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

At launch, Gmail
Gmail
had an initial storage capacity offer of 1 gigabyte per user, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time. Today, the service comes with 15 gigabytes of free 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
Google
Drive into the message. Gmail
Gmail
has a search -oriented interface and a "conversation view" similar to an Internet forum . The service is notable among website developers for its pioneering use 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
Gmail
addresses, and the potential for Google
Google
to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google
Google
data usage. The company has been the subject of lawsuits concerning the issues. Google
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
Google
announced the upcoming end to the use of contextual Gmail
Gmail
content for advertising purposes, relying instead on data gathered from use of its other services.

As of February 2016, Gmail
Gmail
has one billion active users worldwide, and was the first app on the Google
Google
Play Store to hit one billion installations on Android devices. According to a 2014 estimate, 60% of mid-sized US companies, and 92% of startups , were using Gmail.

CONTENTS

* 1 Features

* 1.1 Storage

* 1.2 Interface

* 1.2.1 Tabbed inbox * 1.2.2 2011 redesign

* 1.3 Spam filter * 1.4 Gmail
Gmail
Labs * 1.5 Search * 1.6 Offline app * 1.7 Google
Google
Voice in Gmail
Gmail
chat

* 1.8 Language support

* 1.8.1 Language input styles

* 1.9 Money transfer and payment options

* 2 Platforms

* 2.1 Web browsers

* 2.1.1 Mobile website

* 2.2 Mobile * 2.3 Third-party programs

* 3 Inbox by Gmail * 4 Google
Google
Trips

* 5 Security

* 5.1 History * 5.2 Third-party encryption in transit * 5.3 Two-step verification * 5.4 24-hour lockdowns * 5.5 Anti child pornography policy

* 6 History

* 6.1 Gmail
Gmail
Design * 6.2 Growth

* 7 Social network integration * 8 G Suite

* 9 Reception

* 9.1 Awards

* 10 Criticism

* 10.1 Privacy

* 10.1.1 Automated scanning of email content

* 10.1.1.1 Lawsuits

* 10.2 April 2014 Terms of service update * 10.3 Microsoft ad campaign against Google
Google

* 10.4 Other privacy issues

* 10.4.1 2010 attack from China * 10.4.2 Google
Google
Buzz * 10.4.3 Google+
Google+
* 10.4.4 Update to DoubleClick privacy policy

* 10.5 Outages * 10.6 On behalf of

* 11 See also * 12 References * 13 External links

FEATURES

STORAGE

On April 1, 2004, Gmail
Gmail
was launched with 1 gigabyte of storage space, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time.

On April 1, 2005, the first anniversary of Gmail, the limit was doubled to 2 gigabytes of storage. Georges Harik, the product management director for Gmail, stated that Google
Google
would "keep giving people more space forever."

On April 24, 2012, Google
Google
announced the increase of free storage in Gmail
Gmail
from 7.5 to 10 gigabytes ("and counting") as part of the launch of Google
Google
Drive .

On May 13, 2013, Google
Google
announced the overall merge of storage across Gmail, Google
Google
Drive, and Google+
Google+
Photos, allowing users 15 gigabytes of free storage among the three services.

Users can buy additional storage, shared among Gmail, Google
Google
Drive and Google
Google
Photos , through a monthly subscription plan. As of 2017, storage of up to 15 gigabytes is free, and paid plans are available for up to 30 terabytes for personal use.

There are also storage limits to individual Gmail
Gmail
messages. One message, including all attachments, cannot be larger than 25 megabytes . This was changed in March 2017, to allow receiving of email up to 50 megabytes, with the limit for sending email staying at 25 megabytes. In order to send larger files, users can insert files from Google
Google
Drive into the message.

INTERFACE

Main article: Gmail interface

The Gmail
Gmail
user interface initially differed from other webmail 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.

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'.

Tabbed Inbox

In May 2013, Google
Google
updated the Gmail
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.

