Updated Gmail was widely unavailable today to users on both the west and the east coast of the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, and elsewhere. The outage affected "a majority" of Gmail users, and even Google was unable to access its own web-based email service.
But the service was still able to route mail via POP and IMAP. And web-access has now been restored. It appears the service was unavailable for about an hour and a half.
Google first reported the problem at 12:53pm Pacific time. And at 2:37pm Pacific, a blog update from the company read: "We've fixed the issue, and Gmail should be back up and running as usual. We're still investigating the root cause of this outage, and we'll share more information soon. Thanks for bearing with us."
"We know many of you are having trouble accessing Gmail right now - we are too, and we definitely feel your pain," the post reads. "We don't usually post about minor issues here (the Apps status dashboard and the Gmail Help Center are usually where this kind of information goes). Because this is impacting so many of you, we wanted to let you know we're currently looking into the issue and hope to have more info to share here shortly."
The post then points out that users already using POP or IMAP to get their mail were unaffected.
At 1:35pm West Coast time, Reg staffers in San Francisco, New York, London, and Edinburgh were unable to access the service. Reg readers in Canada and New Zealand reported similar outages. And countless users on Facebook and Twitters were complaining of similar issues.
When we phoned Google requesting comment, a spokesperson referred us to the above blog post. An email went unanswered. For obvious reasons.
Google first reported the issue via its Google Apps Status dashboard at 12:53pm Pacific. "We're aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail," it said. And the company later said that its Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook service was also unavailable. ®
Update: This story originally indicated that the outage may have been longer for some users. But it appears that this particular outage lasted for about an hour and a half.