Google may put ads in Gmail for Android

A few months ago, Google began to put in messages in the Promotions section of Gmail web accounts that looked very much like email spam. Now it looks like Google is getting ready to put in some kind of advertisements inside the official Gmail app for Android devices.

As reported by Android Police, an examination of the code inside the recently released 4.6 version of the Gmail Android app showed multiple references to ads. A new "ads" library was also spotted in the Gmail code, along with eight classes devoted to ad presentation. The article speculates that when ads do start appearing the the Gmail app, users will be able to save the ones they like to their inbox like a regular email.

So far, Google has not commented on plans to put in ads in the Gmail Android app. There's also no indication that the iOS app will be getting a similar feature. However, you can bet that when Google does start including ads in its mobile email apps, it will act as more material for Microsoft to attack Google again. The company has already slammed Google's Promotions ads, calling them "Gspam."

Source: Android Police | Image via Google

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67 Comments

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Because one more ad or promotion in a list full of ads or promotions is such a bad thing compared to the seriously great service you get otherwise.

The ads will be most effective if they are for the new iPhone, because if Google does this, it will be the last straw for me in their series of horrible decisions regarding their products.

Well, this is probably why they removed Exchange ActiveSync support - to force those who want push email (on iOS and Android) to use their ad supported app.

srjallan said,
Well, this is probably why they removed Exchange ActiveSync support - to force those who want push email (on iOS and Android) to use their ad supported app.

Yes, I'm sure the whole reasoning for removing ActiveSync support was to introduce a feature you can opt-out of and not to stop paying patent royalties to MS.

ichi said,

Yes, I'm sure the whole reasoning for removing ActiveSync support was to introduce a feature you can opt-out of and not to stop paying patent royalties to MS.

When you have no argument, try sarcasm?

Spicoli said,

When you have no argument, try sarcasm?

Huh ok let me break down the argument for you: it's far more likely that Google removed ActiveSync to not pay patent royalties than to try to lock users in a feature that can actually be disabled.

To be honest if I start getting ads in my inbox....well, it's buy buy android phone and hello windows phone/iphone

And when you switch to iPhone/WindowsPhone, your GMail will still have this issue.

I am sensing that you have assigned root cause to the wrong component of your mobile computing.

If you have an Android phone, and prefer to switch to a different email provider, then just switch. It is honestly just that easy.

Spicoli said,
Running an Android phone without a google account is difficult.

But you can activate the phone with a Google account, disable every sync option for that account and use whatever mail service you want.

Spicoli said,
Running an Android phone without a google account is difficult.
Um, you can't convince me he wants to opt out of the Play Store and stop getting apps or backing up his contacts.

The complaint was with GMail (likely) including adverts in the Inbox. A problem that will NOT be avoided merely by switching phones, if he still receives email on that gmail account.

I have both Gmail and Outlook.com on my Android. Both work just fine. Any talk of switching whole phones is kind of overreacting without addressing or fixing the issue, don't you think?

Use something other than GMail? Android works with a bunch of different providers.

markjensen said,
And when you switch to iPhone/WindowsPhone, your GMail will still have this issue.

I am sensing that you have assigned root cause to the wrong component of your mobile computing.

If you have an Android phone, and prefer to switch to a different email provider, then just switch. It is honestly just that easy.

Mark!! Haven't seen you posting in years it seems like.

Shadrack said,
Mark!! Haven't seen you posting in years it seems like.
I come back a few times a year. Mostly when Neobond or Frank post something that appeals to my interest on G+ or FB.

But I don't hang out here like I used to... Tis true.

I think having now been a GMail customer pretty much since it first went live (well, beta) I'd rather pay a few dollars a month than have to put up with yet more adverts. I'm very happy with the service I get with GMail - it's rarely ever been down or broken for me the entire time I've being using it, and I like everything about it - so would be happy to pay for it.

Spicoli said,
All the big email services are pretty much the same as far as reliability and function.

Indeed - but there's also the customer loyalty side of things. I've used GMail for years and have had no reason to grumble thus far.. so would prefer to continue to use them.

