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Google updates Gmail, search for select tablets and smartphones

An update to the Gmail client gives smartphone users additional sync and notification options. For tablets, a revamped Google search experience is on the way.

Honeycomb tablet and iPad users will have a new search results experience. Google

A new version of the Gmail Android application arrived last night for Android 2.2 to 2.3.3 that provides enhanced notification and sync options. If you're like me and use filters and labels to keep your inbox free of clutter, then you'll certainly appreciate version 2.3.5 of Gmail. On its surface it might not look much different, but under the hood there are plenty of new options.

For starters, rather than grabbing anything and everything in the inbox, you now can sync specific labels and set individual notifications. Not only does this provide peace of mind, but it helps to conserve battery life on your device.

Related links
• Your complete guide to Google+
• 5 little-known Gmail tips and tricks
• Android 3.2 coming to a tablet near you

What's more, it's now possible to identify who sent you that e-mail just by listening to the notification tone. This is a feature that many users have come to depend on for text messages, so it only makes sense in Gmail. Additional performance enhancements in the new Gmail client include setting preferences to always display pictures from specific senders, and Priority Inbox sync.

Honeycomb tablet owners might be left out in the cold for the Gmail app, but they'll be happy to know that they get first crack at a new Google search experience. Beginning today and continuing over the next week, Android 3.1-and-over tablets and iPads around the world will see a new Google search results page.

Keeping in line with the new Gmail desktop experience and the aesthetics in Google+, the results page presents a clean interface with larger, more pronounced buttons and links. Additionally, there will be new buttons displayed below the search bar that help to quickly filter results. Google Images search also gets a few extra enhancements in the form of faster loading of thumbnails, continuous scrolling, and larger image previews.