The idea for Gmail was pitched by Rajen Sheth during an interview with Google, and went on to be developed by Paul Buchheit several years before it was announced to the public. Initially the email client was available for use only by Google employees internally. Google announced Gmail to the public on April
On April Fools’ Day 2007, Google made fun of paper-based archiving by introducing “Gmail Paper”, where a user could click a button and Gmail would purportedly mail an ad-supported paper copy email archive for free.
On April Fools’ Day 2008, Google introduced a fake service, “Gmail Custom Time”, which claimed to allow a user to send up to ten emails per year with forged timestamps. The hoax stated that by bending spacetime on the Google servers, the emails actually get routed through the fourth dimension of time itself before reaching their intended recipient.
On April Fools’ Day 2009, Google introduced a service called Gmail Autopilot by CADIE. According to Google, the service purported to automatically read and respond to emails for the user. It appeared to work by analyzing messages for the emotions expressed in the message and either providing advice to the user or automatically responding to the message.
On April Fools’ Day 2011, Google introduced a service called Gmail Motion which allowed users to navigate emails, send and even dictate messages through the user’s physical actions using webcams. For example, to send an email, the user would perform the action of licking a stamp, and posting it. After the user signed up, they would be directed to an “April Fools'” message.
On April Fools’ Day 2012, Google introduced a service called Gmail Tap, an application for Android and iOS which claimed to double typing speed with a revolutionary new keyboard. The system involves a keyboard with three keys: Morse code “dash” and “dot”, and a spacebar (along with backspace). Shortly before midnight, on March 31, 2012 Gmail Tap was added, an Android Application utilizing Morse Code instead of the onscreen keyboard. Selecting Download App for Your Phone produced the message: “Oops! Gmail Tap is a bit too popular right now. We suggest you try downloading it again on April 2nd.”
On April Fools’ Day 2013, Google introduced a service known as Gmail Blue, where an application that would allow Gmail to have additional features and become totally blue colored.