Google tightens Drive and Gmail integration

Google lets users save files into Drive from Gmail, as it ties its product sets closer together .

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Google has announced improvements to its cloud-based productivity services, letting users  view attachments in Gmail and then save them directly to Google Drive.

That should make it easy for workers to access files whatever device they're using, Google said in a blog post. The feature will be rolling out over the next week.

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"The next time you open an email with attachments, you'll see new previews of the files at the bottom of the email, from photos and videos to spreadsheets and PDFs," said  Scott Johnston, director of product management at Google.

"When you click on one of those previews, a full-screen view of the image or document will appear. You can read, search for a particular phrase, and even browse through multiple attachments right in Gmail.

"You can now also save your attachments directly to Drive simply by clicking the Drive button that appears when you hover over the preview."

Google has been upping its Drive game over recent months as it looks to take on other cloud-based file storage platforms, like Dropbox, Microsoft's SkyDrive and Amazon's Cloud Drive.

In May, it tripled the free storage on offer from 5GB to 15GB, far ahead of the closest competitor SkyDrive on 7GB. Businesses using Google Apps get a massive 30GB free too, following another increase in that same month.

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At the same time, Google is tying its various products close together, as it seeks ways to exploit users' data to boost profits. It tied all its privacy policies into one document last year, saying it could combine user data from its different services, which landed it in hot water with privacy regulators, who have threatened to fine Google over the action.

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