unnamed (5)

If you use a third-party app on any OS to manage your Gmail, you may be in for some very good news today: Google has announced the official Gmail API, and it's available immediately as a beta.

For developers of third-party email experiences, or apps that access email data, the Gmail API is huge. Previously, developers were left using IMAP as the typical way to interface with Gmail, and that standard is far from ideal for a great many reasons. The new Gmail API natively supports labels, threading, drafts, and includes the ability to utilize fine-grain permissions for new and existing messages. (For example, if an app only needs to send a message, it can request only the "compose" permission.)

The API will allow developers to implement basically the same functionality as the Gmail search box, too, and because it no longer uses TCP / SMTP, the Gmail API can be implemented in basically any environment. It's also apparently much, much faster than IMAP at most operations, especially search. To learn more, hit up the blog post and the API page below.

Google Apps Developer Blog, Gmail API

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Rodalpho

    Before people freak out, the WSJ article is wrong in that this is NOT going to replace IMAP-- as per the docs, IMAP will still be available, and is their suggested route for full email apps. So this is not google trying to sneak their gmail ads into your outlook/thunderbird/whatever.

    • cy_n_ic

      Apps have ads!? ;)

  • http://googleplus.VoluntaryMan.com/ William Thieme

    I wonder if K-9 Mail will implement this... I sure hope so!

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    This is huge, and really important. I've been wanting a native-style desktop app that fully supports Gmail functionality for a while now. This would finally facilitate that.

  • Romario Maxwell

    How much more perfect could things be!? All I need for my client's app is to compose messages essentially. Thank goodness that I purposely waited on I/O before I'd start for such a thing like this. :)

  • fl1nty

    the new gmail api presented by Steven Seagal.

  • krudl3rx

    I hope the Google Email app will use it so I can stop getting all these [IMAP] tags on redundant folders.

  • loudambiance

    I want Dropbox to support this via Mailbox, and I want Postbox-Inc to support this in Postbox. I would be INSANELY happy if that occurred.

  • Mike Loomis

    The only thing wrong with my Windows 8 tablet is the email app. Hopefully this brings it more of gmail's functionality.

  • primalxconvoy

    Brilliant. This will hopefully allow me to search for emails via third party email apps in my android device! No more going to the web version!

  • kmansoft

    Does not use TCP.... Does not.... use *TCP*. So what does REST / HTTP traffic run on top of, if not TCP (and IP)?