Google Lets Gmail, Chrome Users Drag Files to Their Computers

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-08-04 Print this article Print

Google continues to leverage HTML5 for drag-and-drop functionality in Gmail.

The Gmail team is letting Google Chrome browser users drag attachments out of e-mail messages to save them on their desktop, laptop, netbook or tablet.

Users need only hover over the attachment's download link or file icon. A tool tip surfaces inviting users to "click to view or drag to your desktop to save."

Just click, hold it and drag the file anywhere in the computer's file system and drop it to save it.

I just tested it out and it worked. Unfortunately, the drag and drop imaging didn't render the way I would have liked. When Google tried it, it showed first the file:

Gmail Drag, Drop.png

and then the image being dragged like so:

Gmail Drag, Drop 2.png

I tried on a 1K text file and a 4.3MB file and I saw the same black circle image surface. The file moved easily enough -- i just couldn't "see" a shadow of the file move as I dragged my cursor around my laptop, if that makes any sense.

Gmail is quickly becoming an efficient palette for drag-and-drop functionality, dramatically boosting the application's efficiency.

Google began letting users drag and drop files as attachments and dump pictures into new e-mails earlier this year.

Who these days wants to open up a dialog box to specify where a file should go? No one. With HTML5 in Gmail, users don't have to.

VMware's Zimbra assets already do a lot of this drag-and-drop stuff, and Yahoo borrowed from that company when it owned it.

But Gmail has something like 180 million users so this is a big deal for a company trying to make the world forget about Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and other Webmail apps. Plus Google is leveraging HTML5 not just AJAX for this. |

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