Google's email service, once called Googlemail and now referred to as Gmail, is one of the company's core products. When Gmail was launched, it was something of a game changer. It offered plentiful free storage in exchange for building an advertising profile based on the contents of your email conversations. Now, many years later, Gmail has matured and evolved as a service and has the mobile Gmail applications available for several different devices. It stands to reason that the Android application offers an excellent Gmail service as it too is a Google product; since the launch of Android devices almost a decade ago, the Gmail application has also been improved and refined. Indeed, today the Gmail application is even more important than it was just a couple of years ago. Just eighteen months ago, it was updated to support third party email accounts. Essentially, Gmail was being pushed into being the only necessary email client on our Android smartphones and tablets.
The evolution of the Gmail service and application highlights one of Google's more strange habits: that of developing potentially competing products side by side. Gmail has been developed simultaneously with Inbox, which is the newer way of reading, responding and dealing with email. Over the last eighteen months, Google have steadily improved through releasing updates via the Google Play Store and we've news today that the latest update adds a feature many people have been waiting for: Gmail will support Microsoft Exchange accounts.
Those readers with Nexus devices may be wondering what all the fuss is about, because on the Nexus device, once Gmail was opened up to support third party email accounts, it also supported Exchange accounts too. This is because the Nexus devices have a hidden application called Exchange Services, which have enabled this feature. However, Google now appear to have integrated the Exchange Services part of the device into the main application, which brings Exchange support to Gmail app users regardless of the handset or tablet they use. It's true that this application could be side loaded to an Android device to allow Gmail to support Exchange accounts, but this will soon no longer be necessary.
The updated application is set to be released around the world over the next few days, so look out for the update via the Google Play Store. If you use another email application on your smartphone to pick up your corporate email, once you have the update you could easily set up the Exchange account in your Gmail application and use the one application for all of your email.