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I logged into gmail using Microsoft Edge and Google immediately sent an email saying that my device doesn't have the latest Google apps.

How did Google come to know which apps I have installed and if they are latest or an older version? It would make sense if i was using the gmail app. But in my case, I logged in using the browser.

Or is it just a generic notification because I am accessing gmail via browser and Google assumes that I don't have the latest apps?

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  • Might be gmail on Edge versus using Chrome. Google wants to make sure you use their products.
    – user202027
    May 14 '18 at 20:37
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The login to Gmail is the very same you use for Play Store – so in fact Google knows it's you. The browser sends a user-agent string, by default identifying your device (brand and model). The history of your activities in Google Play Store tell which apps you've installed in what versions on this device.

So yes, that would be an easy thing to do for Google. I cannot say if that's really happening (or if your guess of not using the native app triggering such message is what's done) – but it's technically possible.

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  • Seems most appropriate than the other answers I have received. I don't like Google spying so much even when I use a browser.
    – singhnsk
    May 16 '18 at 4:54
  • That's the problem with all their products using the very same account – and what's often called "super profiling". I use Gmail only for Playstore notifications (receipts of bought apps and the occasional "security mail" when I logged in with a new device), nothing more. If someone sends me a mail from his/her Gmail account to my personal address, my mail server sends an auto-reply telling to please use a "less spying" mail provider and that I might not answer for mentioned reasons (I don't want all my communication scanned there) …
    – Izzy
    May 16 '18 at 6:03
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You've most likely received the notification since you accessed a Google Service (Gmail) through a non-Google Service (Microsoft Edge).

They probably assumed you bought a new Microsoft Device and sent out a default notification to remind you to install Chrome instead of relying on their competitor's browser. This happens to me on occasion when I log in to a new device at work, usually when it's been set up out of the box and I try to sync my Google Account.

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