A week or two ago Google made everyone jump for joy when rumors surfaced that a Gmail App was close to being released for the iPhone just to let them down with a bug that made the App unusable from launch. They immediately pulled the App from the App store and have been reworking it to get rid of the bug. a couple of days ago they released the "fixed" version, fulfilling what we've all been asking for since the launch of the iPhone; push for Gmail. I have been using the App non stop with my Gmail account for two days now, and I am happy to report that they have done a pretty good job.
The iOS Gmail App is very similar to the web version of Gmail so it will feel very similar to those of you who use the web version. Opening the App displays the first 20 messages in your inbox, with a "show more messages" button at the bottom to display more. New messages have bold text, while read messages are a light grey. Just like on the web version of Gmail, there are check boxes next to each message allowing the user to select multiple messages for different actions ( deleting, moving to a folder, etc.).
A left to right swipe, or a tap of the menu button displays familiar folders, filters, and menus. Any folders that you may have created under your Gmail web interface will appear within this menu. Drilling down into the folders and sorting your content is easy and intuitive with this App.
Searching your content is simple with a tap of the hourglass in the top right corner. This icon is directly to the left of the new mail icon in the right corner. One notable function of this App is the attachment of items to mail. Unlike the native mail App on both the iPhone and the iPad, to attach an item to a Gmail email you must click the paperclip icon within a message. This will allow you to email that item (photo, pdf etc.).
If there is one thing that I wanted this App for over anything else, it is PUSH messages. I know that there has been a hack out there using enterprise server to get Push for Gmail on the iPhone, but this is truly an integrated, working package. The Push works really well. I did a few tests and messages seem to come through faster on my iPhone than they do on my web account. Push is the biggest plus side of this App in my opinion
Something I'd Like To See
If there is one thing that I really, really want to see, it's support for multiple accounts. I currently have three Gmail accounts, so I picked the one that I get the most incoming mail on to use with the Gmail App. Google Says that there are improvements and added features on the way, including multiple account support.
The Bottom Line
Besides the initial bug contained within the original release of the App, this is a great first offering. I really hope that they continue to build on this and offer multiple account support in the near future.
You can get Gmail for the iPhone and iPad from the iTunes store for free here: