New York -- Google has recently been introducing a lot of nice and nifty upgrades for the Gmail, courtesy of Google Docs. So, when you receive your next mail with a PDF file attachment in Gmail, it would not open your native PDF viewer (like the slow-to-load Adobe Acrobat), instead it allows you to simply hit the “View” link next to it. Just click this link and the PDF opens inside the browser.
From now on, users’ will no longer need to download all the PDF files that come as attachment in your mail. “Clicking ‘View’ quickly opens the PDF inside your browser, complete with the graphics and formatting you expect to see in a PDF. You may have seen this feature before, in Google Docs. It is the way that we did uploading and viewing of PDFs online,” explains Google.
You can just ‘view’ the ones you want to than download them even while you do not need them. Hence you have the options of view and download both. The PDF opens in Google Docs and you can zoom in and zoom out while viewing.
As Webware’s Josh Lowensohn notes, that with the transition, the option to open up PDFs as HTML pages straight from the message has altogether disappeared, which still remains as a viewing option once you are in the new PDF view and in search results from Google.com.
There are two great advantages to this feature, the first being the updated page view allows you to hop around the document a whole lot faster. The other is the built-in zoom, which moves the text to fit your display with a higher degree of detail than the text resizer found in your browser.
PDF reading, unlike the voice and video chat Google introduced in Gmail last month, is itself not a huge deal. But it indicates to a more significant trend that calls for scrutiny: The evolution of Gmail as your one-stop UCC (unified communications and collaboration) hub.
Google realizes that it is important to embrace popular file format technologies, even from rivals such as Adobe and Microsoft, to please Gmail users looking to share information.
Most probably Google.com results will get the updated viewer next. This would be a huge advantage to Google Search users without access to a PDF viewer (like on public or shared computers) as Google’s current HTML conversion wipes out much of the formatting that can keep fonts and image placement intact, which can make things like brochures and newsletters unreadable.
“It will be remarkable to see how Google continues along this path in 2009, and even more fun to chronicle.”