Introduction to Gmail

Google. Android. Gmail. The three terms just seem to go together. If you're using the Android-based phone, you're likely a fan of Google and you're probably already using Gmail. But if you're not, this section might convince you that you're missing out.

From the start, Gmail was purely web based. It has been a favored web mail application since its release in April 2004 (on April Fool's Day, to be exact). Many people originally came to Gmail seeking unlimited storage space. They stayed for the features, which seem to grow all the time.

Gmail seems to be in a perpetual state of beta testing. Even now, more than five years after its first release, Gmail still has the beta indicator attached to its logo. That's because Gmail is constantly changing. Unlimited storage became limited, although the limits are tremendously high. I currently have more than 38,000 emails stored in my Gmail account, dating back to August 2004, and have not yet reached the 50% mark on my storage limits.

Over time, Google has added other capabilities to Gmail—chat through Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and even themes. Google also has created mobile versions of Gmail—and that's where the Android phone comes in.

Gmail on mobile phones is fairly simple to use. It has a straightforward interface and gives you access to the most important controls. But as good as the mobile version is (for what it is), it doesn't provide the same mobile experience that you get with an Android-based phone. Again, because all this is associated with Google, the best options for productivity, communications, and access are those Google offers.

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