Gmail

Gmail
Gmail Icon.svg
Gmail screenshot.png
A screenshot of a Gmail inbox and compose box
Type of site
Webmail
Available in105 languages
OwnerGoogle LLC (subsidiary of Alphabet Inc.)
Created bymail.google.com Edit this at Wikidata
CommercialYes
RegistrationRequired
Users1.4 billion (April 2018)[1][2]
LaunchedApril 1, 2004; 15 years ago (2004-04-01)
Current statusActive
Content license
Proprietary
Written inJava (back-end), JavaScript/Ajax (UI)[3]

Gmail is a free email service developed by Google. Users can access Gmail on the web and using third-party programs that synchronize email content through POP or IMAP protocols. Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004 and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009.

At launch, Gmail had an initial storage capacity offer of one gigabyte per user, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time. Today, the service comes with 15 gigabytes of storage. Users can receive emails up to 50 megabytes in size, including attachments, while they can send emails up to 25 megabytes. In order to send larger files, users can insert files from Google Drive into the message. Gmail has a search-oriented interface and a "conversation view" similar to an Internet forum. The service is notable among website developers for its early adoption of Ajax.

Google's mail servers automatically scan emails for multiple purposes, including to filter spam and malware, and to add context-sensitive advertisements next to emails. This advertising practice has been significantly criticized by privacy advocates due to concerns over unlimited data retention, ease of monitoring by third parties, users of other email providers not having agreed to the policy upon sending emails to Gmail addresses, and the potential for Google to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google data usage. The company has been the subject of lawsuits concerning the issues. Google has stated that email users must "necessarily expect" their emails to be subject to automated processing and claims that the service refrains from displaying ads next to potentially sensitive messages, such as those mentioning race, religion, sexual orientation, health, or financial statements. In June 2017, Google announced the upcoming end to the use of contextual Gmail content for advertising purposes, relying instead on data gathered from the use of its other services.[4]

By February 2016, Gmail had one billion active users worldwide.[5]

Features

Storage

The Gmail webmail interface as it originally appeared
  1. On April 1, 2004, Gmail was launched with one gigabyte (GB) of storage space, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time.[6]
  2. On April 1, 2005, the first anniversary of Gmail, the limit was doubled to two gigabytes of storage. Georges Harik, the product management director for Gmail, stated that Google would "keep giving people more space forever."[7]
  3. On April 24, 2012, Google announced the increase of storage included in Gmail from 7.5 to 10 gigabytes ("and counting") as part of the launch of Google Drive.[8]
  4. On May 13, 2013, Google announced the overall merge of storage across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ Photos, allowing users 15 gigabytes of included storage among three services.[9][10]
  5. Users can buy additional storage, shared among Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos, through a monthly subscription plan from Google One. As of 2018, storage of up to 15 gigabytes is included, and paid plans are available for up to 30 terabytes for personal use.[11]

There are also storage limits to individual Gmail messages. Initially, one message, including all attachments, could not be larger than 25 megabytes.[12] This was changed in March 2017 to allow receiving an email of up to 50 megabytes, while the limit for sending an email staying at 25 megabytes.[13][14] In order to send larger files, users can insert files from Google Drive into the message.[15]

Interface

The Gmail user interface initially differed from other web-mail systems with its focus on search and conversation threading of emails, grouping several messages between two or more people onto a single page, an approach that was later copied by its competitors. Gmail's user interface designer, Kevin Fox, intended users to feel as if they were always on one page and just changing things on that page, rather than having to navigate to other places.[16]

Gmail's interface also makes use of 'labels' (tags) – that replace the conventional folders and provide a more flexible method of organizing email; filters for automatically organizing, deleting or forwarding incoming emails to other addresses; and importance markers for automatically marking messages as 'important'.

2011 redesign

In November 2011, Google began rolling out a redesign of its interface that "simplified" the look of Gmail into a more minimalist design to provide a more consistent look throughout its products and services as part of an overall Google design change. Major redesigned elements included a streamlined conversation view, configurable density of information, new higher-quality themes, a resizable navigation bar with always-visible labels and contacts, and better search.[17][18] Users were able to preview the new interface design for months prior to the official release, as well as revert to the old interface, until March 2012, when Google discontinued the ability to revert and completed the transition to the new design for all users.[19]

Tabbed inbox

In May 2013, Google updated the Gmail inbox with tabs which allow the application to categorize the user's emails. The five tabs are: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. In addition to customization options, the entire update can be disabled, allowing users to return to the traditional inbox structure.[20][21]

2018 redesign

In April 2018, Google introduced a new web UI for Gmail. The new redesign follows Google's Material Design, and changes in user interface include the use of Google's Product Sans font. Other updates include a Confidential mode, which allows the sender to set an expiration date for a sensitive message or to revoke it entirely, integrated rights management and two-factor authentication.[22]

Spam filter

Gmail's spam filtering features a community-driven system: when any user marks an email as spam, this provides information to help the system identify similar future messages for all Gmail users.[23]

In the April 2018 update, the spam filtering banners got a redesign, with bigger and bolder lettering.

