Gmail for iPad just became a better iOS 8 citizen, gaining a few new features to help you utilize the app as your primary mail app (if you’re so inclined).
Notifications for new messages now feature an archive and a reply button; you won’t be able to apply in-line like you can with iMessages (Apple doesn’t allow that), but tapping on Reply will load up the Gmail app to that specific message, with the reply window ready.
Then there’s the Gmail share extension that’s now available in other apps. If you’d like to send a PDF from within Notability, or a picture from the Photos app, all you need to do is activate the Gmail extension from within the iOS share menu. Once that’s done, you can select the file(s) you’d like to share, and then tap on Gmail within the Share list. iOS 8 still won’t let you select a default app for things like OS X can, but these extensions enable much tighter integration of the Gmail app into everyday workflows. The only app that didn’t play too nicely with the Gmail extension was Dropbox — I tried sending a few messages out of Dropbox, but no links or files ever made it into my outgoing emails.
Finally, there’s sharing of files within Gmail with any of your other apps on the iPad via the Share menu. Now you can take that vacation picture your friend sent to your Gmail address and save it straight to Dropbox.
I don’t use the Gmail app on a daily basis; I keep it around for searching archived messages that are several years old. However, for big users of Gmail, this new features should feel like a major update. Check them out today!