30 May 2019
Gmail, a free email service developed by Google turns 15 today as it successfully spans these years with its fruitful service. Started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004, Gmail now has nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users. And these are not just the number of users that have increased over time, its service has also grown from where it was launched. Initially, it offered storage capacity of 1GB per user and now in 2019, the service comes with 15GB of storage.
Gmail allows the users to receive emails up to 50MB in size, including the attachments, and they can send emails up to 25MB. Gmail also incorporates its other service Google Drive in case you want to send larger files. The service automatically scans all incoming and outgoing emails for viruses in email attachments. Gmail also supports two-step verification as an additional measure for users to protect their accounts when logging in.
Created by Paul Buchheit, the service went notable among website developers for its early adoption of Ajax. The project codenamed “Caribou” was kept as a secret from most of Google’s own engineers and by 2004 it was made available to almost everybody. It was first announced publically on April 1, 2004, but it was made available as the company’s internal email system before.
Fast forward in 2015, Google announced that Gmail had 900M active users, 75% of whom were using the service on mobile devices. In 2014, it became the first app on the Google Play Store to hit 1B installations on Android devices. It also launched the Inbox by Gmail in 2014 as a service to solve issues like distractions will be shut down on April 2, 2019.
Gmail secured second place on the list of 100 Best Products of 2005 by PC World and received many honorable awards for its design and approach.
Google has been adding new features to its mail service so as to make it more intuitive and easy to use than before. Smart Reply, email snoozing, Nudges, are some of the features that have elevated the Gmail experience.