Gmail for Android
has been ad-free up to this point, but it appears as though that’s changing. In an APK
teardown of the latest version of Gmail
(4.6), Artem Russakovskii of the Android Police
noted that there are chunks of code that point strongly to ads.
(click to enlarge)
One bit of code appears to allow users to save ads as messages, so if you see something you like, you can essentially save it to your inbox and chew on it later. If not, you can dismiss it. This feature would make sense if, for example, you get ads for sales at your favorite retail stores and want to pull up the promotion when you’re out shopping.
Save ads as messages, ad library (Credit: Android Police)
There is also a whole new library just for ads as well as eight classes of ad presentation and a little icon (an exclamation point within a circle) called ic_ad_info.png
that will likely be displayed on ads, ostensibly to differentiate them.
Ad classes (Credit: Android Police)
Ads in your email service can certainly be annoying, but if it keeps Gmail free and functioning at a high level, it’s hard to complain too much. At the very least, it would seem that Google is implementing them in Gmail for Android with a lot of forethought instead of just ham-fistedly foisting them upon users.