Rumors of a new OAuth application programming interface for Gmail were reported in TechCrunch earlier this week, and now the first service using the tool is up and running. Email networking startup Etacts says it’s using the new API to let Gmail users track who they’ve emailed and receive occasional reminders to keep in touch.
Etacts, a startup incubated by Y Combinator, uses OAuth so that when you sign in to the service, you’re transferred to Gmail to log in — at no point are you giving your email password to Etacts. That lowers the security risk and hopefully makes people more wiling to try a new service.
This seems like a feature that would be useful for any other web services that want to access the email and contact information stored in Gmail, so we can expect other companies to follow Etacts’ lead.