Gmail (Google Mail) Turns 15


Back in 2004, you had to deal with email with minimal storage space; probably only a few MBs. On top of that, your email would be constantly flooded with spam with vendors peddling expensive spam-control solutions just to help with the filtering process. To add to the problem, there was no intuitive way for you to search your inbox to look for important email. Gmail (Google Mail) was built to address all of the problems above and more. With Gmail’s 15 birthday, here’s a trip down memory lane and what you can look forward to in the coming months or years.

Gmail (Google Mail) is different from the first day

Launched on April’s Fool Day in the year 2004, many people thought that it was one of the pranks of the day. People soon realised that despite the timing, it wasn’t a joke. Gmail was launched with a 1GB storage space, close to 100 times more than the closest competitors, together with a powerful search function, the Google Search technology. Messages were grouped into conversation threads instead of appearing as separate email messages.

gmail old design

On top of that, to combat the massive spam issue that people were facing at the time, Gmail (Google Mail) blocked spam before it arrived and created a way for people to report spam. As the years went by, Google leveraged machine learning to improve their spam filtering capabilities. As of today, Google’s machine learning model helps to block close to 10 million spam mails every minute.

Here is a video from 2007 on how the good folks of Google fought the war with spam:

When Gmail first launched, you could only use it on your computer. As the smartphone era arrived, Gmail naturally evolved to include phones and tablets. From basic email functionality, Google continued to improve their email service by introducing AI-powered features like “Smart Reply” and “Nudges” to help people to work much more efficiently.

Here are some of the things to expect from your Gmail (Google Mail)

You might have already used “Smart Compose”, an AI-powered feature to help you write emails quicker by giving you suggestions to complete your sentence. Google will be updating this feature to include more languages and devices soon. On top of that, it will start understanding you better and make more personalised suggestions (eg. “Hola” instead of “Hello” if that is how you usually type your email).

gmail smart compose

Next up, is email scheduling. No more messages at weird timings! Match your email message with the recipient’s time zone. With this feature, you can also choose to send your email at the time that you think a person will most likely see it and/or take action.

gmail schedule email

Finally, you can now get more things done in Gmail (Google Mail) without ever leaving your inbox. You can respond to a comment in a file that your team is working on (eg. Google Docs), check out hotel recommendations and more, directly within your email itself.

gmail do more

Look forward to bigger and better things from Google!

P.S: If you are looking to get an email address with your company name, check out the different G Suite packages available for your business.

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