Google releases--then removes--native Gmail app for iOS
Hours after issuing a native Gmail application optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS platform, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) abruptly removed the messaging solution from Apple's App Store, citing software issues.
A native Gmail app comes to iOS devices.
A bug in Gmail for iOS triggered a notification error stating "no valid 'aps-environment' entitlement string found for application." Google quickly pulled the app from circulation: "We're working to bring you a new version soon," writes Gmail product manager Matthew Izatt on the Official Gmail Blog. "Everyone who's already installed the app can continue to use it." Izatt did not specify when Google plans to issue the updated app.
Google already offers native apps for devices running its own Android platform, as well as for Research in Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry users; iOS users could previously only access their Gmail via the native Mail app or through the Apple Safari Web browser.
"We've combined your favorite features from the Gmail mobile web app and iOS into one app so you can be more productive on the go. It's designed to be fast, efficient and take full advantage of the touchscreen and notification capabilities of your device," Google wrote in a blog post.
Chief among the benefits of the native app is the ability for users to enable Push notifications to alert them of new emails. In addition, the app allows users to archive, label, star, and delete messages on-the-go. It can also autcomplete contact names and send and receive attachments.
This decision marks an interesting move from the Google team, as by offering a native Gmail app, Google eliminates a reason to purchase Android over iOS.
Earlier this week, former TechCrunch writer MG Siegler wrote on his blog that multiple sources had informed him a native Gmail app was in the works.
"A killer Gmail experience is something that Android users have long been able to hold over the heads of us iPhone users. Not anymore," wrote Siegler.
The app is available now in the App Store for devices running iOS 4 or higher.
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