IMAP Stories June 25, 2014

Google introduces new API beta that makes it easier for apps to integrate Gmail features

Yet another announcement from Google I/O today comes in the form of a new Gmail API beta that will make it easier for developers to integrate Gmail features into their apps:

While IMAP is great at what it was designed for (connecting email clients to email servers in a standard way), it wasn’t really designed to do all of the cool things that you have been working on, which is why this week at Google I/O, we’re launching the beta of the new Gmail API.

Designed to let you easily deliver Gmail-enabled features, this new API is a standard Google API, which gives RESTful access to a user’s mailbox under OAuth 2.0 authorization. It supports CRUD operations on true Gmail datatypes such as messages, threads, labels and drafts.

So what’s the benefit over IMAP or other solutions that developers have already been using to integrate Gmail features? Google says the new API, unlike IMAP, “gives fine-grained control to a user’s mailbox.” That means that an app, for example, “only needs to send mail on behalf of a user and does not need to read mail, you can limit your permission request to send-only.” There are also other benefits like speed:

To keep in sync, the API allows you to query the inbox change history, thereby avoiding the need to do “archaeology” to figure out what changed. Finally, a huge benefit is speed. While there’s still some tuning to be done (“beta” – remember?), results from our tests and feedback from pre-release developers suggest that the new Gmail API is delivering dramatic performance improvements over IMAP for web application use cases.

Google has more on the new API here. 

IMAP Stories December 14, 2012

Google announced on its official blog today that it would do some “winter cleaning” by discontinuing a number of services in the near future. Among the services shutting down as of Jan. 30 is Google Sync, which allowed users to get access to Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. As an alternative, Google recommended IMAP for mail and the recently launched CardDAV and CalDAV protocols. Google also confirmed it would continue offering the service to existing consumers and Google Apps for Business, Government, and Education customers.

Google also said it would shut down some of its less-popular Calendar features starting Jan. 4:

You’ll be unable to create new reservable times on your Calendar through Appointment slots, but existing Appointment slots will continue working for one year. In addition, we’ll discontinue two Calendar Labs—Smart Rescheduler (we recommend Find a time view or Suggested times as alternatives) and Add gadget by URL. Finally, Check your calendar via smsand Create event via sms (GVENT)—U.S.-only features for creating and checking meetings by texting information to Google—will be discontinued today, as most users prefer mobile Calendar apps.

Another victim of the winter cleaning is the Punchd app for Android and iOS that will officially shut down on June 7, 2013. At that time, retailers will no longer accept the service’s loyalty cards. Google’s full list of apps and features on the way out is below: expand full story

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