2011 Redesign

In November 2011, Google
Google
began rolling out a redesign of its interface that "simplified" the look of Gmail
Gmail
into a more minimalist design to provide a more consistent look throughout its products and services as part of an overall Google
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. 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
Google
discontinued the ability to revert and completed the transition to the new design for all users.

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
Gmail
users.

GMAIL LABS

The Gmail
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
Gmail
engineers to obtain user input about new features to improve them and also to assess their popularity.

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

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

SEARCH

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

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

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

OFFLINE APP

In August 2011, Google
Google
introduced Gmail
Gmail
Offline, an HTML5 -powered app for providing access to the service while offline. Gmail
Gmail
Offline runs on the Google
Google
Chrome browser and can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store .

GOOGLE VOICE IN GMAIL CHAT

Main article: Google
Google
Voice

In August 2010, Google
Google
released a plugin that provides integrated telephone service within Gmail's Google
Google
Chat interface. The feature initially lacked an official name, with Google
Google
referring to it as both " Google
Google
Voice in Gmail
Gmail
chat" and "Call Phones in Gmail". The service logged over one million calls in 24 hours.

In March 2014, Google
Google
Voice was discontinued, and replaced with functionality from Google
Google
Hangouts , another communication platform from Google.

LANGUAGE SUPPORT

Gmail
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 .

Language Input Styles

In October 2012, Google
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.”

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

In August 2014, Gmail
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 .

MONEY TRANSFER AND PAYMENT OPTIONS

In May 2013, Google
Google
announced the integration between Google
Google
Wallet and Gmail, which would allow Gmail
Gmail
users to send money as email attachments. Although the sender must use a Gmail
Gmail
account, the recipient does not need to be using a Gmail
Gmail
address. The feature has no transaction fees, but there are limits to amount of money that can be sent. Initially only available on the web, the feature was expanded to the Android app in March 2017, for people living in the United States.

PLATFORMS

WEB BROWSERS

Gmail's "basic HTML" version will work on almost all browsers. The modern AJAX version is officially supported in the current and previous major releases of Google
Google
Chrome , Mozilla Firefox , Internet Explorer , Microsoft Edge and Safari web browsers on a rolling basis.

Mobile Website

In addition to the native apps on iOS and Android, users can access Gmail
Gmail
through the web browser on a mobile device.

MOBILE

Gmail
Gmail
running on Android

Gmail
Gmail
has native applications for iOS devices (including iPhone , iPad , and iPod Touch ) and for Android devices.

In November 2014, Google
Google
introduced functionality in the Gmail Android app that enabled sending and receiving email from non-Gmail addresses (such as Yahoo! Mail and Outlook.com
Outlook.com
) through POP or IMAP.

In November 2016, Google
Google
redesigned the Gmail
Gmail
app for the iOS platform, bringing the first complete visual overhaul in "nearly four years". The update added much more use of colors, sleeker transitions, and the addition of several "highly-requested" features, including Undo Send, faster search with instant results and spelling suggestions, and Swipe to Archive/Delete.

In May 2017, Google
Google
updated Gmail
Gmail
on Android to feature protection from phishing attacks. Media outlets noticed that the new protection was announced amid a widespread phishing attack on a combination of Gmail
Gmail
and Google\'s Docs document service that occurred on the same day.

Later in May, Google
Google
announced the addition of "Smart Reply" to Gmail on Android and iOS. "Smart Reply", a feature originally launched for Google's Inbox by Gmail service, scans a message for information and uses machine intelligence to offer three responses the user can optionally edit and send. The feature is limited to the English language at launch, with upcoming support for Spanish, followed by other languages later.

Inbox by Gmail, another app from the Gmail
Gmail
team, is also available for iOS and Android devices.

THIRD-PARTY PROGRAMS

Third-party programs can be used to access Gmail, using the POP or IMAP protocols.

