Gmail for iOS Gains Setting for Automatically Blocking Images

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Apr 12, 2001
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Google today updated its Gmail app for iOS devices with a new image blocking setting for easier access to the option designed to prevent Gmail from automatically loading attached images.

Many email tracking clients use small, invisible images as a means of tracking when an email has been opened and viewed, allowing for invasive features like read receipts.


Gmail on the desktop has long had the setting that lets images be blocked by default, but now that setting is also accessible on iOS devices for personal Gmail accounts, so it's easier for those who primarily use iOS devices to activate it. From the release notes for the latest update of Gmail:
You can now choose to be asked before external images are displayed automatically. To enable this for new incoming messages, go to Settings > specific account > Images and select Ask before displaying external images.
As The Verge points out, this appears to be a response to a recent controversy with Superhuman, an email app that allowed users to track the location of a person who opened an email as well as what time of day the email was read.

Location tracking has been removed entirely and read receipts are off by default in Superhuman following public outcry, but the issue did raise awareness about tracking features in email apps, which may have prompted Google to expand the setting to iOS devices in addition to the web.

Gmail can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Gmail for iOS Gains Setting for Automatically Blocking Images
 

MisterSavage

macrumors 68000
Nov 10, 2018
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I just looked and mine is already set to ask before displaying external images. I didn't have to enable the new feature.
 

konqerror

macrumors 65816
Dec 31, 2013
1,328
2,258
I don't care, give me push support for Gmail account in the native Mail app!!!
Never gonna happen. Google can't show ads in the native app. It used to be possible with Exchange ActiveSync before Google disabled it. This feature is still available for paid Google Apps, so it's obviously a business decision.

What you get for relying on a free service.
 

heov

macrumors 6502
Aug 16, 2002
250
585
Haven't used iOS in a while... had no idea this feature didn't exist. Been on Android for years. Wonder why they didn't have it? Sometimes their iOS apps are better lol
 
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macfacts

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Oct 7, 2012
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Never gonna happen. Google can't show ads in the native app. It used to be possible with Exchange ActiveSync before Google disabled it. This feature is still available for paid Google Apps, so it's obviously a business decision.

What you get for relying on a free service.
I've never seen an ad in the Gmail app. Do you have a screenshot of one?
 

haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
5,065
2,618
Google used to support push mail through Microsoft Exchange but disabled it altogether in favour of its Gmail app.
 

BWhaler

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2003
2,865
2,955
But who will protect us from Google?

This is some Keyser Søze level stuff.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
They/their who? This article is about Google’s iOS mail app, and not about the Apple’s native mail app.
He knows the article isn't about Apple's mail app. He's wondering why Google didn't already have this feature in their iOS app. He's also stating that Google sometimes makes their iOS apps better than their Android counterparts... which is why he was wondering why Google's iOS app didn't already have the feature. To be fair, the excessive pronouns sans true context did make for a slightly perplexing read.
 
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macfacts

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Oct 7, 2012
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Right there in the app... took two clicks to pull up. Exact same format as the ads in the web interface.

View attachment 855959 View attachment 855960



Push means e-mails that come in instantly with no delay.
Edit: I looked it up and all you have to do is not use the categories tabs format.

Intresting. Why not use an iCloud email account? To get the full apple ecosystem experience. On my android device using the Gmail app, I've never seen ads.

 

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DoctorApple

macrumors member
Jul 18, 2017
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Gmail images are pre-loaded by Google’s server, which is a change they implemented a few years back to combat virus in mails. Because of this implementation, tracking pixels don’t get real user’s IP address (only Google’s) unless it’s clicked. The downside of this implementation is that one can’t individually block certain element from downloading because it’s all loaded from googleusercontent.com domain. If image loading is not blocked by default, as soon as one opens an email, the tracking service will know it’s been opened. I don’t use Gmail web or iOS client to open promotional emails for this reason because there’s no way to use my ad block which is enabled on a DNS level.
 
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NickName99

macrumors 6502a
Nov 8, 2018
502
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Google apps suck on iOS. They have interfaces that are inconsistent with iOS, and I don’t trust their privacy. I occasionally use Google Maps, when I can afford to let it drain my battery like it does, but that’s it.
 
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Compile 'em all

macrumors 601
Apr 6, 2005
4,106
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Rule of thumb if you care about privacy: never ever install a Google app on your devices unless you absolutely *must*. They collect an incredible amount of data from every app install and by seeing some of the screenshots in this thread, it looks like it is also poorly designed (Hamburger menu, really?).
 

jasonefmonk

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May 5, 2011
197
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Never gonna happen. Google can't show ads in the native app. It used to be possible with Exchange ActiveSync before Google disabled it. This feature is still available for paid Google Apps, so it's obviously a business decision.

What you get for relying on a free service.
I moved my email to a personal domain and had Exchange host it for me, getting push email back was one of the stronger reasons to make the change.
 
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one more

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2015
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Never gonna happen. Google can't show ads in the native app. It used to be possible with Exchange ActiveSync before Google disabled it. This feature is still available for paid Google Apps, so it's obviously a business decision.

What you get for relying on a free service.
Gmail app for iOS does not show any ads either, though.
[doublepost=1567591150][/doublepost]
Google apps suck on iOS. I occasionally use Google Maps, when I can afford to let it drain my battery like it does, but that’s it.
Gmail for iOS works great for me, reliably giving me instant notifications of incoming messages. Google Photos, too, is a great backup alternative to Apple iCloud Photo Library.
 

Jaekae

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2012
627
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I've never seen an ad in the Gmail app. Do you have a screenshot of one?
Its always 2 ads in the campaigns part of the inbox, that area where the app automatically puts enails that it think is for campaigns from newsletters and such