Google today updated its Gmail app for iOS devices with a new image blocking setting for easier access to the option designed to prevent Gmail from automatically loading attached images.

Many email tracking clients use small, invisible images as a means of tracking when an email has been opened and viewed, allowing for invasive features like read receipts.

gmail logo
Gmail on the desktop has long had the setting that lets images be blocked by default, but now that setting is also accessible on iOS devices for personal Gmail accounts, so it's easier for those who primarily use iOS devices to activate it. From the release notes for the latest update of Gmail:

You can now choose to be asked before external images are displayed automatically. To enable this for new incoming messages, go to Settings > specific account > Images and select Ask before displaying external images.

As The Verge points out, this appears to be a response to a recent controversy with Superhuman, an email app that allowed users to track the location of a person who opened an email as well as what time of day the email was read.

Location tracking has been removed entirely and read receipts are off by default in Superhuman following public outcry, but the issue did raise awareness about tracking features in email apps, which may have prompted Google to expand the setting to iOS devices in addition to the web.

Gmail can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Tags: Google, Gmail

Top Rated Comments

konqerror Avatar
58 months ago
I don't care, give me push support for Gmail account in the native Mail app!!!
Never gonna happen. Google can't show ads in the native app. It used to be possible with Exchange ActiveSync before Google disabled it. This feature is still available for paid Google Apps, so it's obviously a business decision.

What you get for relying on a free service.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rocketman80 Avatar
58 months ago
Where is the dark mode though ?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
58 months ago
They/their who? This article is about Google’s iOS mail app, and not about the Apple’s native mail app.
He knows the article isn't about Apple's mail app. He's wondering why Google didn't already have this feature in their iOS app. He's also stating that Google sometimes makes their iOS apps better than their Android counterparts... which is why he was wondering why Google's iOS app didn't already have the feature. To be fair, the excessive pronouns sans true context did make for a slightly perplexing read.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
58 months ago
Edit: I looked it up and all you have to do is not use the categories tabs format.

Intresting. Why not use an iCloud email account? To get the full apple ecosystem experience. On my android device using the Gmail app, I've never seen ads.
Same here. Never seen ads in GMail.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DoctorApple Avatar
58 months ago
Gmail images are pre-loaded by Google’s server, which is a change they implemented a few years back to combat virus in mails. Because of this implementation, tracking pixels don’t get real user’s IP address (only Google’s) unless it’s clicked. The downside of this implementation is that one can’t individually block certain element from downloading because it’s all loaded from googleusercontent.com domain. If image loading is not blocked by default, as soon as one opens an email, the tracking service will know it’s been opened. I don’t use Gmail web or iOS client to open promotional emails for this reason because there’s no way to use my ad block which is enabled on a DNS level.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfacts Avatar
58 months ago
Never gonna happen. Google can't show ads in the native app. It used to be possible with Exchange ActiveSync before Google disabled it. This feature is still available for paid Google Apps, so it's obviously a business decision.

What you get for relying on a free service.
I've never seen an ad in the Gmail app. Do you have a screenshot of one?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....