Gmail Free Download: Google’s Answer for Email
Gmail is a free, popular email service provided by Google.
It has been available to the general public since 2007 and now has over 425 million users, making it the most popular email service available. In fact. falf of visitors to the google.com website navigate to mail.google.com, Gmail’s URL.
One of the most popular features of Gmail is its storage capacity. Gmail offers 15 GB of free storage to every account. It can be upgraded for a price if more space is needed, but the typical email user will never run out of space on 15 GB.
Instead of deleting emails and never getting them back, users can archive their messages. With the abundance of free space, most users could never delete an email and still have space. Messages in Gmail are automatically treated as conversations. In other email clients, replies are sent as single messages, which can really clutter an inbox, especially when conversations are between multiple people.
Gmail consolidates all these messages into one conversation thread so the inbox is more organized. However, users can turn off this function if they prefer emails to be sent separately. Another organizational tool built into Gmail is the ability to label and star items. Labels are similar to folders, but offer more flexibility on the user’s side, as messages can have multiple labels. Users can have up to 5,000 different labels. A star is added to a message to indicate its importance.
Gmail has a sophisticated searching system because it is powered by Google. It suggests terms while the user types in the search box, using data from messages, contacts and other sources. Gmail searches are stored in a user’s web history to improve their search suggestions, but this can be turned off temporarily or permanently in settings. There are search modifiers that work in Gmail; for example, using from: finds emails only from a specific person and subject: only searches for a term in the subjects of messages. An experimental feature called Gmail Labs allows users to add different features that are not permanently a part of the service. Users must enable Labs in their Gmail settings. They can then choose to enable as many features as they would like. Gmail warns that because they are experimental, these features may break at any time, disappear, or become part of Gmail if they work well enough. Labs include “Canned Responses,” which sends messages out automatically, and “Undo Send,” which gives users a few seconds to change their mind about sending the message.
There is more flexibility with attachments in Gmail than other mail services. Files and images can be dragged and dropped into the message as attachments; images can also be included inline in the message. Files can also be uploaded from a user’s Google Drive account. Pressing the + button during email composition also gives the options of inserting photos, links and Google Calendar events. The size limit on attachments is 25 MB, but larger files can be sent to someone by inserting them from Google Drive. Communication through Gmail is not limited to only emails. Hangouts are a feature, similar to Skype, which allows users video chat with up to nine other people. Voice calls can also be made. Gmail allows users to instantly text chat with each other as well, which is similar to AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Messenger.
Google makes smartphone and tablet Gmail apps, so users can have their messages with them wherever they go. In addition to Android, iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone apps, Gmail has a mobile version of their website so users with other phones can view emails optimized for their devices, making it one of the ultimate email providers.