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I like it as a user, but I really think it's Google applying a "data monopoly" to my life.

The fact I use Gmail allows them to make Google maps and Google assistant better products than say bing maps and Cortana, because bing maps and Cortana could never get access to those reservation emails which make the whole thing work.

Such monopolies should be illegal - everything should be sharable via an API. Sadly those seem to have gone out of fashion with things like Cambridge Analytica.

Could a Gmail add-on not do something similar? Of course you'd need to give it access to your emails. You could also use outlook, which I'm sure does similar things, maybe not as well though.

Gmail add-ons pretty much don't exist anymore. The Gmail API has been locked down to people able to pay for a ~$100k security audit. The Facebook API is rather crippled too. API's used to let you share all your data, and act on your behalf, but now typically they do Auth and access already-public data.

I'm happy it's locked down. I don't want crappy apps accessing my emails

That's pure BS. You can still access those e-mails through SMTP.

For example, if I extract OGuth2 app information from Thunderbird, then I could theoretically make another user authenticate against Thunderbird's app and then ex-filtrate all of their Gmail data.

Gmail API is blocked for purely political reasons. E.G. real-time delivery of e-mails which is not accessible through non-Gmail clients.

Unfortunately when you let people develop on your data, you get what happened with FB and Cambridge Analytica. You saw how FB got into trouble for literally no fault of theirs? The data was literally accessed using a legit API.

To be fair the biggest issue with CA was the "Friends of friends" data.

Well, Facebook did participate in Obama's campaign, so "no fault of theirs" is quite distant from reality.

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