The Gmail app for the Apple iPhone and iPad has received a significant update, one that focuses on making email conversations a bit more secure and private. Gmail users can now choose to not have images inside a mail load automatically when they are accessing their emails using the Gmail app on the iPhone or iPad. Toggling this setting on within the app will allow Gmail to block any images in incoming emails, including the invisible trackers that images usually come with and reduce the risk of malware that is often attached with images in mails. This setting right now is only available for personal Gmail accounts, and not for the enterprise ones managed via the G Suite.
The Gmail update is now available on the Apple App Store. "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," explains the change log on the Apple App Store. Basically, this option should show up in the settings menu within the Gmail app, after you have downloaded and installed the update on your iPhone and iPad.
Gmail offered the image blocking feature on the web for a while now, but it was easy for users to not realise immediately that their iPhone and iPad app wasn't restricting automatic loading of images, by default. The risk with automatic image loading in mails is that if someone attaches a malware with the image, that piece of malicious software also gets downloaded on the device, which can then potentially cause havoc with your data.
Google's Gmail service completed 15 years in April this year, and now has more than 1.5 billion active users, which makes this the most popular email platform.