Gmail can now search inside attachments

Email attachments are a backbone of many companies and for many people can be very convenient methods of transferring files. It isn't perfect, but if you need to send a file to someone and it's not ridiculously large, it can work in a pinch.

Gmail is trying to make email attachments easier, with Google's famous searching capabilities expanding further across your inbox. It was always possible to search for an attachment if you knew the file name, but searching inside a document for some text or a phrase is new.

That's exactly what Google is bringing to the table, indexing documents so that they can be searched from within an inbox. Not all files are indexed yet, but if you've got a PDF or a document and want to track it down, it's now a possibility.

It seems that this is rolling out progressively, with some accounts getting access before others. No doubt there will be some questioning of how Google is indexing files, but for the average user this should be a nifty little feature to hunt out documents they could have previously assumed lost.

One comment suggests that this is rolling out to Latin characters before any others, explaining that they have been unable to use the search with other alphabets, such as Chinese or Korean.

Source: Googlesystem Blog

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25 Comments

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its getting creepy with google. I am happy with outlook.com and I have all mails auto forwarded to my new email address in outlook untill I completely have no mail left in gmail and I will shutdown my gmail for good.

S3P€hR said,
its getting creepy with google. I am happy with outlook.com and I have all mails auto forwarded to my new email address in outlook untill I completely have no mail left in gmail and I will shutdown my gmail for good.

Same. All my previous emails go to Outlook.com now. Its so much better than anything else, especially with the SkyDrive integration. Also helps having both integrated in Win 8 with the included apps.

Yay... now google is spying inside my attachments too.

I guess this weekend I get to actually finish transferring out of google completely. YAY.

thealexweb said,

Yawn, the whole scaremongering thing it getting a bit old.

these are the people who think running MS exchange is more secure. go figure...

NastySasquatch said,
Yay... now google is spying inside my attachments too.

I guess this weekend I get to actually finish transferring out of google completely. YAY.


Life away from Google is pretty great. I remember when everyone I knew was desperate for a Gmail invite, now they're moving away in droves.

NastySasquatch said,
Yay... now google is spying inside my attachments too.

I guess this weekend I get to actually finish transferring out of google completely. YAY.


Just a question:

Do you move to a self-hosted mail server?
Because I fail to see how an automatic scan for ad delivery is putting you at more danger than a service that claims to never scan through that.

Let me enlighten you, a LOT of the spam filters email providers use actually scan the mails. Fully.
Wow, now what?

If you're seriously concerned about humans reading your stuff, move away from services and run your own mail server.
As in, YOUR server, not rented or anything like that.

Whatever stores your stuff - especially the mail services - they actually have the ability to go in there if they want to.

I don't see how an open admitting to scanning for some targeted ads (meh) has much to do with my worries about someone opening my mails.
If I'm that concerned about it, I run and store the stuff myself.

And use encryption.

GS:mac

NastySasquatch said,
Yay... now google is spying inside my attachments too.

I guess this weekend I get to actually finish transferring out of google completely. YAY.

They already did, so does pretty much anybody, if you don't send your email securely or encrypted. The difference is that now you can also benefit from indexing.

thealexweb said,

Yawn, the whole scaremongering thing it getting a bit old.

So based upon comments here on Neowin (not specifically from you, but others):
When Microsoft shows ads, it is bad.
When Microsoft enables do not track, it is bad.
When Google shows ads, it is good.
When Google tracks what you do, it is good.

Interesting how, over the years, everything Microsoft did was scrutinized for privacy issues, and the slightest bit of data may be holding on you. But Google holds onto your information, who cares, it gives us better advertisements! WHOOOOO!

In related news, Google today closed with a market valuation lower than Microsoft. Can we get an article about it?

Glassed Silver said,

Because I fail to see how an automatic scan for ad delivery is putting you at more danger than a service that claims to never scan through that.

I don't see how an open admitting to scanning for some targeted ads (meh) ....
GS:mac

I limit how I use any service that claims to own all my content in their datacenter to build a better advertising profile.
If you can't imagine how this data could be used for evil, then I do not know how to enlighten you.
On the other hand, this is google, and they do no evil.....

nohone said,

So based upon comments here on Neowin (not specifically from you, but others):
When Microsoft shows ads, it is bad.
When Microsoft enables do not track, it is bad.
When Google shows ads, it is good.
When Google tracks what you do, it is good.

Interesting how, over the years, everything Microsoft did was scrutinized for privacy issues, and the slightest bit of data may be holding on you. But Google holds onto your information, who cares, it gives us better advertisements! WHOOOOO!

In related news, Google today closed with a market valuation lower than Microsoft. Can we get an article about it?

Both MS and Google should show ads and if needs by track to create a viable business model, Google doesn't have luxury of running it's online services as a loss leader year after year.

NastySasquatch said,
Yay... now google is spying inside my attachments too.

I guess this weekend I get to actually finish transferring out of google completely. YAY.

Encrypted attachements, good luck with that Google.

thealexweb said,

Both MS and Google should show ads and if needs by track to create a viable business model, Google doesn't have luxury of running it's online services as a loss leader year after year.

