Gmail Overview Updated September 17, 2021

Gmail

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431 'Gmail' stories

June 2011 - September 2021


Announced on April 1, 2004 with an unprecedented 1GB of user storage, many assumed that Gmail was just one of Google’s April Fools’ pranks. For comparison, competing services only had 2 to 4MB for users to store email messages and attachments. Currently, Gmail storage is combined with that of other Google products with 15GB available for free.

Gmail was released in beta with an invite system and was not open to the general public until February 2007. In July of 2009, it finally dropped its beta status. As of February 2016, Gmail is the most widely used web email provider with 1 billion active users worldwide.

Besides email, Gmail has a number of features, including integration with Google Drive for sending large attachments and choosing images from Google Photos. Users can fully search their email with advanced spam filtering and labels to manage messages. Google also scans emails to show context-related advertisements.

Since launch, the email service has gone through a number of redesigns. Apps are available for Android, iOS, and the mobile web.

Gmail Stories September 17

Every app open on Android 12 is accompanied by a launch animation to make “startup a more consistent and delightful experience.” One aspect of this is an animated icon on the splash screen, with Drive being the first Google app to support this on Android 12.

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Gmail Stories September 16

Gmail on the web is set to get a navigation revamp this summer, while the Android app is now beginning to roll out a Material You redesign. 

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Gmail Stories September 8

Google’s rename of ‘Rooms’ in Chat and Gmail to ‘Spaces’ is now underway

Back in June, with the announcement that Workspace is available “for everyone,” Google revealed that “Rooms” in Chat would soon be renamed to “Spaces” and gain a slew of new features. That rebrand is now underway.

Gmail Stories September 1

Google continues to add more features to Chat as it becomes available for more and more people ahead of the classic Hangouts depreciation. The Google Chat web app is now integrating Tenor GIF search.

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Gmail Stories August 19

The process of shutting down classic Hangouts for Workspace users is almost complete, as Google this week enables the integrated Gmail with Chat and Rooms for even more paid accounts.

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Gmail Stories August 12

With Chat serving as a key part of the integrated Gmail experience, Google lets users quickly specify their activity status. In addition to the existing availability options, you’re now able to set a custom status in Gmail and Chat on the web.

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Gmail Stories July 30

Gmail for Android rolls out tweaked colors for automatic labels, including updates, promotions

Google has very quietly rolled out a minor update to its Gmail app on Android that tweaks some of the colors within.

Gmail Stories July 23

As of last month, all personal Google Accounts can enable the new Gmail that supports Chat and Rooms. The latter aspect, which will soon be renamed to “Spaces,” allows for large-scale productivity. Gmail now supports opening a Google Slides presentation directly to allow for multitasking with Chat. 

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Gmail Stories July 12

Announced last month alongside Workspace becoming available “for everyone” (i.e., free personal accounts), Google said today that its “Individual” tier is now available in five countries for those with a small business or other “passion project.”

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To improve user trust in emails, the industry created the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standard. Gmail will start rolling out the resulting verified company logos over the coming weeks.

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Gmail Stories July 7

On Monday, Google made Workspace available “for everyone” with free, personal accounts able to turn on the integrated Gmail experience with Chat and Rooms — soon to be called Spaces. Alongside that, Google Workspace branding now appears on the Gmail web client.

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Gmail Stories June 26

Gmail has seen a number of big changes in recent weeks, but Google is now rolling out a smaller one to the web client that better surfaces the advanced search capability to end users.

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Gmail Stories June 16

Last year, Google announced that the future of Gmail will see Chat messaging and group Rooms join the existing Meet video calling integration. This is already available to enterprise Workspace users, and Google is now letting personal Gmail accounts get this “integrated workspace.”

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Gmail Stories June 14

A key part of Google’s integrated vision for productivity is routing everything through the Gmail apps. As part of Workspace becoming available “for everyone,” Gmail is getting streamlined navigation on the web, while Google Chat’s “Rooms” will soon be called “Spaces.”