INBOX BY GMAIL

Main article: Inbox by Gmail

In October 2014, Google
Google
introduced INBOX BY GMAIL on an invitation-only basis. Developed by the Gmail
Gmail
team, but serving as a "completely different type of inbox", the service is made to help users deal with the challenges of an active email. Citing issues such as distractions, difficulty in finding important information buried in messages, and receiving more emails than ever, Inbox by Gmail has several important differences from Gmail, including bundles that automatically sort emails of the same topic together, highlights that surface key information from messages, and reminders, assists, and snooze, that help the user in handling incoming emails at appropriate times.

Inbox by Gmail became publicly available in May 2015.

GOOGLE TRIPS

In September 2016, Google
Google
released GOOGLE TRIPS, an app that, based on information from a user's Gmail
Gmail
messages, automatically generates travel cards. A travel card contains itinerary details, such as plane tickets and car rentals, and recommends activities, food and drinks, and attractions based on location, time, and interests. The app also has offline functionality. In April 2017, Google
Google
Trips received an update adding several significant features. The app now also scans Gmail
Gmail
for bus and train tickets, and allows users to manually input trip reservations. Users can send trip details to other users' email, and if the recipient also has Google
Google
Trips, the information will be automatically available in their apps as well.

SECURITY

HISTORY

Google
Google
has supported secure HTTPS since the day it launched. In the beginning, it was only default on the login page, a reason that Google engineer Ariel Rideout stated was because HTTPS made "your mail slower". However, users could manually switch to secure HTTPS mode inside the inbox after logging in. In July 2008, Google
Google
simplified the ability to manually enable secure mode, with a toggle in the settings menu.

In 2007, Google
Google
fixed a cross-site scripting security issue that could let attackers collect information from Gmail
Gmail
contact lists.

In January 2010, Google
Google
began rolling out HTTPS as the default for all users.

In June 2012, a new security feature was introduced to protect users from state-sponsored attacks. A banner will appear at the top of the page that warns users of an unauthorized account compromise.

In March 2014, Google
Google
announced that an encrypted HTTPS connection will be used for the sending and receiving of all Gmail
Gmail
emails, and "every single email message you send or receive —100% of them —is encrypted while moving internally" through the company's systems.

Whenever possible, Gmail
Gmail
uses transport layer security (TLS) to automatically encrypt emails sent and received. On the web and on Android devices, users can check if a message is encrypted by checking if the message has a closed or open red padlock.

Gmail
Gmail
automatically scans all incoming and outgoing e-mails for viruses in email attachments. For security reasons, some file types, including executables, are not allowed to be sent in emails.

At the end of May 2017, Google
Google
announced that it had applied machine learning technology to identify emails with phishing and spam, having a 99.9% detection accuracy. The company also announced that Gmail would selectively delay some messages, approximately 0,05% of all, to perform more detailed analysis and aggregate details to improve its algorithms.

THIRD-PARTY ENCRYPTION IN TRANSIT

Gmail
Gmail
transport encryption by country

In Google's Transparency Report under the Safer email section, it provides information on the percentage of emails encrypted in transit between Gmail
Gmail
and third-party email providers.

TWO-STEP VERIFICATION

Gmail
Gmail
supports two-step verification ; an optional additional measure for users to protect their accounts when logging in.

Once enabled, users are required to verify their identity using a second method after entering their username and password when logging in on a new device. Common methods include entering a code sent to a user's mobile phone through a text message, entering a code using the Google
Google
Authenticator smartphone app, or by inserting a physical security key into the computer's USB port.

Using a security key for two-step verification was made available as an option in October 2014.

24-HOUR LOCKDOWNS

If an algorithm detects what Google
Google
calls "abnormal usage that may indicate that your account has been compromised", the account can be automatically locked down for between one minute and 24 hours, depending on the type of activity detected. Listed reasons for a lock-down include:

* "Receiving, deleting, or downloading large amounts of mail via POP or IMAP in a short period of time. If you're getting the error message, 'Lockdown in Sector 4,' you should be able to access Gmail again after waiting 24 hours." * "Sending a large number of undeliverable messages (messages that bounce back)." * "Using file-sharing or file-storage software, browser extensions, or third party software that automatically logs into your account." * "Leaving multiple instances of Gmail
Gmail
open." * "Browser-related issues. Please note that if you find your browser continually reloading while attempting to access your Inbox, it's probably a browser issue, and it may be necessary to clear your browser's cache and cookies."

