Gmail makes adding photos into messages quicker with new feature

Adding pictures into a Gmail message will now be faster than ever thanks to a new feature introduced Tuesday that lets users quickly upload photos that have been backed up from their smartphones.

The new feature is called "Insert Photo" and it appears at the bottom of the screen when users compose a new message using the Web version of Gmail. To display the "Insert Photo" icon, users must compose a new email and hover their mouse over the "+" symbol near the bottom of the page.

After clicking the icon, Gmail will display a new window that is full of pictures taken by users on their smartphones. Users choose whichever photo they want to send, hit "Insert" and then it is added into the email they are creating.

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The feature is meant to make it easy for users to use their laptops and desktops to send pictures they've shot on their smartphones.

But for the feature to work properly, users must enable their smartphones to automatically back up their photos into Google. Here's how to do that:

iPhone users: Users must download the Google+ mobile app and log into their account. Once in, users tap the three-line icon at the top left of the screen, followed by the gear icon that appears. On that screen, users must tap "Camera and Photos" followed by "Auto Backup" and turn the feature on.

Users will have to log into the Google+ app every now and then if they want Google to back up their latest photos. Google can't do this if the Google+ app is never launched.

Android users: Users must launch the "Photos" app and then tap the three square icon at the top right of the screen. After that, they tap "Settings" and "Auto Backup." Toggle the feature to "On."


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