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Gmail Stories May 29

Gmail for Android, iOS now lets you quickly change your Google profile picture

Google’s vision for the future of productivity involves making Gmail the one application you use for everything. In addition to email, messaging, video calls, and editing, the Gmail mobile apps now have a quick shortcut to change your Google profile picture.

Gmail Stories May 26

I/O 2021 introduced a flurry of productivity-oriented features to bring Workspace apps closer together. Gmail is now adding a convenient “Save to Google Photos” shortcut for consumers. 

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Gmail Stories May 19

At I/O 2021 on Tuesday, Google spent part of the keynote talking about privacy and security. It’s following that up with a prominent “We protect your privacy” message in Gmail and Google Photos.

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Gmail Stories April 29

Preventing “unintentional data loss” is a big concern for companies, and Gmail is now adding an “External” badge on email conversations that include recipients outside your Google Workspace organization.

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Gmail Stories April 21

Google UK pokes fun at Super League with cheeky Gmail undo tweet

On Sunday, the European Super League was announced by some of the largest soccer/football clubs in England, Italy, and Spain. A mere three days later, it’s on the verge of collapse after intense criticism. Google UK today sent a very cheeky tweet about the situation in the form of a tip about how to undo Super League-class messes messages in Gmail.

Google is in the process of rolling out a new Gmail client online for free users that incorporates Chat and Rooms. As part of that, there were a number of small design tweaks, and the latest sees Gmail on the web get a new compose button.

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Gmail Stories April 19

At the start of last month, Google started to release new iOS versions of the YouTube family of applications following a long, unspecified pause. Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, and other apps were updated today in a seeming return to normal for iPhone and iPad owners. 

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Gmail Stories April 6

Gmail for Android gains delightful swipe action animations

Besides integrating Chat and Rooms with Gmail, Google recently introduced minor yet delightful animations when swiping away emails in the list view on Android.

Gmail Stories March 30

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has been rapidly iterating on Meet, given the demand for enterprise video conferencing. The company also made Google Meet free for personal Gmail accounts, and is now extending the availability of longer calls to June 2021. 

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Gmail Stories March 11

Have difficulty copying and pasting email addresses when using Gmail on your Android device? Well, that looks like it will be a thing of the past as a recent change now makes it even easier to grab an address from the various fields when composing a new email.

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Gmail Stories February 28

Last week, we spotted how the Google Chat website was getting some tweaks and Hangouts-style chat windows. This redesign of Google Chat is now rolled out for free accounts and is interestingly directly part of Gmail.

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Gmail Stories February 11

The search bar in Gmail is already a powerful tool, especially when using the advanced filters, and will now show associated email aliases in results.

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Gmail Stories February 8

Gmail for Android adds confirmatory vibration feedback when swiping

A big change is coming to the Gmail mobile apps later this year when tabs for Chat and Rooms join the existing Meet section. Until that comes to personal Google Accounts, a small change in Gmail for Android adds vibration feedback when swiping.

It appears as though Google is testing some tweaked icons within Gmail on desktop to more closely mimic the icons already seen on the Android and iOS apps.

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Gmail Stories January 19

Gmail now lets you resize Google Chat, Rooms in the web sidebar

One way to boost the adoption of Google Chat is by making it available directly in the email tab that users likely already have open. The Gmail web client now lets you resize the Google Chat and Rooms side widgets.

Gmail Stories December 15, 2020

Google suffered a massive hour-long outage yesterday morning. This afternoon, Gmail is seeing some widespread “Address not found” issues that prevent certain emails from being delivered.

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Gmail Stories December 10, 2020

Google is rolling out new features across Docs and other Workspace apps to increase interoperability with Word and the Microsoft Office suite. It comes as some teams might choose to use both sets of tools, while others still work with partners that don’t use cloud offerings.

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Gmail Stories November 23, 2020

The Gmail side panel today provides quick access to Calendar, Keep, and Tasks. Google is now bringing Contacts to the sidebar for Workspace and personal customers using Gmail. 

