Google made its first significant update to the Gmail app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and it includes some handy new features for organizing labels, notifications, and we’ll say “expressive” communication.
The Gmail app always had support for labels, a very popular feature among Gmail users, but now Google has added the ability to show nested labels. This was an experimental feature in Gmail for a while, but now it’s a fully integrated way to break your labels down into subdivisions.
As for the expressive communication, the new app for iOS does bring in custom signature functionality along with a vacation responder. The most interesting bit in the communication department is the new canvas. In any new email message, if you feel like you can’t express your thought in words, open up a canvas and start drawing. There’s different brush styles, colors, sizes, erasers, and spray paint — all the good stuff. The final image will be inserted directly into the email. It’s a unique offering from Google, but I think one that may end up being a quirky novelty more than something useful.
Last but not least, the Gmail team vaguely describes a changed notification sound to be “easier to distinguish when you’ve received an email.” Cool.
Users disappointed with the lack of some key features in the app that have yet to arrive like banner notifications and multiple account support, fear not. The folks at Gmail say they are working hard to get these all in a future release.