Google has announced that they have finally added IMAPv4 to GMail. IMAP has been a long-awaited feature, requested by countless GMail users.
IMAP enables an email user to access an email account using server-side access. Meaning, that while your email client exists on your PC or device, it is accessing and storing email messages on the server, just like a web-based email. This ensures that you never lose your email, and at the same time, you can manipulate your email with the ease of a traditional email client. IMAP empowers users to access their email on several devices, all at the same time.
One of the reasons prompting Google’s adoption of GMail, is iPhone email access. Apple’s iPhone fully supports IMAP and IMAP IDLE push email. The long delay in Google’s adoption of IMAP has likely been out of fear of overload. IMAP enables users to transfer email messages between accounts, and that enables users to store all their old emails onto GMail quickly and easily… which can severely overload a mail server if millions of users attempt it at the same time.
Google expects IMAP to be available on all GMail accounts within the next few days.