Gmail app returns to App Store, with Push Notifications | iLounge News


Gmail app returns to App Store, with Push Notifications

Google has re-released its official Gmail app for iOS devices as an updated version properly enabling push notifications. First released two weeks ago, the application presented a push notification error when starting up, causing Google to subsequently pull the application from the App Store and promise to release an updated version. Gmail 1.0.1 is otherwise identical to the prior version, except that users will now be prompted to enable Push Notifications when first opening the app and will be able to see badge counts and receive sound and vibration alerts when new mail is received. Gmail is available from the App Store as a free download.

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Not a bad first start. Missing quite a few features, including Notification Center style alerts. Currently it only does badges and sounds, which is rather disappointing. No ability to add a signature, multiple accounts, etc. Currently the only advantages this app has over the stock iOS app are a) push notifications for gmail (really missed that from my HTC EVO, but eh) and the ability to see how many unread messages are in a particular folder without having to actually open that folder. Other than that…stock iOS wins. For now.

Posted by Daniel S. in Toronto on November 16, 2011 at 6:37 PM (CST)


@1: You can already get push notifications to work with GMail in the native iOS Mail app.  All you have to do is set up your GMail account as if it were an Exchange account.

This also allows you to see a list of all your GMail folders, with an indication of how many new messages are in each (for the folders you’re pushing). You also get the benefit of syncing your GMail contacts to your device.

If you want instructions, PM me in the forums.

Posted by rockmyplimsoul in Toronto on November 16, 2011 at 9:14 PM (CST)


This was a truly disappointing piece of crap. In addition to crashing six different times before I deleted it, it offers nothing over the web version of the app other than notifications.

The chief problem: I do NOT want to see all my folders, I have more than 40 categories/subcategories of labels. I can hide them via the IMAP settings in the IOS app, I’m stuck at seeing all 40+ of them in alphabetical order with the Google app. You’d think the app could at least obey the folder settings you have set up through a full browser version of GMail, but that would make it competitive or something…

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on November 17, 2011 at 8:50 AM (CST)


@Code Monkey (#3): To be fair, there are a couple of other minor features that the native app offers:  The ability to attach photos from within the app, and improved web-view for complex HTML messages (no more side-scrolling) and native iOS Contacts support.

I’ve been using the web app for some time to actually organize my e-mail messages, while using the built-in Mail app to read them. The native Gmail app provides a better experience than leaving a web-clip on my home screen or suing one of the third-party “Gmail” browsers that are on the App Store.

As for the folders, the hiding is exclusively an IMAP feature—even with Google Sync (Exchange ActiveSync) you still get them all, which is what I"ve been using for the sake of getting actual real-time push notifications, and support for pushing secondary folders in particular; this has the benefit of ensuring that my last 30 days of Mail are on my device (via the “All Mail” pseudo-folder) regardless of whether i"ve manually synced it or not.  I’ve otherwise overcome the “seeing-every-label” issue by simply pushing my less-used labels into a nested “Z” folder so that it alphabetically sorts to the bottom of the list.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on November 17, 2011 at 9:15 AM (CST)


@4: Points taken, but I can’t justify leaving the crash-prone native app on my device for the infrequent times I have a burning need to either move a message to one of the hidden folders or retrieve a message from one of the hidden folders. A bookmark in Safari will suffice just fine in those cases.

I hope future versions will improve on things because I do all my email through GMail, and it’s disappointing that Apple’s “one size fits all” default app actually does a better job of handling it on iOS.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on November 17, 2011 at 9:29 AM (CST)


Unless I am missing something here, I cannot see the point in having the Gmail app, when you can simple add you Gmail account into the native mail app on the iPhone. Then from there, when you open the mail app all accounts in there are checked for new mail.

You can even setup Gmail on the iPhone’s native mail app as an Exchange account, so push works with this.

Posted by David T in Toronto on November 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM (CST)


“Unless I am missing something here, I cannot see the point in having the Gmail app”

Exactly. Had it offered the features and flexibility of the non-mobile browser GMail, then it would be the opposite, “I cannot see the point in using the built in Mail app”, but since it’s largely just their mobile web app made native (and unstable), meh.

Posted by Code Monkey in Toronto on November 17, 2011 at 4:59 PM (CST)

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