Gmail Labs

The Gmail Labs feature, introduced on June 5, 2008, allows users to test new or experimental features of Gmail. Users can enable or disable Labs features selectively and provide feedback about each of them. This allows Gmail engineers to obtain user input about new features to improve them and also to assess their popularity.[24]

Popular features, like the "Undo Send" option, often "graduate" from Gmail Labs to become a formal setting in Gmail.[25]

All Labs features are experimental and are subject to termination at any time.[26]

Search

Gmail incorporates a search bar for searching emails. The search bar can also search contacts, files stored in Google Drive, events from Google Calendar, and Google Sites.[27][28][29]

In May 2012, Gmail improved the search functionality to include auto-complete predictions from the user's emails.[30]

Gmail's search functionality does not support searching for word fragments (also known as 'substring search' or partial word search). Workarounds exist.[30]

Language support

Gmail supports multiple languages, including the Japanese interface shown here

As of March 2015, the Gmail interface supports 72 languages, including: Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (UK), English (US), Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian (Bokmål), Odia, Polish, Punjabi, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog (Filipino), Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh and Zulu.[31]

Language input styles

In October 2012, Google added over 100 virtual keyboards, transliterations, and input method editors to Gmail, enabling users different types of input styles for different languages in an effort to help users write in languages that aren't "limited by the language of your keyboard.”[32][33]

In October 2013, Google added handwriting input support to Gmail.[34]

In August 2014, Gmail became the first major email provider to let users send and receive email from addresses with accent marks and letters from outside the Latin alphabet.[35][36]

Other Languages
العربية: جي ميل
অসমীয়া: জিমেইল
azərbaycanca: Gmail
বাংলা: জিমেইল
Bân-lâm-gú: Gmail
беларуская: Gmail
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Gmail
български: Gmail
bosanski: Gmail
català: Gmail
Cebuano: Gmail
čeština: Gmail
Cymraeg: Gmail
dansk: Gmail
Deutsch: Gmail
eesti: Gmail
Ελληνικά: Gmail
español: Gmail
Esperanto: Gmail
euskara: Gmail
فارسی: جی‌میل
français: Gmail
Gaeilge: Gmail
galego: Gmail
ગુજરાતી: જીમેઇલ
한국어: G메일
հայերեն: Gmail
हिन्दी: जीमेल
hrvatski: Gmail
Bahasa Indonesia: Gmail
italiano: Gmail
עברית: Gmail
Jawa: Gmail
ქართული: Gmail
қазақша: Gmail
kurdî: Gmail
Latina: Gmail
latviešu: Gmail
lietuvių: Gmail
magyar: Gmail
македонски: Gmail
മലയാളം: ജിമെയിൽ
मराठी: जीमेल
მარგალური: Gmail
Bahasa Melayu: Gmail
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဂျီမေးလ်
Nederlands: Gmail
Nedersaksies: Gmail
नेपाली: जीमेल
日本語: Gmail
norsk: Gmail
norsk nynorsk: Gmail
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଜିମେଲ
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Gmail
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਜੀ-ਮੇਲ
polski: Gmail
português: Gmail
Qaraqalpaqsha: Gmail
română: Gmail
русский: Gmail
саха тыла: Gmail
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱡᱤᱢᱮᱭᱞ
Scots: Gmail
Setswana: GMail
shqip: Gmail
සිංහල: ජීමේල්
Simple English: Gmail
سنڌي: جي ميل
slovenčina: Gmail
Soomaaliga: Gmail
کوردی: جی مەیڵ
српски / srpski: Џимејл
Sunda: Gmail
suomi: Gmail
svenska: Gmail
தமிழ்: ஜிமெயில்
తెలుగు: జీమెయిల్
ไทย: จีเมล
Türkçe: Gmail
українська: Gmail
اردو: جی میل
Tiếng Việt: Gmail
ייִדיש: Gmail
粵語: Gmail
中文: Gmail