ANTI CHILD PORNOGRAPHY POLICY

Google
Google
combats child pornography through Gmail's servers in conjunction with the National Center for Missing concerns included that allowing email content to be read by a machine (as opposed to a person) can allow Google
Google
to keep unlimited amounts of information forever; the automated background scanning of data raises the risk that the expectation of privacy in email usage will be reduced or eroded; information collected from emails could be retained by Google for years after its current relevancy to build complete profiles on users; emails sent by users from other email providers get scanned despite never having agreed to Google's privacy policy or terms of service; Google
Google
can change its privacy policy unilaterally, and for minor changes to the policy it can do so without informing users; in court cases, governments and organizations can potentially find it easier to legally monitor email communications; at any time, Google can change its current company policies to allow combining information from emails with data gathered from use of its other services; and any internal security problem on Google's systems can potentially expose many - or all - of its users.

In 2004, thirty-one privacy and civil liberties organizations wrote a letter calling upon Google
Google
to suspend its Gmail
Gmail
service until the privacy issues were adequately addressed. The letter also called upon Google
Google
to clarify its written information policies regarding data retention and data sharing among its business units. The organizations also voiced their concerns about Google's plan to scan the text of all incoming messages for the purposes of ad placement, noting that the scanning of confidential email for inserting third-party ad content violates the implicit trust of an email service provider.

On June 23, 2017, Google
Google
announced that, later in 2017, it will phase out the scanning of email content to generate contextual advertising, relying on personal data collected through other Google
Google
services instead. The company stated that this change was meant to clarify its practices and quell concerns among enterprise G Suite customers who felt an ambiguous distinction between the free consumer and paid professional variants, the latter being advertising-free.

Lawsuits

In March 2011, a former Gmail
Gmail
user in Texas sued Google, claiming that its Gmail
Gmail
service violates users' privacy by scanning e-mail messages to serve relevant ads.

In July 2012, some California residents filed two class action lawsuits against Google
Google
and Yahoo! , claiming that they illegally intercept emails sent by individual non- Gmail
Gmail
or non- Yahoo! email users to Gmail
Gmail
and Yahoo! recipients without the senders' knowledge, consent or permission. A motion filed by Google's attorneys in the case concedes that Gmail
Gmail
users have "no expectation of privacy".

A court filing uncovered by advocacy group Consumer Watchdog in August 2013 revealed that Google
Google
stated in a court filing that no "reasonable expectation" exists among Gmail
Gmail
users in regard to the assured confidentiality of their emails. In response to a lawsuit filed in May 2013, Google
Google
explained:

"... all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing ... Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient's ECS provider in the course of delivery.

A Google
Google
spokesperson stated to the media on August 15, 2013 that the corporation takes the privacy and security concerns of Gmail
Gmail
users "very seriously."

APRIL 2014 TERMS OF SERVICE UPDATE

Google
Google
updated its terms of service for Gmail
Gmail
in April 2014 to create full transparency for its users in regard to the scanning of email content. The relevant revision states: "Our automated systems analyse your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customised search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored." A Google spokesperson explained that the corporation wishes for its policies "to be simple and easy for users to understand."

In response to the update, Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, stated: "The really dangerous things that Google
Google
is doing are things like the information held in Analytics, cookies in advertising and the profiling that it is able to do on individual accounts".

