What is Google Mail and Why you need a Gmail account: Best Explained 007ET

Gmail

You might have been asking What is Google Mail and Why you need a Gmail account, Gmail is popularly known and Gmail is a free web email service provided by Google on April 1, 2004. In many ways, Gmail is like any other email service which allows you to send and receive mails over the internet either by a web browser or through a mobile application: some of its basic features are sending and receiving emails, block spam, create an address book, and perform other basic email tasks.

But it also has some more unique features that help make it one of the most popular online email services. We can also use the third-party program to access Gmail. Such programs synchronize the email content through the protocols IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) or POP (Post Office Protocol).

Google mail accounts

Creating a Google account is needed to access Gmail because it is just one of the many services offered by Google to registered users. Signing up for a Google account is free and easy, and naming your new Gmail address will be a part of the sign-up process. This means whenever you’re signed in to Gmail, you are automatically signed in to your Google account. You’ll be able to easily access other Google services like Google Docs, Calendar, and YouTube.

Of course, you don’t have to use any of these features. You may just want to focus on email for now. However, if you’d like more information, you can review our Google account tutorial, where we talk about the Google ecosystem and how to protect your privacy while using the different services Google offers and show you how to change your privacy settings.

Summary of Gmail / Google mail account:

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Google LLC launched Gmail on April 1, 2004, created by Paul Buchheit with 105 available languages as of 2021, where its testing and validation face ended on July 7, 2009, as at then its storage capacity was 1 GB, which was quite a large amount offered compared to other competitors at that time.

Currently, Google has extended the storage capacity to 15 Gigabytes today. The receiving capacity of emails is 50 Megabytes per user while sending capacity is 25 Megabytes, including attachments.

The exchange of emails in Gmail can include text or messages, graphics, videos, audio, documents, etc. but with a maximum size of 25MB otherwise, the file will automatically be uploaded to Google Drive. A download link will be included in the emails. Gmail also covers 94% of the languages spoken by Internet users worldwide.

The Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) web development techniques were early adopted by Gmail rather than other web developers.

The server of Google can automatically scan multi-purpose emails and can also filter malware and spam emails. The search interface in Gmail is similar to the Search forum on the Internet. and Global Active Users 1.5 billion + as of 2021. Compatibility on All devices, Yes of course you have to sign up and sign in to use the google mail service AKA Gmail service.

History of Gmail

What is Google Mail and Why you need a Gmail account
History of Gmail
  • Paul Buchheit started working on the personal email project during his college time. In the 1990’s he already inspected the idea based on Web email.
  • On April 1, 2004, the limited beta edition of Gmail by Google was announced.
  • In July 2008, the ability to enable the secure mode was simplified by Google.
  • The increase of storage from 2 GB to 7.5 GB was announced by Google on April 24, 2012.
  • A new security feature by Google was introduced in June 2012. This feature aimed to protect users from state-sponsored attacks. It said that a banner on the top of a user’s account will warn the user of unauthorized access and account compromise.
  • The storage was further increased to 15 GB on May 13, 2013.
  • Google announced an encrypted HTTPS connection in March 2014. The connection was used to send and receive emails from Gmail. Each message in Gmail was 100% encrypted. Gmail also uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol to encrypt the sent and received emails.
  • In July 2017, Google announced the identification of emails with spam and phishing using the Machine Learning It resulted in 99.9% accuracy.
  • It also announced that the system can delay approx 0.05% of messages for detailed analysis.

Features of Gmail

The features of Gmail, including the new features of Gmail are listed below:

Free to Use

Gmail offers 15 Gigabytes of free storage capacity. We are not required to delete the mails for storage issues. On April 24, 2012, Google announced the storage share with Google Drive, Google + Photos, and Gmail. The overall storage is 15 GB.

Accessibility

The messages or emails can be easily read from the respective categories. The messages are also safe. Any user can easily use the features of the Web and app. We can find any message with the help of the search box. It also allows us to read and respond to messages anytime at any place.
The new mails can be quickly received via push notifications.

Organized

The messages in Gmail are grouped into promotions, social, and primary categories. These messages are sorted and grouped according to the categories. We can read messages from the Business, family, and friends easily.

Interface

The user interface of Gmail focuses on Search, the grouping of messages in a single page, conversation threading of emails, etc. Various competitors have further copied the method.
Kevin Fox was a UI (User Interface) designer of Gmail that intended users to focus on the single page rather than navigating on other pages. He also created the interface of Google Reader, Google Calendar, and Friendfeed.

Search

The search box is available like the Search on the Internet. We can use the search bar to search for events from Google Calendar and Google Sites. We can also search for contacts and files that are stored in Google Drive.

Languages

Gmail is available in various languages, which makes it accessible to users all over the world.

Language Input Styles

Gmail offers various language styles that help users to write the languages limited by the keyboard. Google added various input method editors, transliterations, and over 100 virtual keyboards in October 2012 to Gmail. Google added a handwriting input support in October 2013 to Gmail.
however, In August 2014, Gmail introduced letters and ascent marks. It allows users to receive and send mails outside the Latin alphabet.

