The Gmail APK version 4.2 has been released into the wild, and it should work with all Android 4.0+ builds. As you can see in the video, it includes two new cool features. First, you can swipe an email to either archive or delete it. Nice gesture, looks a LOT like the webOS implementation (including the color of the background). Oh, Matias.
There is also pinch-to-zoom, finally fixing the annoying issue of not being able to view emails with big photos. If there was an ad in your inbox, you couldn’t view it properly because the image was far too large to fit on your display and you can’t pinch to zoom out. Now images fit great, and Gmail, to me, is finally complete.
Installing this APK isn’t exactly easy. You need to be rooted, so here is a warning: Perform this procedure at your own risk, and we are not responsible for any possible damages. Download the file here, and here are the instructions:
- Download Gmail 4.2 from one of the mirrors above.
- Rename it to Gmail2.apk.
- Make a Nandroid backup in case something goes wrong
- Delete (or move if you want to save the APKs) all other versions of Gmail. Usually there are 2 or 3 copies. One will be in /system/app (that’s the original Gmail that was pre-installed on the device) and there may be a few in /data/app (these are the updates installed from the Play Store). They’ll be called “Gmail.apk,” or “com.google.android.gm-[number].apk,” An easy way to tell is to look for the Gmail icon.
- You may need to delete the .odex files matching the APKs in step 4 too, if you have them. Ignore this step and only come back to it if something doesn’t work later.
- Reboot. Once you do, you should have no Gmail as far as Android is concerned.
- You can try to install the Gmail 4.2 APK you downloaded at this point by tapping it in your favorite file explorer (move the APK to your device first, of course). If that doesn’t work, or if you prefer ADB, fire up a command line and type adb install Gmail2.apk.
I personally had a bit of trouble getting it working, but after making sure everything was deleted, and moving the file to /system/app (not sure if that was what caused it to work), it finally installed. I’m running a Galaxy S II with Android 4.0.4 with TouchWiz, and Gmail runs flawlessly. Go try it for yourself! And thanks to Android Police for getting us this APK.