No, The New Gmail API Is Not Killing IMAP

Gmail API, even just the name harkens back to 1991 era when Microsoft first bought out Consumer Softwares ( and spun up it’s own mail server: Microsoft Mail for PC Networking ( The underlying architecture was the almighty MAPI which eventually got all the corporate buyers and accounts hooked on Exchange Mail with MS Outlook clients. And the world has never been the same since. Let that be both an interesting factotum but a cautionary tale too. The first taste is ALWAYS free.


Yesterday, at Google’s I/O developer conference, the company announced a new way for developers to build apps that integrate with Gmail, via its brand-new Gmail API. Designed to allow programmatic access to messages, threads, labels and drafts, the API was initially misunderstood by some as Google’s attempt to “kill off IMAP,” an older email protocol that offers email access, retrieval and storage.

That confusion seemed to come about largely because of the wording in one highly trafficked Wall St. Journal article, which originally said that the new API would “replace IMAP, a common but complex way for applications to communicate with most email services.” (The article has since been updated with new language that says “instead of” as opposed to “replace.”)

Google’s developer’s documentation also backs this up: the new Gmail API will not be killing off IMAP  – at least, not yet – but it will make Gmail…

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Author: carpetbomberz

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