Multiple Account Support

We can use both non-Gmail, and Gmail addresses directly from the Gmail app. The non-Gmail addresses include Yahoo mail, Outlook.com, or any other IMAP or POP email.

Storage Capacity

The users can increase their storage capacity by opting for the monthly subscription plans from Google One. The storage is shared among the three platforms (Google Drive, Google + Photos, and Gmail).
The paid plans are available up to 15 Terabytes (TB) for personal use. The allowed storage for sending emails including attachments should not be greater than 25 Megabytes (MB).

Spam Filter

The Spam Filter allows a user to mark the mails as spam. It identifies similar mails from the Spam ID in the future.

Gmail Main Categories

All the emails in our Gmail account are divided based on five categories, you can decide to show/hide any of the categories depending on your preference as shown in the figure below:

Gmail Main Categories
Gmail Main Categories

Primary

The primary tab includes all the important emails, like emails from our contacts. It is considered the main Inbox of our Gmail account. It also includes some non-classified emails. however, We can also move any email to the primary folder.

Social

The social tab includes all the emails from social websites, such as YouTube, Facebook, etc. depending on the forum use your Gmail account to receive updates or notifications.

Updates

The Promotions’ category contains all the emails related to marketing and promotional offers.

Forum

It is a group in Gmail that allows people of a group to work together online. People with similar interests can easily collaborate. The forum was particularly created for organizations, teams, groups, etc. to communicate together.

Promotions

The Updates category is a similar category to Social, promotions, and Primary. It includes receipts, statements, bills, confirmations, notifications, etc.

Available Folders

The folders available in Gmail are listed below which you can decide to show/hide on your Gmail account home page depending on your preference.

Available Folders on Gmail
Available Folders on Gmail

Inbox

The inbox folder includes all the received emails. The received emails are categorized into Promotions, Social, and Primary.

Starred

All the mails marked as ‘Starred’ will appear in the Starred folder. We are required to click on the star to mark a mail as Starred.

Snoozed

The mail marked with snoozed is made to reappear in our inbox according to the selected time. We can set the time for the mail to reappear in our inbox with a pop-up.

Important

The Important folder includes the messages with the important label.

Chats

The Chat’s folder consists of the Google Hangout conversation.

Sent

The Sent folder includes all sent emails.

Scheduled

The messages or emails in the scheduled folder will be sent at their scheduled time.

Draft

The draft folder includes messages that are not completed, and we want to send those emails later.
We can also edit the mails again while sending them from the draft folder.

All Mail

The ‘All Mail’ folder in your Gmail account is where Gmail keeps all of the emails and labels show emails in various folders including the Inbox. So the ‘All Mail’ label is really an archive folder in Gmail. You can access the All Mail label by clicking on All Mail on the left side of your Gmail

Spam

The suspicious emails that are automatically identified by Gmail come under the Spam category. The Spam folder contains all mails marked by Gmail or us as spam.

Trash

The deleted messages are transferred to the trash folder for 30 days. We can also recover the deleted message from the trash folder. After 30 days, messages will be permanently deleted from the Trash folder and cannot be recovered.

Gmail Platforms

Gmail has two platforms, which are Gmail web interface and mobile application interface as discussed below:

Gmail | Google Mail Web interface


The basic HTML version of Gmail can run on all browsers. But the modern Ajax version is supported in a released version of web browsers, such as Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Gmail can run offline on Google Chrome. We can download it from the Web Store of Chrome.

The Gmail Web page appears like the image shown below:

Gmail Web platform Interface

We can also access Gmail from the web browser on the mobile device.

Gmail Mobile Application

The Gmail application is available for iOS and Android devices.

Google introduced the Gmail app for Android in November 2014. It allows receiving and sending emails from non-Gmail addresses through IMAP/POP. The Gmail was further redesigned for iOS in November 2016.

The update includes many features like sleeker transitions, spelling suggestions to improve search results, use of more colors, Swipe (to Archive/Delete) mail feature, Undo, Send, etc.

The app was added with the security from the phishing attack in May 2017. Later, a “Smart Reply” feature was added based on Machine Intelligence followed by other languages.

We can use the IMAP or POP protocols to access Gmail from the third-party programs.

The Home page of Gmail app looks like the image shown below:

Gmail Mobile Application

Gmail Design Updates

Some major design updates by Google for Gmail are listed below:

  • The Gmail Lab feature was introduced by Google in 2008.
  • Google started redesigning Gmail to give it a more consistent look in 2011. The changes include high-quality themes, a streamlined conversation view, etc.
  • Google updated the inbox tab in year 2013.
  • A new web User Interface (UI) was introduced by Google for Gmail in 2018. Other updates include two-factor authentication, confidential mode, etc.
  • The Spam folder got a new design in April 2018.
  • The dark mode for Android and iOS was introduced by Google in 2019.

