Since early 2015, Google’s Gmail Android app has allowed users to manage their mail from non-Gmail accounts, like Yahoo and Outlook. Now the company is taking things a step further. It’s today introducing a new feature called “Gmailify” that will allow anyone to take advantage of Gmail’s spam protection, inbox organization, Google Now integrations, and more, without having to change their email address.
That means you’ll be able to not only be able to check your @Yahoo.com, @Hotmail.com, or @Outlook.com email within Gmail’s mobile application – but you can also manage those accounts as if those emails were hosted on Google’s own servers. This makes sense for people who would like to choose Gmail for its advanced feature set, but are stuck with a different email and don’t want to go through the hassles involved with changing their email address.
If you’re already accessing your non-Gmail accounts from the Gmail application, you’ll still need to opt in to the “Gmailify” feature. To do so, you’ll need to open the Gmail app, sign into your external accounts, and then “enable Gmailify,” a Google blog post explains.
In practice, this involves linking your non-Gmail account(s) to Gmail. In the app’s “Settings” screen, you’ll tap on the non-Gmail account you want to link then choose “Link Account.” This is what allows the app to take advantage of Gmail’s expanded feature. This will actually work both in the Android application as well as on the web at mail.google.com. You can choose to unlink the accounts at any time, the company notes.
In addition to being able to utilize Gmail’s spam protection on this incoming mail, your non-Gmail emails will also be organized by type (e.g. Social, Updates, Promotions). Plus, you’ll be able to search your non-Gmail using advanced search operators, receive better notifications on mobile, and your travel and hotel reservations will appear automatically in Google Now.
Google is not alone in trying to cater to non-account holders by focusing on its feature set. Other top email providers are also working to court those who want to try a different user experience without having to change their address. For example, in December, Yahoo announced its mobile email app would allow users to manage their Gmail, allowing them to use things like Yahoo’s “smart” contacts and password-free sign-in. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Outlook.com even offers an import tool to help make the transition from Gmail to its app easier.
It’s notable, too, that Gmailify launched on the same day that Microsoft is taking Outlook.com out of preview.
At launch, “Gmailify” only works with Yahoo and Microsoft’s Hotmail/Outlook, but Google says more providers will be supported in the future.