Gmail app updated with Scribbles, signatures

The Gmail app for iOS (Universal) received an update today, adding useful features like signatures and a vacation responder system.

Gmail app
Touch the gear icon to add your signature or set up a vacation e-mail responder. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

The Gmail app (free) for iOS received an update today adding useful features like signatures and a vacation responder system.

When the Gmail app came out not too long ago, Google said it was just getting started. Released today in the iTunes App Store, an update to the Gmail app adds a few new features that make the popular e-mail app even better.

Along with (what Google says are) numerous UI improvements and bug fixes, a few features were added that will be welcome additions for Gmail users. You'll now be able to create nested labels; similar to a hierarchical folder system, nested labels give you the advantage of being able to create subcategories of labels. This means you can have a top-level category of Family, for example, then subcategories for your wife, son, daughter, and grandpa.

Gmail app
Draw a little picture or diagram and attach it to an e-mail. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Google has also added two new options to settings (the gears icon that shows up when you touch Menu). You'll now be able to add your signature to e-mails (if you've already set one up in the Web-based Gmail) or you can create a custom signature just for e-mails sent from your iOS device. You also can use the settings to enable a vacation responder to autoreply to e-mails when you're going to be off the grid.

Another new feature added to your compose mail screen lets you attach hand-drawn pictures to e-mails. With the Scribble feature, you can touch the squiggly line icon at the top of the compose screen and then hand-draw a picture to go with your e-mail. You also have the option to change ink colors, choose different brush sizes, and switch to an eraser or a spray can via an onscreen pallette.

Note: when updating a current version of the Gmail app, some users have noticed that the gears icon doesn't show up on the iPhone version. In our tests here in the office, the updated iPad version didn't include the squiggle on the compose e-mail screen. Uninstalling Gmail and reinstalling seems to clear up these problems, but hopefully Google will fix them soon.

The updated Gmail app is free and available via the iTunes App Store on your iOS device.

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.