It appears Google isn't done making Gmail a lot more useful. Following a recent major design overhaul for the web version of the email client, now it's the mobile app's turn to get a bunch of new features, starting with customized swipe gestures.
Users can now set what specific function happens when they swipe left or right on an email. Until now, it was impossible to designate a certain functionality to swipe gestures — doing so only archived an email. Swiping has been a fixture of mobile email apps for years now, and many of these apps allow users to customize these gestures, something Google oddly hasn't been able to add into Gmail until recently.
New Gesture Options In Gmail App
Gmail's' new swipe options aren't extremely feature-rich, to be sure, but they're sufficient enough to get certain things done. Users can set either left or right swipes to trigger any of the following actions: archive, delete, mark as read or unread, move, or snooze. Setting it to "none" is also possible for those who don't want to bother with gestures at all.
To make the changes, head over to Settings, tap "general settings," and hit "swipe actions." Once configured, it should work across the entirety of the Gmail app.
Gesture customizations for Gmail are now live on Android. No iOS implementation yet, though. But seeing as Google has been releasing a spate of new features across its web and mobile apps, it'll most likely arrive on iOS shortly.
The latest version of Gmail — 8.5.20 — is now available on the Play Store. 9to5Google notes the expanded gesture options are a server-side change, so it might take a while before it goes live for all users. Even still, they're much-needed improvements over the current version of Gmail, and should make the app a lot more useful.
As mentioned, Gmail recently went through a major aesthetic change, replacing the email client's old look for a cleaner, sleeker Material Design theme. The update is still slowly rolling out, but by July all users will have it on by default. For a few months, some will have the option to opt out of the design, but eventually, it'll be the default for Gmail's entire user base, meaning those who are irked by the new look will have to put up with it until Google introduces another design. But that probably won't happen until after several years.