Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gmail returns to App Store for iPhone

Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that the official Gmail app made a quick and fleeting appearance in the Apple iTunes App Store, before being unceremoniously yanked due to a serious bug.
Well, Gmail has finally returned. Hopefully, all those shocked people who greeted its original disappearance with the kind of ire usually reserved for criminal acts, will now be happy and rejoice.
In an official blog posting today, Matthew Izatt, Product Manager at Google revealed the happy news:
Two weeks ago, we introduced our Gmail app for iOS. Unfortunately it contained a bug which broke notifications and displayed an error message, so we removed it from the App Store. We've fixed the bug and notifications are now working, and the app is back in the App Store.
During the past couple of weeks apparently, the Google team solicited a lot of feedback and feature requests. By the sounds of things, the company hopes to offer additional functionality in future updates. "We're just getting started with the Gmail app for iOS and will be iterating rapidly to bring you more features," says Matthew Izatt.
The app hasn't been too positively received so far though. There's no support for multiple accounts, for example, and it certainly doesn't feel like the solid, dependable experience you get on Android smartphones and tablets.
But, at least it's critical-bug free now, and hopefully future updates will see better functionality and further improvements. After all, it took quite a few updates on the Android side of things to improve the app significantly. If you're really having a tough time with the iOS app, the native Mail app or the browser-based Gmail both still do a pretty decent job.
Reviews will start trickling into the iTunes App Store for version 1.02 soon, and Lifehacker have already dubbed it "still kind of crappy." For the previous version, ITunes user reviews were lukewarm at best. Sounds like Gmail is definitely a work in progress, but we're still pleased to see it back.

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