Google launches IMAP support for Gmail

Users can sync Gmail with their e-mail clients

Google has launched a new IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) service for Gmail that will allow users to sync Gmail with their e-mail clients.

"It keeps the same information synced across all devices so that whatever you do in one place shows up everywhere else you might access your e-mail," said David Murray, associate product manager, in a blog post. "For example, I can read an e-mail in Gmail, then move it to the 'Starred' folder on my iPhone, then archive it by moving it to 'All Mail' in Thunderbird, then see all of those changes on my BlackBerry or any of [these] devices for that matter."

Previously, Google offered only POP (Post Office Protocol) access, for Gmail, which meant if users made changes on other devices, those changes weren't seen in Gmail when they logged back in. Users then had to re-read and re-sort all their e-mails. The IMAP feature means all user e-mails will be stored on the server, so users can sync their data across a wide variety of devices.

Murray said users can use Gmail at work, in the car or anywhere on any device. He added that the actions users take will automatically sync with Gmail on the Web and anything users do on the Web will be seen on their phones or their e-mail clients.

To use the new service, users should click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab in their Gmail Settings and turn it on.

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