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Gmail For Android Is Missing The Attachment For The Pros

Gmail for Android can’t attach documents. This makes zero sense!


Gmail For Android Can’t Attach Documents

I’m a big fan of native apps in smartphones. I believe that the most basic functionality should exist in a smartphone OS and it’s core apps. For some reason Google has forgotten this with their Gmail app on Android.

While you can attach pictures or video, you can’t attach any other documents. Meaning word, power point and excel files can’t be attached in Gmail. This is a major inconvenience especially for business professionals who rely on email attachments. I ran into this issue myself recently when I needed to send a word file to a client and I was on the road and was unable to send it through Gmail for Android. This absolutely killed my productivity and wasted time as I had to wait to get back to my computer to send the attachment.

What makes this more frustrating is that Google has about 5 million business (including BWOne.com) using Google Apps so Gmail is ours and many other businesses  primary email client and not having this feature already done is just plain silly. Competitors like Blackberry and Windows Phone email clients get high praise for is business friendly use and missing document attachment is one of the major reasons.

So How Should Google Add Document Attachment Support To Gmail For Android?

First there needs to be fully native support of just being able to go into the storage of your smartphone and grab the document itself. No links or anything strange, just the straight default file. They can also leverage this though Google Drive which has an app and could work with the Gmail app to accomplish this.

Speaking of Google Drive they need to fix a couple of issues there as well with attachments to Gmail. If you have files in Google Drive that you want to send they don’t attach as you would think. They require the recipient to have sharing options approved by the send and then the file opens up in Google Drive. This also needs to change with an option to just send the plain document file since not everyone uses Google Apps and its’ not always the ideal choice format to send a document. There needs to be an option to switch between plain document and Google Drive sharing feature both on the desktop and on Mobile.

I know there are many 3rd party apps that you can install to get this functionality to work on a mobile phone, but this is something basic that should be apart of the native app experience in a smartphone. Google needs to get this solved and solved fast before it become a much more glaring problem for folks then it is now.

Let me know what you guys thing about this? Do you think Gmail for Android should have document support? Do you have a story on your frustrations with not having this feature. Share your thoughts.

Image Source: Android Authority

About the author

Warren Bowman

I have a deep passion for everything tech. From gadgets to gaming I get it all and love giving my opinions, reviews and analysis on all things tech. Live Your Tech World In High Definition!


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  • I hadn’t noticed this myself till I just tried it from my phone. That is ridiculous, and annoying. I can go into my file browser and Share Via Gmail and it allows adding stuff like pdf docs as attachments But that’s not very user friendly, like you said they should just allow docs to be an attachment option straight from the native app.

  • Very easy; I am on S2, Official Jelly Bean. Go to your to-be-attached files (normally they are in your “My Files” and normally in your SD), select (tick the empty boxes left side of the files), then click “Share via” (or simply keep you finger on any of the files to be attached) and choose Gmail. It automatically open Gmail, attaches those files, and you could then type your message in it. You could then vroom-zooooooom as usual.

  • I know about the share option to attach a document on Gmail. BUT, what about if we need to reply to a previous client’s email and attach a document in it? It is very inconvenient to create a brand new email just to attach the file as we will then lose all the previous conversations with that client.

  • It’s worse.

    The problem even exists with gmail as used in Firefox mobile (I prefer to use browser-based solutions than mobile apps when possible – it’s a wise security practice, I’m a longtime IT/software guy). Requesting desktop site has no effect. I may be able to install a user-agent plugin and work around it.

    I’m starting to wonder if limiting the ability to send files and prerecorded multimedia is not a widespread trend developers are implementing at the request of management catering to external forces that wish to limit file sharing. Disturbing possibility, let’s hope it’s more benign than that.

    This seems inline with other dumbing-down of browser versions of apps – including Firefox, VLC, and Skype. Bad, bothersome trend in software development.