Got the latest version of Gmail for Android? If so, you can now scan the first few lines of your email or even archive a message without actually opening Gmail.

The trick: sliding down the Notifications pane on your Android phone and performing a simple gesture on your Gmail alerts.

First, you’ll need to make sure you’ve updated the Gmail app for Android to the latest version.

Launch the Play Store app on your handset, tap the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner of the screen, tap My Apps, and make sure Gmail is listed in the “Up to Date” section.

Also, keep in mind that your phone must be running Android version 4.1 or better for the new Gmail notifications to work. To check your handset’s Android version, tap Settings, “About phone,” then check the number next to “Android version.”

Opening a Gmail notification in Android

Just tap and hold, then drag down to reveal the Archive and Reply buttons.

All set? Now, the next time you get a new Gmail message, try this:

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Notifications pane; you should see an entry for the Gmail message you just received.
  • Tap and hold the notification, then pull down until you see the first few lines of the message, along with the Reply and Archive buttons. (Note: If a specific Gmail alert combines multiple new messages, the Reply and Archive buttons might not appear.)
  • Tap Archive, and the message will be immediately filed in your All Mail directory. Tap the Reply button, and Gmail will open directly to a newly composed reply.

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