updated 06:29 am EDT, Mon September 30, 2013
Advertising to reach Android app in future version 4.6 update
Google could be adding advertisements to its Gmail app for Android in the future, bringing it in line with the browser-based equivalent which already displays marketing messages. An examination of the APK for version 4.6 of the app appears to show lines of code relating to the display and storage of advertisements, among a number of other feature updates.
The APK teardown by Android Police suggests that the advertisements could be saved to the inbox by the user for later viewing, and can also be dismissed. One function will even take users to their Google Account ad preferences page, where the kind of advertisements being shown or blocked can be altered.
Though references appears in the app's code for advertisements, Google could still opt to keep its users happy and steer clear of offering advertisements to the app for a while yet. Considering its install base of between 500 million and 1 billion, Google may be tempted to implement them sooner rather than later. It is also unclear if the same advertisements will be making their way to the iOS version of the Gmail app any time soon.
Other updates shown in the app teardown include a new warning for unsent messages sitting in the Sent folder, and notifications for new messages will show a colored icon with a letter if the sender doesn't have a profile picture, just as it appears in the current inbox.