We should give up privacy to fund a multi billion dollar company? Google has a viable business model without reading your data for targeted ads, as shown by their bottom line for the past couple years. But so they can make more money, we should let them store metadata and transmit that metadata to advertisers?

I just get confused because Microsoft is often labeled "M$" in reference to how they supposedly only care about money. But when Google does something to raise revenue by exploiting our data (often in ways that I never gave them permission to do, such WiFi spying) then we should be happy to let Google peek in on our data so they can make more money? And by this response, you seem to be implying that Microsoft is in the wrong for not exploiting our data. Would it be wrong if Microsoft decided to do the same as Google?

nohone said,

We should give up privacy to fund a multi billion dollar company? Google has a viable business model without reading your data for targeted ads, as shown by their bottom line for the past couple years. But so they can make more money, we should let them store metadata and transmit that metadata to advertisers?

I just get confused because Microsoft is often labeled "M$" in reference to how they supposedly only care about money. But when Google does something to raise revenue by exploiting our data (often in ways that I never gave them permission to do, such WiFi spying) then we should be happy to let Google peek in on our data so they can make more money? And by this response, you seem to be implying that Microsoft is in the wrong for not exploiting our data. Would it be wrong if Microsoft decided to do the same as Google?

Without targeted advertising Google would be make far less money and many of free and loved serviced would have to go, how would users like Gmail and YouTube becoming premium services? They would hate it and want advertising back. If MS spun its online business into a separate business it would collapse within years under heavy debts, if it had used targeted ads it may have been viable. Targeted ads keep the internet afloat.

siah1214 said,

<snip> now they're moving away in droves.

Got any evidence to back up that claim?

I'd sooner trust Google than i'd trust Microsoft. Or Apple.

nohone said,

We should give up privacy to fund a multi billion dollar company? Google has a viable business model without reading your data for targeted ads, as shown by their bottom line for the past couple years. But so they can make more money, we should let them store metadata and transmit that metadata to advertisers?

I just get confused because Microsoft is often labeled "M$" in reference to how they supposedly only care about money. But when Google does something to raise revenue by exploiting our data (often in ways that I never gave them permission to do, such WiFi spying) then we should be happy to let Google peek in on our data so they can make more money? And by this response, you seem to be implying that Microsoft is in the wrong for not exploiting our data. Would it be wrong if Microsoft decided to do the same as Google?

If Microsoft searches Live Drive for porn, what makes you think they don't go through email? They say they use "information to improve their services" without saying exactly what that information is. At least Google admits what they're doing.

There are many other ways to get information that isn't Google. Some people act like they are the ONLY ones selling information. For all the money they take it, they provide a LOT of free services. They need a way to pay for it.

thealexweb said,

Without targeted advertising Google would be make far less money and many of free and loved serviced would have to go, how would users like Gmail and YouTube becoming premium services? They would hate it and want advertising back. If MS spun its online business into a separate business it would collapse within years under heavy debts, if it had used targeted ads it may have been viable. Targeted ads keep the internet afloat.


Lets butt in

Google "needs" our data to be survivable. They want any data they can get their hands on, nothing is sacred with Google. Not your privacy nor is mine or anyone else's for that matter.
The days of the 'do no evil' Google are long gone. The values they once held are a thing of the past.
Yet people defend Google, including you, no matter HOW much wrong they do, Google stays everyone's favorite 'do no evil' company.
Which brings the issue I notice allot and think is hypocrite and moronic by the most of you all. Is that when MS does something, its pretty much always bad and negative, when Apple does something, its almost always bad and negative. But when Google does something..... its praised like they're gods. This is very scary to me. Google is a threat to us all, to the internet. They do not defend us, they do not fight for us. Only when it suits them they will act like they fight battles for us. Only when it suits them and gives them an edge or more profit/marketing.
They collect everyone's data, remeber the term 'knowledge is power'?

Also when Vista came out, MS was flamed and dragged through the mud for reporting system settings and info back home. Which was a huge invasion of everyone's privacy, remember?
This is nothing to what Google phones home when you use Chrome, GMaps or anything else with a Google Updater.

Glassed Silver said,

Random babble...

Its not the fact that they are saying they read through stuff, its the fact that Google have been caught doing all sorts of illegal privacy breaching things. Anyone remember the WiFi scandall, Safari exploit, geotracking? Google isn't a safe company to have your data with, they have too much of a shady past and after all, their entire business is built of some pretty questionable ethics.

ingramator said,

Its not the fact that they are saying they read through stuff, its the fact that Google have been caught doing all sorts of illegal privacy breaching things. Anyone remember the WiFi scandall, Safari exploit, geotracking? Google isn't a safe company to have your data with, they have too much of a shady past and after all, their entire business is built of some pretty questionable ethics.


I was debating those news as irrelevant to the matter.
Not Google's general trustworthiness.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,
It couldn't before? Wow... that I didn't know...

Local mail application for the win...

GS:mac

What clients search through the attachments? If you didn't know, then you probably didn't notice, which means why switch now?

farmeunit said,

What clients search through the attachments? If you didn't know, then you probably didn't notice, which means why switch now?


Gmail isn't my main mail.
My main mail is GMX.

GS:mac