Google is now offering IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) support for Gmail, so users can synchronise Gmail with email clients.

"It keeps the same information synced across all devices so that whatever you do in one place shows up everywhere else you might access your email," said David Murray, associate product manager, in a blog posting.

"For example, I can read an email in Gmail, then move it to the 'Starred' folder on my iPhone, then archive it by moving it to 'All Mail' in Thunderbird, then see all of those changes on my BlackBerry or any of [these] devices for that matter."

Previously, Google offered only POP (Post Office Protocol) access for Gmail, which meant if users made changes on other devices, those changes weren't seen in Gmail. Users had to re-read and re-sort all their emails. The IMAP feature means all emails will be stored on the server, so users can sync their data across a wide variety of devices.

Murray said that the actions users take will automatically sync with Gmail on the web and anything users do on the web will be seen on their phones or their email clients.

To use the new service, users should click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab in their Gmail Settings and turn it on.