Google adds image blocking on Gmail on iOS

By Xite - September 4, 2019
The latest update for the Gmail iOS app adds a ability to allow users to block external images in emails from being displayed automatically. The feature will also curb email tracking.

Google in a new update has image blocking feature in the iOS version of the Gmail app, which will prevent Gmail from automatically loading attached images that are generally found only on the web version of Gmail.

The new feature will allow iOS Gmail users block incoming images, including invisible email trackers hidden in the body of email messages, which tell senders when you opened the message. The move comes in response to a Superhuman controversy happened in July wherein former Twitter executive and designer Mike Davidson in a blog post claimed that Superhuman email service allows users to track the location of a recipient and the time when a message is opened.

Soon after Davidson’s blog post went viral, Superhuman decided to remove the read receipt feature by default and also removed the location tracking from its ervice entirely.

With the new update, iOS Gmail users can now decide whether they want the external images to be displayed in email. Gmail already has in-built protections that doesn’t allow mails to be tracked. The company does so by disabling an email sender’s ability to precisely locate a recipient via an IP address. Any mail coming in your Inbox is first routed to Google’s proxy servers making the location untraceable.

The automatic image loading feature was earlier restricted to the Gmail’s web version. But, now you’ll be able to turn this setting off on your iPhone or iPad. The setting is live for personal Gmail accounts, but is not available for G Suite users.

To enable the setting for the upcoming mail messages, go to Settings --> Specific Accounts --> Images and then select ask for displaying external images.

Earlier this week, the search giant announced to roll out a new feature for its G Suite users, which will show a notification to their contacts in Gmail and Hangouts chats when they are away for vacation.

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