FORTUNE -- One of the most widely used email clients in the U.S. is about to get (even) better.
Over the next few weeks, Google (GOOG) will roll out a new Gmail inbox, with subtle tweaks many users ought to like. Launched in 2004, Gmail has become one of Google's most successful forays outside of its core search and advertising businesses.
As pundits called for the death of email over the years time and time again, Gmail's steady user growth proved the messaging system was anything but dying. Last summer, Google announced the service had 425 million active users worldwide, up 75 million from six months prior. The independent digital advertising company Quantcast, which measures a website's audience, also shows consistent user growth over the years, with nearly 14 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone. Here are three welcome features Gmail users can expect.
Advanced users who already have their email sorted into folders might not find this feature novel, but for the rest of us, Gmail's new approach to sorting out messages could make our digital lives far less cluttered. Inboxes will now be split into five categories -- including Primary (messages from people you regularly contact), Social (messages from well, social networks), and Updates (think receipts and reminders) -- with labeled tabs up top. Users can also customize those tab categories to their liking.
The best part about these new categories is that users won't have to change their behavior. Gmail's algorithms will organize their email for them, intelligently filtering out different types of messages into those different tabs. And as users continue to use it, Gmail will get better at sorting and filtering out all that obnoxious spam.
Don't like it? Opt out.
Early adopters who can't wait for Google to introduce the new inbox approach can get a head start by heading to their settings, represented by the small cog icon in the upper-right hand corner, and clicking "Configure inbox." From there, it's just a matter of choosing which tabbed categories you'd like to appear, then pressing "Save." And whether users choose this shortcut or wait for the official upgrade, Google's playing it smart. Don't like it? Well, you can always revert back to the previous version, which well, let's face it, wasn't all that bad to start.
The iPhone 4 launch doesn't seem to have slowed the growth of the AndroidOS.
Quantcast released its June numbers yesterday, indicating that the Android platform continued to outgrow the other smartphone vendors in web traffic. That's in line with last week's report from comScore.
The growth was largely at the expense of Apple's iOS, which still has a sizeable lead on the rest of the mobile operating systems. Apple is at MORESeth Weintraub - Jul 14, 2010 2:07 PM ET
Quantcast's numbers today show that in the mobile web marketshare field, Android and Apple are becoming the only two games in town.
The mobile web is where the action is at these days and for the beginning of 2010, that action in North America has Google's Android inching away at Apple iOS's dominant marketshare.
Quantcast, who measure traffic on most major sites, have posted their findings on mobile device usage. It won't surprise anyone that MORESeth Weintraub - Jun 14, 2010 3:43 PM ET
By Yi-Wyn Yen
Google stirs up hype wherever it goes. Last week, Google introduced a free product called AdPlanner to help media agencies find the best sites to place banner ads. The news shook up comScore, which offers similar Web-tracking information for a fee, as its shares took a 23% nosedive the day the new Google service was announced.
Fears that AdPlanner would crush Internet media research companies like comScore (SCOR) and privately-held Nielsen Online were overblown. Mark MOREyiwyn - Jul 1, 2008 8:03 AM ET
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