Gmail, also known as Google Mail, is a free email service provided by Google which has innovative features such as “conversation view” email threads, search-oriented interface, and plenty of free storage (almost 7.7GB).
Gmail opened in private beta mode in April 2004 by invitation only. At first, invites were hard to come by and were spotted up for sale on auction sites like eBay. The email service is now open to everyone and is part of Google Apps. Paul Buchheit, an early employee at Google, is given credit for building the product.
One important Gmail feature is the organization, tracking, and recording users’ contact lists. For instance, if you start typing the letter C into the “To” field Gmail will bring up via autocomplete a list of every email address and contact name starting with the letter. This feature helps when you can’t quite remember a name. Plus, Gmail automatically adds and updates email addresses and names to your contact list when you write emails.
In June 2008, Gmail Labs was introduced. It’s a section within Gmail’s settings, and it lists new features that are rough and have gone through almost no filtering. Once it’s working it will go out to users in the next code build. The most popular add-ons will eventually be built into Gmail.