The Gmail app for Android doesn’t always keep up with the pace of innovation – third-party mail clients like K-9 mail and MailDroid introduce features faster, and are infinitely more customizable. Until now, though, that meant compromise – IMAP was the only way for those apps to retrieve mail from Gmail, meaning you lost out on editable labels and server-side search.
Yesterday, Google unveiled its answer to that problem in the form of a beta API for Gmail. Available to developers immediately, the API lets apps tap into the more powerful features of Gmail, like drafts and threading. Google says it’s also a lot faster than IMAP.
Expect your favorite mail client developer to implement it soon.