Gmail for iOS vs. Gmail for Android

Phil from Android Central put the brand new (and currently pulled for bug fixes) Gmail for iPhone and iPad app on an iPhone 4 and iPad 2 running iOS 5 against the Gmail app on a Samsung Nexus S running Gingerbread and a Galaxy Tab 10.1 running Honeycomb.

It's easy to see Google took the easy way out with Gmail for iOS, going for a tragically thin native wrapper around the similar-old web content. Maybe they're still limited by the iOS SDK, maybe they want to keep Android as the premiere Gmail experience (and who could blame them?), maybe it's a hormone thing, or maybe they just want to prove Facebook isn't the only rich, powerful web company that can't release a stable iOS app, who knows?

Hopefully Google takes this as an opportunity to learn and gives their massive iPhone and iPad wielding user base a new Gmail app worthy of the name. And of Google.

Source: Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Gmail for iOS vs. Gmail for Android


lmbo. Phil is silly: "iPhone...slowwwwwwww." lol.
What's funny is I find several apps doing the "wrap" thing on Android. It feels lazy to me [looking at you ESPN FFL '11]. I don't get it when they could go "native" with PhoneGap, Titanium, etc. while still harnessing their web skills. It does change their time to market though, I'm sure.

Doesn't sound like he's joking. iOS runs about everything pretty flippin fast. Thee fact that Google had to pull the app on the release date to fix bugs just shows how little care they put into developing apps for non-google platforms.

You have to get to know him a bit better. Watch other videos/podcasts.
It did have a low signal, it seemed, and took forever but he's not blinded by some love for Android. AndroidCentral is usually pretty low on the bias side of things.

@Deontre Lawrence Hayes
Not by any means. Listen to the whole thing. He states where he likes iOS better, etc. That is not usually seen around these parts.
Should I use my spanish translation? Would that help?
Mi nombre es Juan Suave. ;-)

He's definitely not joking. That's why he explicitly stated "I'm using an iPhone 4, but it's on iOS 5."

I'll make a you a deal. You email him and ask him if he thought the app was slow because of the OS or because of the app. If he confirms that he thought the app was slow (and not that the OS caused the app to be slow), I will apologize to you.

Google pulled it due to a push notification bug (they did not have their production certs in order). It will be returned when they fix it and get through App Store process.

To give Google the benefit of the doubt, it might not be SDK limitations or a desire to elevate Android, but rather that Google does not want to put themselves in a position where advancement of a popular product (Gmail) is beholden to a competitor's App Store approval process, especially when that process has hamstrung them in the past with Google Voice. A web shim app gives Google the flexibility to make some changes without having to go through approval.
I'm not sure that flexibility is worth it in this particular case, but I could understand if that was Google's rationale.

android vs iOS there is no comparison.... its like comparing apples to dog s*** literally. Apple takes all the apples on this one phil

Wow. I didn't know you felt so strongly about Android apples.
"android vs iOS = apples to dog s***"
First time I've seen someone on this blog downplay Apple's design skills.

Y'all are way too serious. I highly doubt he was serious. He gets connection speeds, etc.
I'm not his advocate by any means but good Lord! Loosen up a bit.

If it were some random person, I'd say the same things. I don't even know Phil. I actually have talked to Rene WAYYYY more than I have Phil [which is 0]. :)

If it were some random person, I'd say the same things. I don't even know Phil. I actually have talked to Rene WAYYYY more than I have Phil [which is 0]. :)

Seriously? I use a Macbook Pro and my phone is a Galaxy S II. Replaced an iPhone with it. I've used Gmail since it was in beta. On the Mac, on the iPhone. Do we really have to take the Democrat/Republican route here? There are more than enough gadgets (and apps) to go around for everyone. Pick your poison.