Google is already serving you Gmail ads on your desktop, and soon you’ll see them on your mobile, too. Although they aren’t active just yet, there is evidence for them in the latest Gmail for Android release, which was made available to download via Google Play last week.
“Yup, ads are most definitely coming to Gmail for Android,” Android Police reports, after digging around inside the Gmail 4.6 APK file. They’ve discovered a bunch of strings that suggest the introduction of ads to Gmail’s Android app is imminent, and they also give us some idea of how they will work.
In Gmail on your desktop, ads are rather subtle; Google delivers them as if they’re emails, and if you know no better, they just look like traditional spam messages. And it appears the search giant will take a similar approach on mobile.
The code indicates that ads you don’t like can quickly be dismissed, but those you want to save can be added to your inbox — just like regular emails. The code also suggests that some ads may appear as headers, others as borders, some as “teasers,” and others as toast notifications that popup at the bottom of your display.
Presumably, this code is there for testing, and Google will decide upon one delivery method that works best and stick with it. I can’t imagine it will put ads in numerous places and force us to get used to dismissing them in different ways — that’s just too disruptive and intrusive.
This code only applies to Gmail for Android for now, of course, but you can bet that Google will be planning the same thing for iOS, too — given that both apps are largely similar these days. There are some other changes to the Android version in the 4.6 release, too.
You’ll now receive a warning message about messages that failed to send due to their size or a lack of connectivity, and contacts without pictures will now have colored avatars that include their first initial in the notifications panel. Google has also removed the option to cancel from the “Send message?” prompt, encouraging you to use the back button instead; and certain interface elements are now darker than before.
Gmail version 4.6 began rolling out via Google Play last week, so you should already have it if you’re on Android. If you don’t, expect to see it in the coming days.
Source: Android Police