By George Edwards
One of the most difficult questions when creating a new product is how to ensure that the product has a chance to attract a large user base. The good news is that the big players in the technology market such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter let developers create applications that can access the existing user data through publicly available APIs. This means, for example, that every Twitter user is a prospective customer for a well-developed Twitter application.
One of the recent and still underutilized arrivals to the public API space is the Gmail API, which provides RESTful access to a user’s Inbox messages, Inbox configuration, message labels, and the ability to draft and send messages on a user’s behalf. With this toolkit, it would be possible to implement a full web-client that replicates all of Gmail functionality anew. This is not the purpose of the API, however, and the more interesting use cases should come from innovative new features:
- creative Inbox visualizations;
- helping people reduce email clutter (consider trying Unroll.me if you haven’t already);
- providing personalized analytics tools (who do you communicate with the most?);
- extracting important event details;
- putting reminders directly into an Inbox;
- and many others.
Accessing the Gmail API
The high-level process for accessing the Gmail API is depicted in […]