Advantages 2086 MB storage space, searching for emails is based on the Google search engine, still fairly new so good email addresses are up for grabs, email grouping to form a conversation
Disadvantages Attachments are limited in size to 10 MB, Cannot import contacts from AOL at the present time.
We’ve all got email addresses, most of us more than one, and although the one that is associated with our Internet service provider is almost certainly the main one we use it never hurts to have a back up or two in case of connectivity problems. Up until now the big hitters in the free web based email business have been Hotmail and Yahoo, but now there’s a new kid on the block, and it is from the creators of the most used search engine on the net – Google. But why would you need yet another email address? Well, Gmail is a little different from the other web based email clients, as I will try to explain.• So what’s Gmail all about then? •
At the time of writing (March 2005) Gmail is only available by invitation or referral, this is because officially the whole system is still in beta test mode. However, Gmail are issuing a lot more invites to members over the past couple of weeks, I myself have close to fifty of them. If you are lucky enough to receive an invite you will be sent a link which when clicked on will take you to the “create a Google account” page. A standard set of fields need to be filled in including name, password and security question and answer. Also of course you need to choose a desired login name which will be prefixed with @gmail.com to become your Gmail address. The bonus with Gmail not being widely available at the moment is that there are still good Gmail addresses to be had. Once you have chosen your Gmail name a quick browse of the terms and conditions and agreeing to them takes you to a congratulations page that offers a few hints, tips and ideas on how to use Gmail effectively.• Sending and receiving Gmail •
Emails are sent and received with Gmail in pretty much the same way as all others, signing into your account takes you to your inbox which will show you any email received. Simply clicking on the email opens it for reading. When you are finished reading an email you can archive it or if it is a special email you can add it to a label (similar to a folder) for easier searching. Composing an email is also simple with a single click on the “Compose Mail” link taking you to a fairly standard looking blank email; attachments up to 10MB can also be added.
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