Google releases universal iOS app for Gmail

Screenshot of Gmail on iOS

Long-rumored (read “talked about for two days”) and dreamt of, Google has officially released their iOS native app for Gmail.

Finally, iPhone and iPad users can enjoy the best of both worlds — the native Gmail experience of Android without the pesky memory management and persistent battery life problems of Android! Okay, so I exaggerate, but still. One of the things I miss most about my Samsung Galaxy S is the native Gmail push, and the ability to differentiate between archive and delete without the annoyances of playing with IMAP folders. I’m installing it, so I’ll have screenshots after the jump.

I got this lovely little welcome into the app, and Push doesn’t work at all now. I cleared the app state and restarted it, and it happened again. Strike one, Google. But, I dismissed it and it allowed me to sign in.

The first thing I noticed about the interface was its similarities between not only the Gmail web app, but the latest iteration of the Facebook application. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice it too.

The split view is mirrored on the iPad, which is nice. I do wish Mail on iPhone had a similar feel. The slide out menu is really slick.

I sent all these screenshots to myself using the app, and I must say, the ability to create an email and THEN add photos to it, without having to use the clipboard, is really nice, when compared to the iOS standard of the Share button on a photo and tapping Email. The send happens in the background, with a neat, clean notification of completion via a neat slide-up notification, similar to Chrome’s bottom status bar.

The app is wicked snappy, but I must say, if Push really is broken, then it’s kind of useless. I won’t be removing Gmail from Mail, Contacts and Calendars just yet, even though I recently migrated all my contacts and calendars to iCloud, because push email is still pretty important, but I’m excited to see Google working on this, and I’m more excited to see that Apple approved it. I don’t know if you all remember the fiasco Google encountered with Apple and the Google Voice iOS app, but it was pretty messy. Hopefully we don’t see the app getting pulled. That just wouldn’t be good for anyone.

Already got the app? Experiencing the same issues? Let us know. I’d love to know I’m not alone in my misery.

Update: Google has pulled the Gmail application to fix some bugs. According to the tweet from the gmail account: “The iOS app we launched today contained a bug with notifications. We have pulled the app to fix the problem. Sorry we messed up.”

Article and Image Credit: Official Gmail Blog

I'm a full-time web developer, part-time hacker and a closet Apple Fanboy. I switched from Windows about 5 years ago, and I only look back when distant relatives need tech support. If I don't have an Apple product on my… Full Bio