My method is to use a personal domain and then I can switch around all I want. The only problem Google is now charging for that but you can still do it for free on outlook.com. Mine has gone from Google Apps, to outlook.com, and now to Office 365.

Spicoli said,
All the big email services are pretty much the same as far as reliability and function.

So far I have yet to find a provider that is as flexible with filters as Gmail is so it has made a switch difficult for me.

Chicane-UK said,
I'd rather pay a few dollars a month than have to put up with yet more adverts. I'm very happy with the service I get with GMail - it's rarely ever been down or broken for me the entire time I've being using it, and I like everything about it - so would be happy to pay for it.

If you would actually rather pay a few dollars a month then you can get Google Apps for Business: $5/month and you don't get ads (plus the other extras of Google Apps that you can't get for free any more).

ichi said,

If you would actually rather pay a few dollars a month then you can get Google Apps for Business: $5/month and you don't get ads (plus the other extras of Google Apps that you can't get for free any more).

Can you just have a single user / subscriber or is there a minimum number of users?

Chicane-UK said,

Can you just have a single user / subscriber or is there a minimum number of users?

It's $5 per user per month, and you can have a single user (an user being an inbox, you can have as many alias as you want).

I think you can also subscribe for a whole year and you get two months free, and you can also try it for free for 30 days.

ichi said,

It's $5 per user per month, and you can have a single user (an user being an inbox, you can have as many alias as you want).

I think you can also subscribe for a whole year and you get two months free, and you can also try it for free for 30 days.

Interesting. Thanks for the informative reply

ichi said,

It's $5 per user per month, and you can have a single user (an user being an inbox, you can have as many alias as you want).

I think you can also subscribe for a whole year and you get two months free, and you can also try it for free for 30 days.


I look at the Google site for purchasing extra storage, but no mention is made if that drops you out of their "targeted adverts".

markjensen said,

I look at the Google site for purchasing extra storage, but no mention is made if that drops you out of their "targeted adverts".

There's an option in the control panel to enable or disable ads for you domain:

http://support.google.com/a/bi...r.py?hl=en&answer=60758

You need a Business or Educational Google Apps subscription though, purchasing storage alone doesn't give you that option.

I love the new banner ad at the top of YouTube. it prompts you to update Adobe, whether it is out of date or not. Then they instil a practice they pioneered, leaving the checkboxes checked to install Chrome and change the home page to Google. Their slogan should be "millions of people switch to Chrome whether they mean to or not."

Spicoli said,
Yea, it does that for acrobat and flash. Wasn't there lawsuits over that kind of sneak changes in the past?

Well if people wouldn't just click next through the whole thing they would catch it and be able to opt out at that point.

shinji257 said,

Well if people wouldn't just click next through the whole thing they would catch it and be able to opt out at that point.

People don't read those and they know it. That's the slime ball part of it. It's should be opt-in if at all.

GP007 said,
Should've seen this coming, they're going to try and put ads into more parts of Android as time goes on since from what I remember in their last financial statements the ad revenues on their main search site have been heading lower.

ADroid

Should've seen this coming, they're going to try and put ads into more parts of Android as time goes on since from what I remember in their last financial statements the ad revenues on their main search site have been heading lower.

GP007 said,
Should've seen this coming, they're going to try and put ads into more parts of Android as time goes on since from what I remember in their last financial statements the ad revenues on their main search site have been heading lower.

soon they'll rename the OS to 'Adroid' lol

Island Dog said,
I switched to Outlook.com and have been very pleased.

Same here. I dumped iCloud and Dropbox too. One of the best things is that even if i switch to iOS or Android, i can enjoy my services due to MS making their apps available across all the platforms.

Yeah I've been getting so many people to make the switch to Outlook.com. The nice thing is it's truly cross-platform and you won't have to worry about silly ads like these. These are worse than banner ads placed prominently on top of websites.

j2006 said,
Yeah I've been getting so many people to make the switch to Outlook.com. The nice thing is it's truly cross-platform and you won't have to worry about silly ads like these. These are worse than banner ads placed prominently on top of websites.

