Gmail users should be used to Google integrating its other services into the email platform. For sometime now, documents clicked on in a message have opened in Docs, but now the search company is furthering its platform integration, this time with its cloud storage service, Google Drive.
You can now view Gmail attachments and save files directly to Google Drive without ever leaving Gmail. The change is currently rolling out, and not all customers may have it just yet.
Once you get the capability, you will know it immediately when you encounter an email with attachments, as the look of these files has now changed. Regardless if the file is a Word document, PDF file or image, a thumbnail of it will appear at the bottom of the message. When you click on one of those previews, a full-screen view of the image or document will appear, not in another tab, as it previously did (like Docs), but right there within Gmail, as a pop-up.
This is not the only change, though. Hovering over these files also brings some noticeable differences. Options appear to both download the document to your computer or save it to Google Drive.
This is a gradual rollout, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see it yet, but you will soon. Being able to view your files without another tab popping open is a big improvement and the “save to drive” makes it simple to add the file to the cloud so that you can access it from anywhere.