As if Gmail didn't make enough news today thanks to the launch of a new web interface and beginning to roll out the long-long-awaited snooze feature, there's also a new version of the app floating out into the world. It only appears to add one feature to mark a thread as partially unread, but a teardown also reveals that the Gmail team is going to add fully customizable swipe actions.

What's New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • Added: Mark unread from here

Mark unread from here

Long email threads can be difficult to get through if you only have a couple of minutes. Gmail's web interface has long included an option to 'mark unread from here' on individual emails, but that was missing from the mobile version for quite some time. As of v8.4, that's no longer the case.

Just tap on the overflow button in a given message and you'll find the command to mark that message unread along with everything after it. This will back you out of that conversation, just like marking everything unread. When you open that conversation again, you'll see a little marker with the number of messages that are hidden, and all of the unread messages will be fully visible below it.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.

Customizable swipe actions

I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect there have been few more heavily requested features than this one. Gmail is going to add the ability to customize the swipe gestures on email conversations. Currently, there is just a single toggle in the settings screen to turn swipe actions on or off, and you have to decide between Delete or Archive, which also changes the default for the notification action.

 

Screenshots: Current implementation of swipe gestures.

When customizable swipe gestures launch, it will give users the option to pick one of five actions to perform: Delete, archive, mark as read, move to, and snooze. There is also an option to disable the swipe entirely if you don't want anything to happen.

The best part may be that each direction can be mapped to different commands. In other words, if you want to take advantage of muscle memory developed after years of using Tinder, you'll be able to set it up so a swipe to the left will delete messages and a swipe to the right might be used to snooze a message or move it to another tag.

Quote
<string name="swipe_left_actions_dialog_title">Use left swipe for</string>
<string name="swipe_right_actions_dialog_title">Use right swipe for</string>

<array name="swipe_actions_perf_entries">
<item>Archive</item>
<item>Delete</item>
<item>Mark as read/unread</item>
<item>Move to</item>
<item>Snooze</item>
<item>Disable</item>
</array>
<array name="swipe_actions_perf_values">
<item>archive</item>
<item>delete</item>
<item>markAsReadOrUnread</item>
<item>moveTo</item>
<item>snooze</item>
<item>disable</item>
</array>

/xml/swipe_actions_preferences.xml
<PreferenceScreen xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto" xmlns:aapt="http://schemas.android.com/aapt">
<com.google.android.gm.preference.SwipeActionsPreference android:persistent="true" android:entries="@array/swipe_actions_perf_entries" android:key="swipe-right-action" android:dialogTitle="@string/swipe_right_actions_dialog_title" android:entryValues="@array/swipe_actions_perf_values" app:entrySummaries="@array/swipe_actions_perf_entries" app:swipeDirection="right"/>
<com.google.android.gm.preference.SwipeActionsPreference android:persistent="true" android:entries="@array/swipe_actions_perf_entries" android:key="swipe-left-action" android:dialogTitle="@string/swipe_left_actions_dialog_title" android:entryValues="@array/swipe_actions_perf_values" app:entrySummaries="@array/swipe_actions_perf_entries" app:swipeDirection="left"/>
</PreferenceScreen>

Customizable swipes aren't live on any of my devices, but seeing as one of the options is to Snooze, it's possible this may go live only with people that have already gained that feature. Even if it's not live at all, it's great to see this is coming soon.

And since the comments will inevitably be filled with this, and I'm willing to bet it's the most-demanded feature... #inb4 everybody wants customizable buttons on email notifications.

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Gmail
Gmail
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free