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Gmail app for Android to soon display ads: Report

It looks like Google is planning to bring ads to the Gmail for Android app, if a new report is to be believed, which claims to have spotted code pointing to the same in the most recent version. It's worth pointing out that the web version of Gmail features ads but the Android app has remained ad-free.

An APK teardown by Android Police reveals that the latest update for the Gmail Android app, which was released last week, features code for ads. The feature is currently not active, and it's not known how these ads would be placed inside the app, but there are multiple references to ads in the code, the website added. It does suggest that the app could offer the ability to save ads as messages.

After Google started offering a new tabbed interface for Gmail's web version, allowing users to sort their mails into different tabs on the basis of the content or senders, it had also started serving advertisements disguised as emails in the 'Promotions' tab, in July.

The Gmail for Android app update (version 4.6) brought a new, cleaner conversations view design in line with Google's cards' style, which was first seen in Google Now.

The mail conversation threads in Gmail now appear as cards with the three dots representing the menu, an element borrowed from the Holo design language and the reply and star buttons. It now looks much cleaner and streamlined. The usual sidebar menu is hidden at the left and can be revealed by tapping on the menu button at the top.

The Gmail for Android update also brought a number of other design tweaks including checkmarks for multiple message selection so users can easily see what messages they are about to move, archive or delete. Previously, selecting multiple messages just made them appear blue.

Following the update, the Gmail for Android app also tells users if account sync is off, right in the inbox, so that they don't miss an important message accidentally.