Gmail and IMAP

Google has added IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) access to its popular Gmail and Google Apps services.

IMAP is the advanced Internet message access standard, contrasting with the more basic and widely used POP (Post Office Protocol). As an access protocol, IMAP makes it easy to use multiple clients, to handle mobile email, and to share folders.

(At the time of writing, IMAP access is being rolled out gradually across Gmail's front-end servers. If you find your account isn't ready yet, ensure that your Gmail language is set to "English (U.S.)" and then sign out from Gmail and sign back in again.)

Gmail's new offering will help increase use of IMAP, which is a good thing. It also resolves a major factor preventing the uptake of the Google Apps hosted offering. Perhaps Yahoo -- which has been providing IMAP access for the iPhone -- and MSN/Live.com will now follow suit.

... Steve Kille and Richi Jennings

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