It was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, and unless you happen to lurk in the tech corners of the internet you may have missed it altogether. But it’s very possible your email address had a birthday this week.
Fifteen years ago, on April 1, 2004, Gmail was born and has quickly become the top choice for email. In fact, it’s the most downloaded email app across all platforms. Before Gmail, most people used email that was tied to their internet provider or another paid service. Gmail promised a lot for its day: free email, browser accessibility (in fact it was browser-only when it first launched), and the ever-ubiquitous “cool” factor. Email messages were threaded and they allowed for up to 1GB of storage. Given the date of the launch, most people thought it was a prank…especially since you had to know somebody to receive a coveted invitation.
One of the coolest features at the time was spam blocking. Nobody had come up with a reliable spam-blocking technology prior to then. Gmail even made a fun video explaining the process.
Gmail has changed a lot since then. Now anybody can sign up with a few clicks and have free access to some really awesome features like Google Docs, Photos, free online storage…the list goes on. I’m still in awe of the fact that I can type “upcoming hotel reservations” into Chrome and see personalized results from my Gmail inbox without having to search mail.
For its 15th birthday, Gmail has added some new features which I’m sure I’ll use quite a bit.
Have you used Smart Compose? You’ve probably noticed it if you use Gmail in your browser. It utilizes AI to help you complete messages.
It’s been updated with four new languages (Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese) and is being rolled out in the Gmail app for Android. (iOS is coming soon.)
Another feature that’s being rolled out is the ability to write an email and schedule it to be sent at a later day and time. Maybe you want to send a birthday greeting but you’re afraid you’ll forget. Or maybe you work across time zones…or don’t want to interrupt somebody else’s vacation. Previously, third-party add-ons were needed to do this. Now you can do it from within Gmail itself.
Lastly, Gmail has introduced the ability to embed certain web pages directly into an email. This allows you to interact with web links without having to pop open a new tab or even leave your email. This will be extremely handy for people who do a lot of communicating with Google Docs and other things.
One of the best features of Gmail has been there for a long time, though. And that’s the ability to have all of their features for your business…without having to have “@gmail.com” attached to the end. G Suite (formerly Google Apps) is one of the most powerful business applications on the market. It operates on the same, secure backbone as Gmail. G Suite accounts can have unlimited storage on Google Cloud, Google Calendar for business, and lots of other features a large or small business could use.
If you’re interested in learning more about G Suite, check out some of the details here. Or, better yet, get in touch with us. ThirdSide is a G Suite partner. We’ll be happy to give you a tour and a free month for your business.