This advertising practice has been significantly criticized by privacy advocates due to concerns over unlimited data retention, ease of monitoring by third parties, users of other email providers not having agreed to the policy upon sending emails to Gmail addresses, and the potential for Google to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google data usage.
This allows Gmail engineers to obtain user input about new features to improve them and also to assess their popularity.
As of March 2015, the Gmail interface supports 72 languages, including: Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (UK), English (US), Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Norwegian (Bokmål), Odia, Polish, Punjabi, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog (Filipino), Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Welsh and Zulu.
In October 2012, Google added over 100 virtual keyboards, transliterations, and input method editors to Gmail, enabling users different types of input styles for different languages in an effort to help users write in languages that aren't "limited by the language of your keyboard.” Gmail's "basic HTML" version will work on almost all browsers.
The modern AJAX version is officially supported in the current and previous major releases of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Safari web browsers on a rolling basis.
Other updates include a Confidential mode, which allows the sender to set an expiration date for a sensitive email or to revoke it entirely, integrated rights management and two-factor authentication.
In the April 2018 update the spam filtering banners got a redesign, with bigger and bolder lettering.
Gmail started as a limited beta release on April 1, 2004, and ended its testing phase on July 7, 2009.
At launch, Gmail had an initial storage capacity offer of one gigabyte per user, a significantly higher amount than competitors offered at the time.
Major redesigned elements included a streamlined conversation view, configurable density of information, new higher-quality themes, a resizable navigation bar with always-visible labels and contacts, and better search.