Google launches feature for non-Gmail accounts to use Gmail's best tools on Android

Google is catering more to users not on its Gmail service.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Non-Gmail users will now get access to some of Gmail's best features through Android's Gmail app, Google announced on Wednesday.

For the last year, Google has allowed users to access email from other providers, like Yahoo! Mail or Outlook.com, in the Gmail app on Android. Now, non-Gmail users will get "Gmailify" features -- heavily expanding the set of tools.

According to Google, Gmailify links your existing email account to Gmail so that you get spam protection, inbox organization and even Google Now cards based on your mail -- without having to switch addresses. Gmailify acts as if the emails were hosted on Google's own servers, while you keep your existing email address.

"Many of you would like more of Gmail's powerful features, like spam protection and inbox organization, on these accounts -- but don't want to go through the hassle of changing your email address," Google wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

If you're already accessing your non-Gmail accounts from the Gmail application on Android, it's relatively easy to opt in to the "Gmailify" feature. You'll open the Gmail app, sign into your external accounts, and then "enable Gmailify." Google will then link your Gmail and non-Gmail account, and of course, you can always turn it off.

Gmail's inbox organization tools are some of the best in the industry. The service will separate emails into categories like Social, Updates, and Promotions, and will also give you enhanced notifications. Gmailify also adds voice search through Google Now and upgraded spam protection.

Sadly, it doesn't sound like the feature is coming to Gmail on iOS or the web version of Gmail.

As of now, Gmailify only works with Yahoo Mail and Microsoft's Outlook. Google wrote in its blog post that more email providers will be added in the future.

There's obviously a benefit in getting more users within Google's app. It can serve advertisements, garner data to serve advertisements, and maybe someday convince you to make the full switch to Gmail.

Last year, Yahoo announced similar functionality for non-Yahoo accounts within its app.

Editorial standards