Google Drive Mobile Users Can Now Add Files Right Into Gmail Messages

The new feature enables users to add Drive files into Gmail messages on an iOS mobile device for the first time.


Google Drive users on mobile iOS devices can now share files more easily with others by inserting them directly into a Gmail message and sending them.

The new capability, which was previously available to Android and Web users, was announced by Simon Forsyth, a Gmail software engineer, in a July 24 post on the Google Enterprise Blog.

"Important stuff doesn't always happen when you're conveniently sitting at your desk," wrote Forsyth. "Maybe you're out to dinner when your boss tells you that she needs the latest project proposal ASAP, or your daughter calls you on your commute home to ask you to proofread her college essay (that’s of course due that night!). While we can't make your life more predictable, today's update to the Gmail iOS app, along with earlier updates to the Gmail Android app, makes it easier to get stuff done on-the-go."

The new iOS capability will even notify users if the file they are sending isn't preset for sharing with the recipient so the settings can be changed, wrote Forsyth. "And to help you store all your files in a single place, if someone sends you an email attachment, you can save it directly to Drive with one tap."

The new feature is available in the latest version of the Gmail iOS app, which is available from the App Store. Android users can get the latest version of the Gmail Android app from the Google Play store.

Earlier in July, Gmail received translation support for an additional 13 languages around the world, bringing the total number of languages available using Gmail to 71. The added languages are Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian, Nepali, Sinhala and Zulu. Some of the new languages now supported by Gmail had already been rolled out previously as part of other Google services, including Google Search, Maps, Drive, Docs and YouTube, according to Google.

In January, Google unveiled a new feature to allow users to communicate via email more easily between their Gmail and Google+ accounts, but some critics said that the changes could be an invasion of privacy. The changes allowed Gmail and Google+ users to send an email to another user even when they don't have that user's actual email address. Google developed the new feature as a way to allow people who might know each other to communicate via email even in cases where they don't have each other's email addresses, while giving users control over who may contact them.

Senders are only allowed to send an initial email one time to a recipient and will not be able to send further messages if their initial request is not approved and reciprocated by the recipient, according to Google. At no time will the email address of the recipient be revealed if he or she does not accept the request, Google says. The goal of the feature is to allow users to interact with each other while maintaining the privacy of email addresses.

Google Drive was launched in April 2012 after six years of planning and talks about its intentions to introduce a cloud storage service.

In May 2013, Google announced that it was enabling those with Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photo accounts to put all their files in a unified place, rather than having to maintain separate storage areas, depending on what kinds of files were being stored. That meant that instead of having separate 10GB and 5GB storage areas for their files, users can now keep their data in one 15GB storage bin for free, simplifying file archiving and storage. The combined storage was made possible because as more Google products have been refined to work together, it made less sense to keep their storage repositories separate.

Also in May 2013, Google updated Drive by giving it a new chat capability, eWEEK reported. Users of Google Drive's Docs and Slides capabilities can now have chat sessions that are similar to the ones they can use in Gmail.