Just about a month after acquiring the popular iPhone email client reMail, Google and the reMail team have decided to open source the application's code. While current reMail users were able to use the app, Google decided to pull the application from the App Store after the acquisition. Given that the reMail team was joining Google to work on projects unrelated to reMail, this looks like a smart move. The source code is already available on Google Code under the Apache 2.0 License.

When Google acquired reMail, we noted that this was a rather strange acquisition for Google, given that reMail is a native iPhone app and that Google is moving away from native apps. If anything, today's move towards open-sourcing the application clearly shows that Google acquired reMail for the team behind it and not for the application or the technology behind the app (which makes it easier for iPhone users to search their emails).

Open Source and the iPhone

As reMail's Gabor Cselle notes in his blog post today, open-sourcing this app will hopefully allow other developers to take some of the app's core features (handling IMAP, attachments etc.) and use it for their own ideas without having to reinvent the wheel. If You are interested in getting in touch with Cselle about using the source code, head over to the reMail Google Group.

Currently, there are only a few open source iPhone applications on the market. The most well-known open source iPhone project is probably the WordPress iPhone app.