Gmail updates for iOS

The official Gmail app for iPhone and iPad has been updated, letting users open Chrome, YouTube, and Google Maps links in native apps instead of the Gmail browser.

If the next Gmail message you receive on your iPhone launches YouTube or Google Maps, don't be alarmed. The Internet giant enhanced its official Gmail app for iPhone and iPad today, adding two small but appreciated features for heavy users of the Web-based mail service.

First, the default behavior for opening YouTube, Google Maps, or Web links has changed. Now, when you click on any of those kinds of links, Gmail will spawn the respective native YouTube, Google Maps, or Google Chrome app for iOS to handle it. Formerly, such links were instead handled by the relatively inelegant built-in Gmail browser.

If you don't want those links to spawn their native apps, i.e. you prefer the old default behavior, click into the Gmail menu using the button marked with the three horizontal bars, and then click the configurations button with the gear icon. At the bottom of the preferences screen, click the large button labeled "Google Apps." You'll be presented with the option of turning off Chrome, Google Maps, or YouTube links.

iOS users can customize which links in Gmail spawn new Google apps.

(Credit: Screenshot by Peter Butler)

Gmail also adds a second little feature today--the ability for users logged into multiple Google accounts to log out of one of them. Previously, the app only allowed an "all or nothing" approach to logging out of the service.

Gmail users on iOS can now log out of one account at a time, or all at once.

(Credit: Google)

While there is nothing earth-shattering from Google in this latest minor-point release for their official Gmail client for iPhone and iPad, the first corrects a formerly annoying aspect of the app, and the second provides a nice little treat for power users. The consistent updates from Gmail on iOS indicate that Google has no intention of abandoning the iEcosystem to Apple (or Facebook).

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