Opening and editing a Gmail attachment is a very easy task on Computer but not so easy on iPad. Reason being Gmail on iOS does not give any option like ‘Open In…’ for opening attachment files in any office app.
If we try to open any Word or Excel file from the attachment, it will be opened by Gmail in preview mode only. Which means you can read the file but you can not edit it or make any changes in it.
Gmail app for iOS does not allow to Download attachment or to open the attachment files directly in any of the iPad office apps (such as Office for iPad, QuickOffice or Numbers and Pages). However attachment can be saved to Google drive, from where it can be accessed using any office app which supports Google Drive, but it puts serious constraints on the freedom of user as many office apps does not support Google Drive such as Numbers app on iPad.
However there is a workaround to handle this problem and open your office attachments using any file editor on iPad. Follow these steps –
1) Open the mail which has got attachment in Gmail.
2) Click on attachment and open it in Read Only mode.
3) Click on share icon in the opened document, choose ‘Open in Safari’ option.
4) Now Gmail will open the same office document in your Safari browser again in Read Only mode. But this time you will have ‘Open In..’ option at the top right corner, to open current file with any file editor app.
5) So now I can use ‘Numbers’ app to open any Excel file which on iPad, which I have received in Gmail and edit it.
We really hope that Google will improve its official Gmail app for iOS and will remove this limitation.