Last night when I pressed the send button after composing the mail on Gmail, I was surprised to see a pop-up reminding me that I wrote about attaching the file in the mail but did not attach any file to it. Remember how many times you send or get a mail without the intended attachment and how such simple feature can reduce such instances. Need for this innovation was there even 10 years back or from the time when email started, but at least now Google thought about it and implemented it using simple text parsing.
Going back to the launch of Gmail beta in 2004, People liked it so much that they became the brand ambassador of it and helped in spreading it across the globe and very soon those who were under the misconception of having unique name were disappointed to see email-id with their name already taken. Thanks to the allowed special characters and creativity of individuals in creating unique, awesome and sometimes weird email-ids. As per Wikipedia Gmail had more than 425 million users in June 2012. Here are some of the innovative features which made Gmail a huge success
Speed: Speed is synonymous to Gmail. Whether it be time taken for new account registration, Login time, Searching email using keyword, opening of new email or email window, Sending of message and each or everything which you want to do with an email client. Ran a simple test on developer mode of Chrome to check page load time for Gmail and Yahoo mail:-
When Marissa Meyer joined as Yahoo CEO from google, I expected things to change in Yahoo, But the new version of Yahoo mail which was launched had more focus on themes, fonts, UI, making more space for ads and making it look glamorous instead of improving the user experience and need for speed.
Spam Filtering: Gmail has really effective and innovative spam filtering and created a confidence in the users that they don’t have to check the Spam folders. There is a huge difference between the number of spam mails which you get on Gmail as compared to other services.
Gtalk Integration: Google was first to integrate the chat client with Email and soon included the voice and video chat options to it. Companies had hard time blocking the chat feature of the Gmail Users were happy with the option of using a single Service for both email and chat.
Gmail Tabs: A highly innovative feature which separates the mails in multiple categories based on the email type like Social Media specific mails, Promotions related mails and Primary mails which contains those mails which matters most to you. This unique features organizes your mailbox and reduces the time spent in checking the mails. For mass mailers and Spammers this has become a bottleneck for them, as people do not normally see the tab containing the Promotions related mail. They are trying hard to find ways to make sure the promotion related mail which they send to multiple people gets place in the Primary tab.
Simultaneous Usage Information: A simple way for finding from where all and from which platform your email was accessed. Apart from IP Address it also provides the location from where it is accessed and an option to close all the running sessions. This option is present at the bottom left of the email window.
Login Options: Recently Gmail asked users whether they are accessing email from home/private computer or public place. Now if same computer is accessed for gmail by multiple users than Gmail presents a user interface having tabs for multiple users and with user-images. You can select your email-id quickly by just one click. Earlier each person has to be manually type the email-address.
Integration with other offerings: Gmail provides an easy interface for accessing the umbrella of products like Google+, Docs , Youtube etc. which it has and avoids the requirement of entering the login information again.
The list is quite long and it is clear that no matter how old the product or technology is, constant thinking and innovation is required to retain and increase the market position of the product and Gmail has proved it by doing this time and again.