Earlier today, Google announced and introduced new APIs for Gmail. These new APIs will help developers create apps that go beyond the limitations of IMAP. At least that's what Google is hoping for with today's announcement.

Google praises IMAP for connecting email clients to email servers in a standard way, which it was designed to do. But there are features in Gmail that are held back by the limitations of IMAP. That's why we're looking at new APIs, designe to be a standard Google API.

These new APIs will give developers RESTful access to a user's mailbox under OAuth 2.0 authentication. CRUD operations are supported for true Gmail datatypes such as messages, threads, labels and drafts. Hit up the source links below to knock your socks off with all the tech behind the new Gmail APIs.

The end result? Devs can create apps that give users better control over how their email is accessed. Some practical applications that result from the new APIs include:

  • Read-only mail extraction, indexing, and backup
  • Label management (add/remove labels)
  • Automated or programmatic message sending

Interesting stuff and we can't wait to see future apps built by devs using these new APIs. What sort of features do you want to see come out of the new Gmail APIs?

Source: Google, Gmail API documentation


Reader comments

Google introduces new Gmail APIs for developers and their apps


This, in many ways, could very well be the biggest announcement to come out of I/O.

Finally there can be 3rd party apps and services that can hook into gmail 100% correctly with no imap limitations.

This was exactly my thought as well. This is a really big deal and I haven't seen much coverage of it at all.

So could someone create a gmail app and remove the conversation style? That would be awesome.