Google Meet in Gmail

Google Meet in Gmail
Google Meet in Gmail

The Google Meet was launched by Google in March 2017, that helps users to start a meeting online from Gmail. The video conference was limited to 30 users. The limit varies according to the subscription plans of G Suite, which includes 100 users for Basic, 150 for Business, and 250 for Enterprise plan.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the access made free for consumer accounts after May 2020.

The free Meet calls can have participants limit up to 100. The participant limit for G Suite users is 250, while 25 for Hangouts.

We need a Google account to start a meet using Gmail.

It appears on the sidebar of the Gmail Home page, as shown below:

We need to click on the ‘Start a meeting’ to start a meeting from Gmail. The meeting contains the video and mic (for sound) option. We can ON/OFF the video or mic icon by clicking on it.

We can also start the meeting using our mobile device through the Google Meet app available on the Play Store. We need to click on the ‘Join Now’ option to join the meeting.

Gmail Relation with Google products

The plug-in provides Google chat and voice with Gmail that was introduced in August 2010. Later, it was replaced with Google Hangouts. The sharing of media and links was introduced by Google in February 2010. The tool Google Buzz was integrated with Gmail. Later, it was replaced with Google+.
The Google wallet integrated with Gmail was introduced in May 2013 by Google. It allows sending money as an email attachment with no transaction fees. It was initially available on the web. Furthermore, it was expanded to mobile applications for users in the United States in 2017.

The Google Trips app was introduced by Google in September 2016, which generates travel cards commonly for car rentals, plane tickets, and commodities. The app was further updated in 2017 that allows scanning for train and bus tickets.

Security and Authentication Methods in Gmail

The security and authentication methods are listed below:

Third-Party Encryption

According to the Google Transparency Report, the percentage of information based on the encrypted emails is provided in transit between the third parties and Gmail.

Lockdowns

Any unknown usage or activity can cause lockdown of an account for one minute to 24 hours, such as:

  • Sending huge undeliverable messages.
  • If we are deleting, downloading, or receiving many emails from IMAP/POP in a short span.
  • Using external or third-party software and extension.

Two-Step Verification

The two-step verification method is provided by Gmail for safe login. The users are required to verify their identity while login in from a new device. For example, entering a code sent to the user’s registered mobile number.

The verification using a security key was introduced by Google in 2004.

Anti-Child Pornography

The policy works in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to find children abuse. Google creates a database for such pornography pictures. Every image is scanned; looking for a hash (a number is given). Any doubtful image found is reported to the national authorities.

Password and Username

For you to be able to access the Google Mail service you have to first sign up by creating an account with your basic details and for you to log in to your account you will be required to input your email ID and password into the provided box to enable you login into your personal Google Mail ecosystem.

Growth of Google Mail

The global active users announced by Google in respective years are listed in the below table.

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Gmail became the first app on Android devices to cross 1 Billion in the year 2014. The global active users today are more than 1.5 billion.

Gmail Awards

  • The ranking of Gmail was second in the list of PC World’s u0022100 best products of 2005u0022. The first ranking was of Firefox.
  • In the Bottom-Line Design Awards of the year 2005, it also won the ‘Honorable Mention’ Award.u003cbru003eGmail was also declared as the best webmail application by Forbes in September 2006. The application was awarded for use in small businesses
  • Gmail received a 4-star rating according to the PC’s World in November 2006.u003cbru003ePrivacy terms
  • Gmail has only one privacy policy that covers all the privacy methods, which is automatic scanning of emails.

Google Mail Privacy terms

Gmail has only one privacy policy that covers all the privacy methods, which is automatic scanning of emails.

Automatic Scanning of Emails

The emails are scanned automatically by Gmail for various purposes, such as filtering malware and spam. It also includes context-sensitive related advertisements next to the emails.

Privacy Issue

The major privacy issue faced by Google was the China Attack.

The China Attack: The cyberattack in 2010 originated from China was faced by Google. The companies with a wide business range and Chinese human rights activists were targeted. After the attack, Google has enhanced the security and privacy terms of its system. It advised users to install anti-spyware and anti-virus on the computer system. Google also warns users to be cautious of clicking any external links.

What is Gmail | What is Google Mail | what is Gmail account

8 Gmail FAQs | Google Mail Quiz

Although Gmail is really easy to use for day-to-day emailing either for a business or for personal use, being a comprehensive email service you do need some extra help to fully take advantage of your Gmail account features. You can check out Gmail official help page to get answers to the most common questions. However, leave your opinion, suggestions, and answers in the comment box below to help others.

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What is your option for Gmail encryption?, and Can I block emails in Gmail?

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Can you hack your Gmail account pretending to forget your password or Google Mail ID and which method would you use?

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Can Gmail send scheduled emails?, and Can I sort emails in Gmail?

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Does Gmail work in China?, and Is Gmail HIPAA compliant?

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Are multiple Gmail accounts allowed?, and Does Gmail delete old emails?

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What does archive mean in Gmail?, and Can I download Gmail emails?

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List some privacy issues you have encountered while using Gmail and how you were able to solve it?.

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