Gmail updated for Froyo’d phones: UI tweaks and Priority Inbox support

Gmail has been closely integrated with Android since the beginning. Yesterday’s update, however, separates it from the core OS at least a little bit. Updates for Gmail can now be downloaded from the Market, similar to what Google has done with Maps for a while now. This method allows them to update the individual apps more frequently, without waiting for a firmware update to be pushed out.

The notable changes include a floating bar at the top of the screen, that floats over the message even when you scroll down, providing access to info on the sender and the most common actions, like reply, star, etc.

Users can now also show or hide quoted text when reading a message, as you can do in the desktop browser version.

Additionally, there is now limited support for Priority Inbox. The feature, which Google recently introduced for the desktop browser version attempts to automatically detect and distinguish the “important” messages from the “unimportant.” The new Gmail for Android’s support for this is simply providing an Important label, to quickly access the email that has been deemed so.

If you’ve been using Priority Inbox in Gmail and would like it to be your default inbox when using your Android device, you can simply make a home screen shortcut to the Important label. Stick another shortcut to the regular Inbox somewhere and you’ve got a sweet set-up. Don’t forget to apply the Important label to messages Gmail misses to designate, thus helping it learn.

Search for the update in the Market, or use this QR code: