UPDATE: Read about Gmail 2.0 – faster, cleaner, and better on iOS.
If you’ve been waiting for a Gmail iPhone app, today’s your lucky day. Available right now in the App Store, Google has released a Gmail app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad! While Apple’s native Mail app is great, it lacks support for some of Gmail’s best features, like the ability to send mail from another email address.
Does the Gmail app have a leg up over the native Mail app? It offers some improvements, but a lot of features are still missing.
Gmail for iOS looks a lot like the mobile site. Oh wait – it is the mobile site! The only difference is a black navigation bar instead of the web blue. Think of this release as a placeholder for what’s to come. Google is the type of company that releases half-baked products only to reiterate and improve it over time.
Despite how disappointing this release is, there are two noticeable differences between Gmail and the native Mail app. You can search your entire inbox and attach photos without leaving the app. No extra steps necessary for everyday actions, unlike Mail.
Why It’s Worth Switching To Gmail for iOS
Gmail gives you full access to your Gmail contacts without adding them to your iPhone. For those that have hundreds of business contacts they don’t want in their phone book, this is a huge timesaver. The Mail app can only access the contacts you type in and what’s already saved in your contacts. Gmail also features the priority box and the option to star emails.
Lastly, Google finally updated the app to include replying from email addresses connected to your Gmail account. While Mail can do the same, Gmail for iOS simplifies this process for users. Wasn’t that supposed to be Apple’s job?