Home Gmail for iOS Bug Fixed, But Key Features Still Missing

Gmail for iOS Bug Fixed, But Key Features Still Missing

The native Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users is back in the App Store. The app was first released on November 2, but it shipped with an unfortunate error that greeted new users with an incomprehensible error message. Shortly after releasing it, Google pulled the app from the store. The problem was caused by broken push notifications, and that bug has been fixed in today’s release. The update also improves handling of images in HTML messages.

Unfortunately, users’ more substantive concerns with the app have not been addressed. The Gmail team’s blog post says that multiple account support, improved notifications and mobile-specific signatures are coming, along with “many more” features. But for now, little has changed about the app that many panned as insufficient for a native Gmail app.

Just about the only feature the Gmail app handles better than the Web view is attachments. For most other purposes, the experience is the same, and in some cases, the mobile Web is actually better. While even the mobile Web Gmail supports multiple accounts, this native app does not. That’s strange, because the app is just a wrapper around the Web view. Users must choose which Gmail account to use for the app, and they have to back out to change accounts. For users who frequently manage multiple Gmail accounts, the mobile Web version is a much easier option.

The day the Gmail app first rolled out, popular Mac mail client Sparrow tweeted that an iPhone version of Sparrow would come “to the rescue” and give iPhone users “the Gmail experience [they] deserve.” We’ll just have to wait a few months.

Grab the Gmail app from the iTunes Store.

Does the Gmail app work for you, or do you need more features? Sound off in the comments.

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