    • Andrew Moore

      It's fixed in 3.6.0 of the app. It can take 24 hours to show through the entire play store. I got 16,000 emails in 11 hours about the issue :O

      • mechapathy

        I saw the update about 3 hours after the gmail update. That's some pretty speedy turnaround! Thanks!

    • Brian Patterson

      Never mind

  • http://www.ScienceProUSA.com SciencePro

    Can you Mark As Read though?

    • anzensepp1987

      I also hope for that feature. AquaMail does this for example.

    • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

      You can't, sadly.

  • Anthony

    APK teardown !

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Already underway.

  • Brian Menius

    Long overdue. Thanks, Google!

  • Andrew

    Update broke Light Flow for me

    • Bleakvision

      Yep, same here.

      • Patric Dhawaan

        Yup, Light Flow is broken after the update

  • El Marko

    Unfortunately, unless there's a way for me to set the Android Gmail app to not display in threaded conversations, no other enhancement of the Gmail app is of much use to me.

    Please, Google, give Android Gmail app users the ability to view our inboxes in an un-threaded, no conversation format.

    • mechapathy

      Are there other apps that do this? Cuz I was under the impression that threaded conversations were a feature of gmail from the get go.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psycho_maniac_ Jerry Lange

    They should add a middle button. Mark as read

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    I'm curious if I can have it show the Delete button instead of Archive since I don't use Arhiving.

    • Brian Menius

      Mine automatically came up with "delete" and "reply" as the two options. I suspect Google pre-populates the two options (out of the total three options) based on some cookie dropped by your gMail usage habits.

      • EMullins

        I never archive anything and I got "archive" so I don't think this is true.

      • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

        Change the "swiping conversation list" setting to "Always delete". Thanks to @google-8ff6eaf40374be222f4ce29746ed70ae:disqus for that.

    • Scott Kennedy

      Change the "swiping conversation list" setting to "Always delete"

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        I do that as soon as run Gmail for the first time. Glad this setting affects the notification as well.

        • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

          You must be a brave, brave man for deleting not archiving...I'd be worried I'd delete something important, then not be able to get it back later.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I'm not worried because I know it hangs around for 30 days in my Trash.

          • ltredbeard

            Does archiving just mark as read or does it move it out of your inbox? I'd like a "read" button.

          • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

            Yeah I'd like it to be "Archive & Mark As Read" as well, currently it archives it but leaves it as unread. @archon810:disqus, I'm curious, how do you make the button be a Delete instead of an Archive option? Is it only if you change that one setting in the Gmail app?

            Not that I mind it being "Archive" by default, since I rarely delete things (Gmail has basically unlimited storage, why delete anything? lol), I was just wondering.

      • EMullins

        Wow that actually worked. Thanks!

      • Freak4Dell

        I wish there was a better way of doing that. I'd like to be able to delete from my notification, since I delete stuff without reading it all the time, but hardly ever archive without reading it. However, I don't want to lose the ability to swipe to archive.

      • http://twitter.com/dommg Dominic M

        Thanks for the tip. Was searching for this ever since I got the update.

    • EMullins

      Silly Artem, Google doesn't want you easily deleting emails from their server. They want them to stay them. Yum yum data.

  • EMullins

    Brittany Blackmon is one psycho-looking Hipster chick.

    • You heard me

      She's hot

      • EMullins

        She actually looks like David Ruddock if David were a psycho Hipster chick.

  • Patrick Hermey

    how about getting rid of expanding notifications all together and add in voice capabilities to each notification?

    • Josh

      What? Why would they get rid of an awesome feature? That makes no sense.

      • Patrick Hermey

        it makes perfect sense to me. here they are finally adding in these buttons and they leave us with archive and reply. no delete. no forward. no mark as important. no editing of the buttons to make it our own either.

        i think a voice button to respond to mms or delete/reply to emails would be awesome. getting rid of expanding all together i will admit is a bad idea. but having the option to not expand and still have voice would be ideal for me.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          You can choose not to expand notifications. Just don't expand them. Worst case scenario, they might sometimes automatically expand if you have nothing else in the tray but, in that case, what does it matter?

          • Patrick Hermey

            i refined my argument to that in my last sentence. its not that i dislike them. its that i think voice would be easier and better.

          • jacob

            you're an insufferable douchebag.

          • Patrick Hermey

            could be. but that doesnt mean voice actions for notifs wouldnt make it a better experience.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I can think of exactly zero people who want to get rid of expandable notifications altogether and I can't fathom why in the world you would want to do this.

  • Anthony

    Perhaps I am just blind, but how do you delete an email from the notification? I'm only seeing archive and reply.

    • RyanB1

      Ditto. Is there aseeing we're missing?

    • http://twitter.com/jeffaandrews Jeff Andrews

      Go to general settings in the app, change the swiping option to 'always delete'.

  • br_hermon

    So... the FIRST thing I thought after I saw the update notification was, "Well I wonder what goodies Ron's going to find the in the apk breakdown" haha :) lookin forward to that read.

  • Bager

    I am still waiting for option that lets you empty the bin : >

  • http://www.About.me/PHADE PHADE

    *** This Update Does NOT Break LightFlow ***

    Go into "Accessibility" and ReEnable LightFlow.

  • http://twitter.com/twaddington Tristan Waddington

    Seems like the text color for "read" messages has changed as well. It seems darker than it used to be. When I first opened my inbox after updating I thought that all my messages had been marked as unread.

  • mechapathy

    Light Flow is already updated with a fix!

  • Kevin M Combes

    "first started adding functionality to notifications back in Ice Cream Sandwich:"

    Everyone forgets Honeycomb. = /

  • Spam Filter

    Hasn't it always been that the Gmail version number mirrored the Android OS number? Prior to the update, Gmail was at 4.2.2 on my N4. Now 4.3... Am I reading too much into this? Is El Goog going to drop Android 4.3 on us along with Google Keep all of a sudden?

  • Anne

    How do you now log out of Gmail V4.3 please?

  • William Sardar

    The buttons in Notification Shade doesn't appear to be working on my Galaxy Note 4.1.2. Do you have to enable it?

    • Peter Gregory

      Also not seeing them on my Galaxy S3 4G

  • Damian Cirami

    I opened the mail! When I enter a mail from Gmail app is closed! I have a "Oppo Find 5" with Android 4.1.1. Any suggestions?

  • http://www.outinthemstreets.com Destr0

    Any way to turn this off or edit what is shown in the notification bar? I don't want to preview my messages in the notification bar, although the ability to delete is great.

  • RoyFDouglas

    This is great. So, when is Google going to add the "# of unread messages" indicator on the GMail icon?

  • brenda talley

    I need to know how to delete unwanted mail in bulk. 1 at a time would take all day. Please help.

    • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

      Tap on the sender image to select an email