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Gmail Stories November 18, 2020

With the launch of iOS 14 in September, Google’s key apps were updated to support the latest platform features. After adding default email app support, Gmail now has an iOS home screen widget. Google is also highlighting how Chrome on iPad supports opening multiple windows.

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Gmail Stories November 16, 2020

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would default to auto-deleting location and search data. Building on that, the company is introducing two settings to control “whether your data in Gmail, Meet and Chat can be used to offer ‘smart’ features in these and other Google products.”

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Gmail Stories November 12, 2020

Gmail on the web now lets you pin Google Chat conversations

In the integrated Gmail experience available to Workspace customers, classic Hangouts has already been swapped out. Google Chat is in its place, with conversations now able to be pinned for consistent Gmail sidebar access.

Gmail Stories November 9, 2020

Over the past few weeks, Google has been replacing the logos and icons of some of its most beloved services, and the public reaction has been… mixed. Some people don’t care, while others absolutely hate the new icons. If you fall into the latter group, here’s how to replace Google’s new icons for Gmail, Calendar, and other apps with the older, arguably better versions on Android, iPhone, and Chrome.

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Gmail Stories October 29, 2020

As of the start of this month, Workspace customers can get access to an integrated Gmail experience that includes Chat and Rooms. Google is now boosting the Gmail experience by letting Chat users set an “away” or “Do not disturb” status.

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Gmail Stories October 22, 2020

Gmail Add-ons can now add templates, recipients, and other ‘Compose-time’ actions

In addition to a Docs, Sheets, and Slides expansion, Google Workspace Add-ons for Gmail are becoming more feature-rich. New Compose-time functions let third-party Add-ons “modify and format your messages” in Gmail.

Gmail Stories October 20, 2020

Google last year brought AMP to Gmail to make messages more actionable and interactive. Drive will now send dynamic emails to let file owners manage requests directly inside Gmail.

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Gmail Stories October 9, 2020

[Update: Pulled] Gmail Go available to download in the Play Store for all Android phones

Google offers “Go” variants of its most popular apps for lower-power devices. This week, Gmail Go was quietly made available for all users to download, regardless of device, on the Play Store.

Gmail Stories October 6, 2020

What do you think about the new Gmail, Drive, and other Google Workspace logos? [Poll]

Gmail, Google Drive, and other G Suite services are used by millions of people every day, and now Google has announced a pretty big change. G Suite is now Google Workspace, and it’s bringing a whole new set of logos for Gmail, Meet, Drive, and more.

As part of Google Workspace, the company is rolling out new branding for its productivity apps. Gmail — as teased last month — will be getting a new icon, with Calendar, Drive, Docs, and Meet also following over the coming weeks.

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Gmail Stories September 21, 2020

Google now lets you set Gmail as the default mail app on iOS 14

As promised on Friday, iOS 14 users can now set Gmail as the default mail app on iPhones and iPads. This follows a handful of updates from Google to support the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. 

Gmail Stories September 19, 2020

A big update to Gmail that brought Chat, Meet, and Rooms to one central hub was announced in July. That’s now rolling out to enterprise G Suite customers, while all personal accounts already have a dedicated Meet tab. Following those announcements, the company is readying a facelift for Gmail, and it starts with a new icon, if a teaser Google sent us is to be believed.

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Gmail Stories September 18, 2020

Apple launched its latest mobile OS on Wednesday and app developers are in the process of supporting the latest features. Google has two iOS 14 updates ready with a Search widget and Chrome browser default, while it’s readying a third.

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Gmail Stories September 1, 2020

After adding a dedicated tab for Google Meet, Gmail for Android is now picking up a nifty shortcut for quickly adding recipients directly from the body of an email.

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Gmail Stories August 20, 2020

Usually quite reliable, Google is reporting that Gmail and other G Suite applications are seeing a “service disruption.” Gmail, followed by Google Drive, being down is the biggest problem right now. Issues started late on Wednesday evening (PT) and continue into the early hours of Thursday.

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Gmail Stories August 12, 2020

Last month, Google announced that its new “home for work” consolidates communication and document editing into one app. The new Gmail is now rolling out to G Suite customers on Android and the web.

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