Other than the fact that unlike banner ads you can actually opt-out of these ones and happily keep using the service ad-free without using any third party ad blocking software.

ichi said,

Other than the fact that unlike banner ads you can actually opt-out of these ones and happily keep using the service ad-free without using any third party ad blocking software.

You keep comparing a Browser email experience to Ads being displayed inside the Gmail Android client.

Until Microsoft starts shoving adds into their outlook.com clients/Apps, then you need to stop this false comparison.

Mobius Enigma said,

You keep comparing a Browser email experience to Ads being displayed inside the Gmail Android client.

Until Microsoft starts shoving adds into their outlook.com clients/Apps, then you need to stop this false comparison.

I "keep" comparing?

First I can't "keep" comparing if I haven't compared anything before.
And second, no, I'm just addressing what I quoted from the post above, specifically "These are worse than banner ads placed prominently on top of websites".

Read the context before jumping.

Enron said,
Google is entirely within their right to provide ads on their services and OS.

Can't wait for the public response to this!

.Neo said,

Can't wait for the public response to this!

Hey! I cant wait to get ads in my notification centre in Android. I hope i can see it in my lock screen too

StandingInAlley said,

Hey! I cant wait to get ads in my notification centre in Android. I hope i can see it in my lock screen too

Considering you aren't currently getting notifications for mail on your promotions tab I don't see why you'd get notifications for these.

StandingInAlley said,

Hey! I cant wait to get ads in my notification centre in Android. I hope i can see it in my lock screen too

Zimbra + K9 mail + ZTasks + ZDrive + CaldavSync + CardDavSync has been keeping me ad (and Google) free on my Android.

ha ha, so much for "it's free".

if you're not paying for the product, you are the product.

so glad I don't use it. and now it makes sense why they are closing their apis, so they can lock you and spam you.

neonspark said,

if you're not paying for the product, you are the product.

so glad I don't use it. and now it makes sense why they are closing their apis, so they can lock you and spam you.

Hypocrite much? You would have a point if you didn't admit to preferring Outlook.com in the past.

If you have issues with this sort of stuff you shouldn't be using any free email services because you're right about the users being the product.

Okay, Google, you already read my emails so you can target the ads better, there isn't really a need to deliver them to my inbox as well. I'll wait and see what comes of this, but it could easily be the final drop when it comes to me and Android.

ichi said,
Opt-out or disable the Promotions tab. Fixed.

The promotions tab is awesome! It takes all the junk leaving me real emails primary.

Kalint said,

The promotions tab is awesome! It takes all the junk leaving me real emails primary.

Yep, it's like a secondary spam folder that you can just ignore.
For people that don't want these Google ads though, disabling that tab will also disable the ads.

ichi said,
Opt-out or disable the Promotions tab. Fixed.

Yay! Then all the emails that would have gone into your Promotions tab end up in your Primary tab. That IS a fantastic idea...NOT.

Shadrack said,

Yay! Then all the emails that would have gone into your Promotions tab end up in your Primary tab. That IS a fantastic idea...NOT.

You could still add filters to categorize those mails, as you'd have had to do just a few months ago before they introduced the tabs.

I'd rather keep the Promotions tab and get all the advertising dropped in there, Google's or not (although it seems that you don't get it on Google Apps accounts anyway, certainly not on Business but I'm not getting them on my free one either) but for those that find Google ads all that infuriating the possibility to not get any of them is there.

Kalint said,

The promotions tab is awesome! It takes all the junk leaving me real emails primary.

Agreed. It's where my Amazon and Newegg notifications come into, something I check every once in a while when I'm looking to buy something.

I'm sure there will be a setting to disable them.. If not, I will hack the apk to remove the them and then share it, because I'm a nice guy

"The article speculates that when ads do start appearing the the Gmail app, users will be able to save the ones they like to their inbox like a regular email."

I just can't wait!!

francescob said,
"The article speculates that when ads do start appearing the the Gmail app, users will be able to save the ones they like to their inbox like a regular email."

I just can't wait!!

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