The Bottom Line
Gmail puts contextual advertising next to the emails you read.
- Gmail offers continuously growing storage, free IMAP or POP access and sending from any address
- Smart sorting, searching and starring let you find and organize emails and chat conversations
- Gmail's web interface is both fast and rich, Gears lets you read and write mail offline
- Gmail could help with organizing mail even more, e.g. with learning labels or reply suggestions
- Searching mail in Gmail is not nearly as smart and comfortable as searching the web with Google
- Gmail does not offer unlimited online space, and does not support secure, encrypted mail
- Gmail offers free email with growing storage space. Additional storage can be purchased and shared among Google services.
- Next to mail, Gmail shows contextual ads matched automatically to keywords found in messages.
- Starring and custom color labels let you neatly organize threads (conversations). Precise search options find mail fast.
- Gmail's filters can organize, forward and respond with a canned reply. You can use templates for new messages as well.
- IMAP and POP access, forwarding, Exchange ActiveSync, SMS and web apps bring Gmail to many a device and program. Google Gears offers offline browser access.
- Gmail retrieves mail from up to 5 POP accounts and lets you use these email addresses (or others) in the From: line of mail you send.
- Connecting to Google Talk, you can IM , group and video chat.
- Integration with Google Calendar lets you create events and send invitations.
- For people with Google+ profiles, Gmail can pick up shared contact details (email addresses, locations, phone numbers,…) and update the address book automatically. It's possible to comment on Google+ posts and follow others' comments as well.
- Gmail supports rich text formatting and can display many an attachment type (PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).
- A spam filter tries to sort out the junk and fraud, and Gmail scans for viruses and worms, too.
- Under Android and iOS, apps offer fast access to Gmail.