Google has yet to offer an official explanation for the widespread outages that hit Gmail, Drive, Chrome, and more of its products late this morning, but explanations are beginning to surface for a minor Internet plague that continues into the afternoon. So far, the company's App status dashboard has acknowledged the possibility of an "issue" on Gmail and Google Drive, providing no further information yet, nor saying anything about the reported (and probably related) Chrome crashes. Google's status website also claims that the issue has been resolved for Gmail and Drive users. A spokesperson didn't bring much clarity to the situation, either, giving the following official statement to TechCrunch's Romain Dillet. "We are currently experiencing an issue with some Google services. For everyone who is affected, we apologize for any inconvenience you may be experiencing."
From the nature of the problems, Dillet suspects an authentication issue. That might explain the Chrome crashes, for example. Some users suggest that synching the Google browser with their Gmail led to frustrating repeated crashes. One possible fix, then, includes unsynching your account with Chrome. If that works, this whole thing would seem to have something to do with authenticating, with Chrome going crazy over attempting to authenticate you as a user. Another factor pointing to an authentication malfunction is that Google's phone apps didn't work either, and they use IMAP to filter in mail. During other Gmail outages, phone apps have worked. Though it's possible something else went down. We're still waiting on an official post from Google giving more clarity to the issue, at which point we will update this post.