Gmail Launched April, 1 2004. The earliest email I have saved is 2/4/2005, and that was by far the first email I used on Gmail. I believe it was mid-to-late 2004 that I was first invited to use Gmail. I have tried to find out the exact date I started it and is seemingly very difficult to find that date. After a lot of forum threads, there are some people out there have saved every email every sent and suggested that I can look back to the first email to find out the exact date of creation. That wouldn’t work for me, I have used my Gmail exclusively for over 15 years; there is no way I could have saved every piece. 15GB is not even close to how large my mailbox would have to be for that type of use. I have sent Google a message requesting that information, but I’m not holding my breath, but it was by invite only, and it was in Gmail’s infant stage.
I have been a Google fanboy for over a decade and have watched them change over time. Before they moved and created Android OS, before all the extras services, when it was a simple and best search engine and just started in the email game. I remember when they came out with the iGoogle start page (who remembers start pages?), it was a personal web portal launched in May 2005. I used it for years, the calendar, email widget, word of the day, morbid de jure, weather, all kinds of good stuff, but then it was discontinued; unfortunately, it wasn’t replaced by anything. Over the years Google has released services such as Maps (Feb 2005), Calendar (April 2006), YouTube take over (2006), Google Voice (March 2009), Hangouts (May 2013), and many others that have come and gone. A nice compiled list can be found here. It’s virtually impossible to use the Internet and not know who Google is, but there was a day when there was no Google. We old school internet users had options like Web Crawler, Alta Vista, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, Lycos, and Excite. My personal favorites back when was Ask Jeeves, and Web Crawler. There are a couple new comers to the internet search like Duck, Duck, Go, Bing, and Yahoo is still around, but the market has been dominated by Google, and Chrome still holds market presents even on Apple devices.
It’s 16 years and counting, and I still use Gmail and Calendar for all my main communications and will use Voice and Hangouts until they remove those services. I have provided a service to Google via Local Guides with taking pictures of locations and providing details for others to use on Google Maps. I have over 1.6M views with just over 100 images, and many of those are the default image for the location, even with hundreds of others uploaded. I take those images very seriously and try to provide as much information in each image about the location, and other users have found them very useful. It’s been a personal goal of mine to give something back for all the years I have used their services for free, and until Google Maps stop using images, they should provide information to anyone who uses Maps.