Google updates Gmail for iOS with native Files app support

Gmail is rolling out an update to its iOS app which brings with it support for the native Files app. The firm announced this change today on its G Suite blog. This is a nifty addition to the app since the attachment pop-up displayed recent files in the file picker until now. The updated functionality lets users browse and pick documents and other attachments through the Files app with which iOS users would be more familiar.

Users can hit the clip icon at the top right of the app to attach a file. This opens the flyout that contains the “Attachments” section. Clicking on the file icon navigates to the native file picker.

Adding native integrations to improve the user experience for the Gmail app is somewhat important since these small yet essential interactions improve usability. Apple brought in changes to the Mail app with iOS 13 which tweaked the bottom toolbar, placing the reply and delete buttons right next to each other and eliminating the other quick actions.

While that change has been reversed in the iOS 13.4 beta, anyone who migrated to competing email clients – the likes of Gmail and Outlook for iOS - are bound to expect integrations with native features.

The feature is rolling out to users of Gmail's iOS app gradually beginning 12 February. It is expected to slowly become visible to users in the next 15 days, suggesting that the rollout is staggered. Considering the verbiage, it is not certain if this requires an app update or a server-side change.

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