MICROSOFT AD CAMPAIGN AGAINST GOOGLE

In 2013, Microsoft launched an advertising campaign to attack Google for scanning email messages, arguing that most consumers are not aware that Google
Google
monitors their personal messages to deliver targeted ads. Microsoft claims that its email service Outlook does not scan the contents of messages and a Microsoft spokesperson called the issue of privacy "Google's kryptonite." In response, Google
Google
stated; "We work hard to make sure that ads are safe, unobtrusive and relevant ... No humans read your e-mail or Google
Google
Account information in order to show you advertisements or related information. An automated algorithm — similar to that used for features like Priority Inbox or spam filtering — determines which ads are shown.” The New York Times cites " Google
Google
supporters", who say that "Microsoft’s ads are distasteful, the last resort of a company that has been unsuccessful at competing against Google
Google
on the more noble battleground of products".

OTHER PRIVACY ISSUES

2010 Attack From China

In January 2010, Google
Google
detected a "highly sophisticated" cyber-attack on its infrastructure that originated from China. The targets of the attack were Chinese human rights activists, but Google discovered that accounts belonging to European, American and Chinese activists for human rights in China had been "routinely accessed by third parties". Additionally, Google
Google
stated that their investigation revealed that "at least" 20 other large companies from a "wide range of businesses" - including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors - had been similarly targeted. Google
Google
was in the process of notifying those companies and it was also working with relevant US authorities. In light of the attacks, Google
Google
enhanced the security and architecture of its infrastructure, and advised individual users to install anti-virus and anti-spyware on their computers, update their operating systems and web browsers, and be cautious when clicking on Internet links or when sharing personal information in instant messages and emails.

Google
Google
Buzz

The February 2010 launch of Google
Google
Buzz , a former social network that was linked to Gmail, immediately drew criticism for publicly sharing details of users' contacts unless the default settings were changed.

Google+

A new Gmail
Gmail
feature was launched in January 2014, whereby users can email people with Google+
Google+
accounts even though they do not know the email address of the recipient. Marc Rotenberg, President of the Electronic Privacy Information Center , called the feature "troubling", and compared it to the Google
Google
Buzz initial launch privacy flaw.

Update To DoubleClick Privacy Policy

In June 2016, Julia Angwin of ProPublica wrote about Google's updated privacy policy, which deleted a clause that had stated Google
Google
would not combine DoubleClick web browsing cookie information with personally identifiable information from its other services. This change has allowed Google
Google
to merge users’ personally identifiable information from different Google
Google
services to create one unified ad profile for each user. After publication of the article, Google reached out to ProPublica to say that the merge would not include Gmail
Gmail
keywords in ad targeting.

OUTAGES

Gmail
Gmail
suffered at least seven outages in 2009 alone, causing doubts about the reliability of its service. It suffered a new outage on February 28, 2011, in which a bug caused Gmail
Gmail
accounts to be empty. Google
Google
stated in a blog post that "email was never lost" and restoration was in progress. Another outage occurred on April 17, 2012, September 24, 2013, and January 24, 2014.

Google
Google
has stated that " Gmail
Gmail
remains more than 99.9% available to all users, and we're committed to keeping events like today's notable for their rarity."

ON BEHALF OF

In May 2009, Farhad Manjoo wrote on The New York Times blog about Gmail's "on behalf of" tag. Manjoo explained: "The problems is, when you try to send outbound mail from your Gmail
Gmail
universal inbox, Gmail adds a tag telling your recipients that you're actually using Gmail and not your office e-mail. If your recipient is using Microsoft Outlook , he'll see a message like, "From youroffice@domain.com on behalf of yourgmail@gmail.com." Manjoo further wrote that "Google explains that it adds the tag in order to prevent your e-mail from being considered spam by your recipient; the theory is that if the e-mail is honest about its origins, it shouldn't arouse suspicion by spam checking software". The following July, Google
Google
announced a new option that would remove the "On behalf of" tag, by sending the email from the server of the other email address instead of using Gmail's servers.

SEE ALSO

* Google
Google
portal * Internet portal

* List of Google
Google
products * Comparison of webmail providers * Comparison of mail servers

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