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Gmail Review

Gmail, aka Google Mail, offers free webmail. This Gmail review has information on the features and lab adds offered with Google's free webmail service referred to as Gmail or Google Mail. Read our other free webmail articles to see how Gmail compares.

Gmail, known as Google Mail in some parts of the world, is a relative newcomer to the field of free webmail services, having been first become generally available in February of 2007. One of the unique features of Google Mail is its connection to Google Labs, where you can try out new and interesting features and related applications. For example, consider the "Undo send" service, a boon when you have second thoughts about an email, but have already clicked the "Send" button. For more about what Google offers in the area of free webmail, read on.

Google's free webmail has some very attractive features:

  • spam filtering
  • Google search within your messages
  • a view option that arranges your messages as "conversations"
  • forward all forwards an entire conversation
  • features for instant messaging (aka chat), including display of messages generated when the recipient was offline
  • organizing features including ratings, labels, and filters
  • mail available on mobile devices
  • a baseline of 5 GB of storage, but this figure is continually expanding, and the amount at 5:52 pm on April 9, 2009 was 314.283411 MB and increasing. Premiere Google, a paid service, offers 25 GB storage, and storage increases to the free service amount are available for purchase.
  • POP and IMAP webmail
  • free of untargeted banner ads and pop-ups, BUT includes interest-based text ads. This means that Google is scanning your email for content. Some people feel that this is a violation of privacy.
  • links to other services have previews: works with YouTube, Picasa, Flickr, and Yelp
  • previews of pdfs - see what you've got before you download it
  • Gmail themes to change the look of your inbox
  • Google voice, and/or videochat, so that you can switch contact media as people become available (video requires a webcam and a download)
  • Gmail on Android-powered phones
  • Group chat
  • New emoticons
  • open PowerPoint attachments as slideshows
  • send attachments of up to 20 MB
  • auto-responder for when you're away
  • ability to view documents (from MS Word, for example) as HTML instead of downloading them
  • auto-save while you're composing email
  • Contact groups that allow you to send group mail messages
  • Google Talk for free computer phone calls
  • Mail forwarding
  • Mail signature options

Labs adds a whole lot more, for example:

  • Sender time zone lets you know the current time of the person who sent you an email
  • SMS text messages sent from Gmail
  • work with Gmail offline
  • Tasks: a to-do list that you can access not only from your computer, but also from your mobile phone
  • Undo send

Google does not carry the harsh language about terminating your account at any time for any or no reason or for not visiting as frequently as they demand, like some other free webmail services. However, be aware that - unlike some other free webmail services, who claim rights in your content only to display it to those to whom you choose to have it displayed and who give up those rights when or shortly after you terminate service, Google makes broader and longer claims, saying, "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services." The key words are perpetual, irrevocable, and promote. Google can use your content forever, and can use it to promote Google. That's worth a moment of reflection before signing up. [Note: Google misspells license in their Terms of Service, which is why you see it here as it is.]

Source - google.com

Related Article: Free Webmail Review >>

 
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