Emails Are Finally Moving Forward in Development

Electronic E-mail.

The catalyst for speed.

The last remnant trail of the snail that when email was introduced in 1972 was largely ignored by the governments of the day.

The threat of a diminished postal revenue was too far into the future they said. It was too far away to allow one to focus on reality.

And then it was launched. Electronic mail worked and then they quietly said Why fix something that isn’t broken?’ So they didn’t update it. And it hasn’t had an update.


Routine is comfortable.

Routine means that layout in email is still controlled with HTML tables. Now, mention Flexbox support and you’ve been caught swearing. Could we use CSS Flexbox in emails? The answer was sadly, no.

But now, changes are afoot. Google, the provider of knowledge and workable workings, the supplier of some of the internet’s favourite email clients, after the proverbial spear pierced its awareness, announced a major update is over due.

Google enables responsive email design

Scared by a real threat that it might not remain The Dominating Figure, Google will now enable responsive email design. It’s taken 44 years, and when it occurs, the update is going to affect several distinct email clients who are all powered by Gmail, and who cover the web; the desktops, the Androids, and iOS. But what is actually being introduced has a double facet. Firstly, Gmail’s clients will now support CSS media queries and secondly, Gmail’s clients will now support external style sheets.

However, progress is not going to allow all media queries to be supported. Yet.

Google conferred with a variety of email engineers, and they have settled on three key media queries:

  • Width
  • Rotation
  • Resolution

These three components were chosen with their value in aiding responsive design in mind. As anticipated, Google has provided full support details in their Gmail documentation. And the enviable impact that media queries will inevitably have will be slightly overshadowed by another significant introduction; external style sheets. This means CSS styles are no longer required and will significantly reduce the size of the email.

Processional change has been nestling under the Google wings for decades, and its subtle kicks can no longer be ignored. Universal pressure is making Google’s wish-list an ‘In Your Face’ reality list that must be actioned. This means Google’s nose is no longer pressed hard up against a complacent window. In order for Google to retain the reign and prevail as the powers that be; the God that dominates the ethereal market place; it has no choice but to listen. Google is not some Blind Charlie who is drifting like a drone over the ether ticking off little boxes of would be if they could be alternatives. It is aware there are excellent options other than Gmail such as Polymail, and the rapid rise of Slack. These are the inevitable brain children of savvy, switched-on entrepreneurs which to Google’s astonishment has revolutionised business communication much quicker than they were expecting.

Google are not the first to adopt CSS media queries for their email clients, and they are aware there are still some significant email clients that do not support them. However, with a lack of support to Gmail and the ratio of frustration that is weaving a tapestry that will surely fray, it was being judged by many to be the last stellar stumbling block to responsive email design.

With Outlook, an over rated messaging app, that to be honest while it is lying prostrate in a silk lined coffin awaiting to be buried because Microsoft kind of forgot about it, there are people who having graduated from dial-up to broadband to ADSL are still browsing the web in IE6.

With all the newest available techniques that allow even the comprehending elderly to familiarise themselves as they use modern methods on the web, surely non-responsive email clients can use plain text. It is a sure-fire way to display an email consistently. While we’re all out and about embracing the opportunity to chase the elusive dollar from anywhere but the office, we’re opening emails on mobiles more often than we ever have on lap and desk tops. We’re no longer patiently drumming our fingers on desk surfaces waiting for the responsive update to Gmail clients to roll out worldwide by the end of the month.

Overdue updates. Changes can occur in a heart beat.

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