Matthew Glotzbach, product management director for Google Enterprise, announced the release of IMAP support in Gmail Wednesday at Interop New York. Glotzbach, a keynote speaker, said Gmail account holders can begin using IMAP immediately.
He held it up as an example of Google's attempts at continuous innovation, saying it's one of many new features Google has added since launching Google Applications in February.
"IMAP isn't new, but bringing it together is," he said.
David Murray, associate product manager for Google, wrote about it in a blog posted Wednesday.
"There are two online petitions I've signed in my life," he said. "One was for a 'Xena: Warrior Princess' movie. The other, which I signed a few months before starting at Google, was for Gmail IMAP... 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. 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."
Google has placed a video demonstration on YouTube. Users must change their settings to enable IMAP in their Gmail accounts and configure their mail client or wireless device to download Gmail messages. Google provides instructions on how to do that.
Once the configuration settings are changed, everything users do through e-mail on their iPhones and desktops will be immediately visible on the other device because the changes have been stored on a server. The feature works for several e-mail applications, including Outlook Express, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2003, Apple Mail, Windows Mail, and Thunderbird 2.0.
IMAP Gmail access will work on a BlackBerry, but Google tells Palm users to take note: GMail IMAP access isn't yet compatible with VersaMail. Users' clients must support SMTP authentication to send mail using a Gmail address.
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