Gmail native app reportedly coming to the iPhone. Can Apple and Google play nice?

Nov 1, 2011
Tech

While iPhone owners have long enjoyed (or become frustrated with) a slew of Google developed applications including Search, Earth and Voice to name a few, there is curiously no native app for Gmail. It looks like that is about to change! TechCrunch columnist and newbie venture capitalist MG Siegler is reporting that a Gmail iPhone […]

While iPhone owners have long enjoyed (or become frustrated with) a slew of Google developed applications including Search, Earth and Voice to name a few, there is curiously no native app for Gmail.

It looks like that is about to change!

TechCrunch columnist and newbie venture capitalist MG Siegler is reporting that a Gmail iPhone app is on its way. To date, Gmail owners have lived with accessing email through the iPhone’s native Mail app or other workarounds.

“Perhaps the biggest issue with using Gmail through the iPhone’s native mail client is that Gmail is not Push-enabled,” Siegler aruged in his parislemon blog “Yes, you can hack it to work through Exchange, but then you lose other functionality, such as the ability to star messages via flags…. Well the real big deal is Push Notifications. Finally.”

In addition to Push Notifications, other features of the official Gmail iPhone app—which may have already been submitted to Apple—potentially include:

  • Priority inbox
  • The ability to star messages with only one click
  • Improved email search
  • Better threading
  • Contact icons
  • Integration of Google+ features

But will Gmail ultimately be in the hands of iPhone users?

Assuming Siegler’s reporting is accurate and Google has indeed submitted a Gmail app for approval, the big wildcard question is whether or not Apple will ultimately release and promote it in the App Store.

The increasingly hot war between Apple and Google was further flamed last month when it was revealed in the “Steve Jobs” biography that Apple’s recently fallen founder was willing to “Go Thermonuclear War” on Google for what he deemed to be the “Grand Theft” of taking intellectual property from his company and applying it to its own devices and services.

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Whether an approval of the official Gmail app is a sign of thawing between the two companies or just a pragmatic realization that in many ways Apple and Google need to co-exist, we don’t just know.

For starters, let’s see the app in action. Once released, consumers—particularly those who are addicted to both their iPhones and the power of Gmail—ultimately win.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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