Gmail update – Major changes are coming and here’s what users need to know

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Gmail is easily one of the most popular programmes of its kind; the software is available on Android and iOS smartphones in addition to desktops.

Gmail is regularly issued updates that bring new features, changes and improvements.

The latest change for Gmail concerns its API policy which, in layman’s terms, means how it shares data with others such as third-party apps.

The American tech giant announced a score of new changes to such a policy last year and it seems they are finally being put into practise for Gmail.

Third-party apps that are not considered by Google to abide by the new changes will no longer work with Gmail in the same manner they have done previously.

Some apps set to be affected are SwiftKey and SMS Backup+, two popular pieces of software that have over 105 million installs between them on the Google Play Store alone.

According to Ars Technica, users of both apps and others have received emails from Google alerting them to the fact they may no longer be able to access Gmail data from July 15.

The message read: “We wanted to let you know that the following apps may no longer be able to access some data in your Google Account, including your Gmail content.

“If these apps are unable to meet the deadline to comply with our updated data policy requirements, they’ll lose access to your Account starting July 15th, 2019.”

The change effectively means if you are using SMS Backup+ for instance, the programme will no longer be able to upload text messages to your Gmail account.

Similarly, SwiftKey prides itself on being able to learn from previous typing occasions to suggest more accurate words for the user to employ.

Having access to your Gmail typing history can make it more useful when composing an email for instance.

However, such functionality’s future on Gmail is in doubt because of the new API policy change from Google.

Many fans of SMS Backup+ started discussing the future of the software on Github, to which the developer of the app Jan Berkel replied to.

He wrote: “Hello everyone. I’m sorry about this situation, SMS Backup+ will no longer have access to Gmail, mainly because it’s not an email reading app.

“I applied for an exception but it was declined, as expected. Vanilla IMAP might work, but for how long I wonder. And it’s very tricky to set up for a casual user.

“Unfortunately the Android platform is getting more and more closed.

“I’m not sure what to do at this point, either remove the app from the store or release a new version which removes the automatic account setup, since that is broken/will be broken soon.”

One of the most notable parts of Google’s detailed policy change concerns what it dubs “appropriate access”.

As noted by Ars Technica, the phrasing used by the American tech giant suggests it could be using employees to review all apps that are requesting API access.

In a post discussing its alterations, Google stated programmes that store data from its apps will need to pass a “security assessment” in order to do so.

Most notably, it was declared this process “is paid by the developer and may range from $15,000 to $75,000 (or more) depending on the size and complexity of the application”.

The new changes being imposed by Google are also expected to arrive for some of its other apps, such as Drive, in the future.

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