This advertising practice has been significantly criticized by privacy advocates due to concerns over unlimited data retention, ease of monitoring by third parties, users of other email providers not having agreed to the policy upon sending emails to Gmail addresses, and the potential for Google to change its policies to further decrease privacy by combining information with other Google data usage.

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Gmail's "basic HTML" version will work on almost all browsers.

The modern AJAX version is officially supported in the current and previous major releases of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Safari web browsers on a rolling basis.

Gmail's user interface designer, Kevin Fox, intended users to feel as if they were always on one page and just changing things on that page, rather than having to navigate to other places.

Gmail's interface also makes use of 'labels' (tags) – that replace the conventional folders and provide a more flexible method of organizing email; filters for automatically organizing, deleting or forwarding incoming emails to other addresses; and importance markers for automatically marking messages as 'important'.

On April 1, 2005, the first anniversary of Gmail, the limit was doubled to two gigabytes of storage.

Georges Harik, the product management director for Gmail, stated that Google would "keep giving people more space forever." Users can buy additional storage, shared among Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos, through a monthly subscription plan.

Today, the service comes with 15 gigabytes of storage.

Users can receive emails up to 50 megabytes in size, including attachments, while they can send emails up to 25 megabytes.

The Gmail Labs feature, introduced on June 5, 2008, allows users to test new or experimental features of Gmail.