Back in 2004 email looked very different – and then Google Mail came along to revolutionise the service.
With a sleek, easy-to-use interface and a plethora of handy features, Gmail innovated e-mail as we know it today, and this month marks 15 years since it was created.
To celebrate the milestone, we’re turning back the clocks and looking at some top facts about Gmail…
- It started as an invitation-only beta release. It became available to the public on February 7, 2007.
- Gmail introduced the web development technique named, Ajax. This is the secret behind its user-friendly interface.
- Gmail became the first mobile app on Google Play store to hit 1 billion installations on Android devices.
- Up until the night before the launch, Gmail didn’t have a logo. Google’s famous logo designer spent the day before Gmail’s release coming up with ideas to make the deadline.
- Paul Buchheit, now an angel investor, is credited for developing Gmail. Also the 23rd employee at Google, he began working on the project in 2001.
- After leaving Google in 2006, Paul started FriendFeed which was later acquired by Facebook. He was also a partner at Y Combinator investment firm.
- The 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.
- As of March 2015, the Gmail interface supports 72 languages.
- Prior to December 2013, users had to approve to see images in emails, which acted as a security measure.
- Some webmail services are notorious for being the unofficial emailing site for an exclusive age group. Gmail, on the other hand, is functional for a variety of age groups with the average user age being 31.
- You know that ‘dot’ in a Gmail address? Well, it doesn’t matter. Whether email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, the mail will reach the same person.
- You can ‘un-send’ an e-mail from Gmail. Just head to Labs from the gear symbol and look for the lab called ‘Undo Send’.
- Google has integrated various Machine Learning-driven features. For instance, Smart Reply allows users to quickly draft responses to emails.
- Gmail supports both POP and IMAP, which are industry standards for desktop email clients. That means you can use Outlook, Thunderbird, or Mac Mail with your Gmail account.
- Google automatically detects addresses in messages and creates a link to the right of your message asking if you would like to map it. It also asks if you’d like to track packages when you receive messages that contain them.
- In programs like Excel and Word, keyboard shortcuts come in handy all the time. As it turns out, you can use keyboard shortcuts with Gmail too. Just hit “Shift + ?” and see a complete list.