Personal data lovers rejoice! Google on Tuesday promoted a new product that gives Gmail users a much more granular look at their account activity.
Called Gmail Meter, the new product is actually a script designed by a third party developer that allows users to receive a monthly email detailing nuanced Gmail statistics, such as average time it takes to reply to emails, a timeline of when emails are sent and received over the day and word counts of emails sent and received.
While the product appears to be designed for the intense personal data management types such as Stephen Wolfram of Wolfram Alpha, the new script also received mild applause from tech writers. Watch the new product in action here:
And yet, one thing Google still hasn’t provided further information on is the brief but significant Gmail outage that occurred for many users in the middle of the day Tuesday.
Those users made their displeasure known, taking to Twitter to complain about the downtime and lost productivity.
By 1:46 p.m. ET, Google had posted an update on its Gmail status page stating that: “The problem with Google Mail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”
Later in the evening, Google added another note:
We’ve determined that this issue affected less than 10% of the Google Mail users who attempted to access their accounts during the affected timeframe. While we have resolved this issue with Google Mail, it’s possible that some users may experience message delays because affected accounts weren’t available to receive messages. The messages will be successfully delivered after account access is restored.
Though Google had stated it would provide “more information about this problem,” it hasn’t yet, and a Google spokesperson only provided the boilerplate response to TPM: “We’ve implemented a fix and users should now be able to access their mail. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Google had previously boasted of Gmail’s reliability, stating that the service enjoyed 99.984 percent uptime throughout all of 2010 and 99.99 percent uptime for 2011.
Several firms that monitor website uptime and downtime told TPM that it was difficult to say what could’ve caused the outage without Google providing more information.
Email uptime figures are no joke: The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency in September 2011 launched in investigation Microsoft for potentially deceptive advertising after the company guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime for users of its Office 365 suite of cloud software, while users complained of being left without service for hours. No conclusion has yet been reached.