How To Get Gmail Features For Non-Gmail Addresses

Are you loyal to your Hotmail, Yahoo!, or Outlook email address, but still wishing you had access to a couple of Gmail's more notable features? Good news: A new Google service called Gmailify brings the best Gmail features to non-Gmail email accounts. The service was announced on the official Gmail blog on Wednesday, Feb. 17, and it's undoubtedly made the non-Gmail using crowds very happy, indeed.

The idea of non-Gmail accounts being able to access non-Gmail emails through the Gmail app isn't entirely new; as the blog post about Gmailify notes, the Gmail app's capabilities on Android phones have been expanded over the last year, letting people read their email from other hosts through it. After receiving "great feedback" from Android users about this and other capabilities, they've decided to take things to the next level. "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," the Gmail team wrote in their Gmailify blog post announcement. "We agree. So starting today, if you use Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail/, you now have the option to Gmailify your inbox." So, if you've ever thought about switching to Gmail but didn't want to have to change your email address, now you don't have to.

Gmailify works by connecting your current email address to the Gmail platform, which can then be used to customize your inbox. To enable Gmailify for your email address, simply open your Gmail app on Android devices, sign into your existing email, go into "settings" from the main menu, select the email address you'd like to connect to Gmail, and press "Link account." After you've been Gmailified, you'll find all of the features of Gmail enabled for your non-Gmail address. Oh, and if you already had your non-Gmail email address connected to Gmail on your Android device, worry not, since enabling Gmailify will be a piece of cake. To do so, simply sign into your account using the Gmail app as usual and then select "Enable Gmailify" when prompted.

If you're wondering exactly what connecting your email to Gmail will offer you in terms of features, enabling Gmailify will give you access to Gmail's spam protection services, allow you to organize your inbox by content category, use the advanced search options of Gmail, which allow you to do things like find that pesky email from your boss that you need to reference six months later, and automatically receive notifications of your travel reservations from Google Now.

In terms of eligibility, Google is only allowing email addresses from Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and Outlook to be connected to Gmailify; however, stay tuned if you're email address is not from one of these three email providers, as Google has already said that they have plans to expand Gmailify to other providers in the future.

I personally think that Gmail is the most efficient email platform that's out there, but if you happen to find Gmail to be detestable and want to connect your account to another hosting service, other platforms have actually created similar features to Gmailify for that.

There also exist a number of services that will work kind of like reverse Gmailify, too — that is, they'll let you take your Gmail address (or any other email address, for that matter) and hook it up with features from other providers. For instance, Yahoo! Mail allows users to connect their Gmail accounts to Yahoo!, enabling access to the features of Yahoo! Mail to your Gmail address. Outlook also allows you to import your Gmail address to their platform, although they require that you obtain an Outlook account as well.

So, much like how your phone number can now easily be switched from carrier to carrier, it seems that being able to easily switch your email address from platform to platform might just be the wave of the email future. And after all, isn't combatibility key?

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