The Bottom Line
Gmail is the Google approach to email and chat. Practically unlimited free online storage allows you to collect all your messages, and Gmail's simple but very smart interface lets you find mail precisely and see it in context without effort. POP and powerful IMAP access bring Gmail to any email program or device.
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). Inbox tabs automatically sort certain mail to separate tabs. 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 (available for Google Apps for Business, Education and Government), 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.). Integration with Google Drive also lets you send files (up to 10 GB in size) easily and save received files to your Drive account directly.
- Input tools offer IMEs, virtual keyboards, handwriting recognition and transcription.
- 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.