Wednesday 28 November 2012

Google lets you insert Drive files directly into an email

If you use Google Drive to keep, create and share your documents – be it for official or personal purposes, then this update is sure to interest you. Phil Sharp, Product Manager at Google, shares that soon users will be able to insert files from Drive directly into an email, without having to abandon their mail.

Available on the new compose feature, the way this new method works is that users will be required to click on the 'Drive' icon while composing an email. This way, users will be able to insert files up to 10GB, i.e. 400 times larger than what they could send typically as a traditional attachment. Sharp explains that because the file being sent is stored in the cloud, all of the user's recipients will be able to access the most up-to-date version of the file. This way, users can escape the common frustration of not being able to attach a file to an email because it's too large to send.

Interestingly, Gmail will also work like a smart assistant and double-check that the intended recipients have access to the files being sent. This way, whenever a user sends a file from Drive that isn't shared with everyone, he will be given the option to change the file's sharing settings, without moving away from his mail. Moreover, it will work with Drive links pasted directly into emails.

"So whether it’s photos from your recent camping trip, video footage from your brother’s wedding, or a presentation to your boss, all your stuff is easy to find and easy to share with Drive and Gmail," explains Sharp.

The new feature that will be rolled out over the next few days will only be  available with Gmail's new compose experience, so you'll need to opt-in if you haven't already.

Recently, Google also made it possible for users to search their Gmail messages by size, thanks to an update. The enhanced Search now has more flexible date options, exact match and other parameters. For example, emails 5MB or larger in size can be quickly located by using the operator 'size:5m' or 'larger:5m'. To search for email that are over a year older, users can enter 'older_than:1y' in the search box. This latest update is in line with the other recent enhancements done to Search, such as improved autocomplete predictions and a field trial for instant results from Gmail, Google Drive, and more, as you type.

Email, unlike instant messaging, tends to become a lengthy process. Switching between viewing older emails for reference, saving the current email as a draft and searching for an email message can become cumbersome. Google has now made composing emails easier by introducing the redesigned compose feature on Gmail. Composing an email now is quicker, for the compose box opens like a chat window, albeit a larger one. In its official Gmail blog post, Phil Sharp, Google’s Product Manager, shared that with this new design, it is possible to keep the compose mail box open and still look for older emails for reference. This way, users can also keep an eye on newer emails. Sharp writes, “The new compose is designed to let you focus on what's important: your message.”

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