Gmail app updated to support Notification Center and more

Gmail Update

Google has updated its Gmail app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to include integration with iOS 5's Notification Center; this allows Gmail notifications to show up as banners, alerts and lock screen options. Google claims that notifications show up five times faster than previous versions of the app.

iOS 5 went into beta in June of 2011 and was released to the public in October of 2011. Many independent developers had full notification support at launch. Yet it took the biggest internet company in the world a year to bake this in?

Our team has been working hard to bring your most-requested features to the Gmail app for iOS.  Today, we’re excited to add three new improvements to that list of updates: full notification center support, the ability to send messages from your alternate email addresses and an improved login experience.

The other improvements are quite small, although if you like to send email from alternate sender addresses on the desktop version of Gmail, you can now do that from the app too. Gmail for iOS also supports persistent logins which means you can stay logged into your Gmail account as long as you like.

Google claims to be working on more updates for the app with more features to be added in future updates like support for multiple Gmail accounts.

Once again, however, we're left to ask -- how can tiny independent developer teams continue to code circles around the biggest, brightest, best funded corporations in history?

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Source: Official Gmail Blog


UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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There are 22 comments. Add yours.

HeyMikey says:

"how can tiny independent developer teams continue to code circles around the biggest, brightest, best funded corporations in history?"
Same thing with Facebook- Worst. App. Ever.

Bea says:

Be glad that they did it. How many years did it take Apple to do MMS and multitasking? And they STILL don't have text wrapping. Looks like Google is ahead of schedule.

firesign3000 says:

Is the GMail app any better than using the iOS I've never looked at the Gmail app by why would I want to use it instead, especially if I'm a freak and only have one Gmail account?

iArnie says:

The iOS mail app doesn't push Gmail. You have to fetch it at intervals you indicate, or fetch it manually. The Gmail pushes almost instantly. This alone is an excellent reason to get this free app.

Rene Ritchie says:

iOS Mail can do push Gmail just fine. Simply set it up as ActiveSync and you're good to go.

iHoov says:

Yes but if you do it this way, your deleted emails go into All Mail, like you have archived it instead of deleted it. This is a much better option for Gmail on the iPhone. Maybe Google was just doing what Apple does... Making sure they get the features right instead of right now. Give them a little credit for making Gmail look great on my iPhone and iPad. Neither Apple or Google are quick to release much needed updates.
I speak for myself but I am very satisfied with the Google team on this one.

Zer0 says:

You can actually fix this also now. Open up safari, go to and log into your gmail account. You will be able to manage devices there. Click on your iPhone/iPad you have the option to delete instead of archive there. You can also set up which calendars you want pushed to calendar app from this page as well.

DaveTheWave says:

I use my for work and keep my personal gMail out of it. It will be nice to get notifications with out having to jail break. Done that before. Also, the native app supports the gMail features I like to use.

johncblandii says:

I welcome multi-account support.
As to why it took so long, I can tell you 100% why: Agendas and Priorities. These two things that was considerably less prevalent with independent devs and allows them to be more fluid. There isn't a group of people arguing about what feature goes in when and how it will be implemented.
Consider copy/paste for iOS. It was a big hurrah but is copy/paste. Why a year to complete? Simply because of priorities.
If you ever work as a dev with a larger corporation, those are the two things you'll see without question on EVERY single project.

johncblandii says:

Oh and no, it does not excuse them from such tardiness and I only brought up Apple for a point of reference related to this blog.

Stan says:

How ironic. I just migrated from gmail to a more secure email provider yesterday. Gmail was the last thing to go in my post-Google life. I'm totally off Google and couldn't be happier.
BTW, gmail will push mail to your iPhone. It happens to work flawlessly too. Before the switch, I'de been using gmail with my iPhones for close to 4 years.

Guest says:

Curious...what would you consider more secure than ssl-only two factor authentication?

Donald says:

I think he's referring to google alleged scanning user's email to track and target them with ads. Google is first and foremost an advertising agency. That's where all their revenue comes from. So there might be something to that.

heberman says:

I LOVE gmail. However, I still don't see the point of a separate gmail app. The built-in iOS app lets me archive mail, search my "all mail" or "sent mail" folders, etc.
If it has a great new feature, I'll switch. But I don't see the point.

Guest says:

Labels and conversations.

veritas_vincit says:

Another good reason to have this app is separate alerts for my accounts. IOS doesn't allow different alert tones per account.

veritas_vincit says:

I can have 1 account in IOS and the other in gmail.

awil26 says:

I previously uninstalled this because the previouse version didnt offer push support. And the way USF has set up their google mail account, i have to also login to the school website to go to my mail (on top of logging in to google) and it doesnt seem to work using the native on my ipad. So i rather use safari if i wasnt getting push notifications .

Dev says:

A definite improvement, but I have since moved to Sparrow, and like it's interface much better than the official gmail client. If only Sparrow could use the push mechanism it had in beta, but Apple (unsurprisingly) rejected, it would be the perfect mobile client for gmail accounts.

larrymcj says:

The Gmail mobile app, as well as Sparrow, both have one thing missing that is keeping it from being adopted by many users and for the life of me I can't figure out why they don't fix it. User-configurable font size! Not everyone is near-sighted or 20 years old. Most of us can't read Arial font size 2 without a magnifying glass.

bgl321 says:

Tried this app before nad found it useless! I've gone back and forth with Gmail. The whole privacy thing, deleting vs. archiving, and just other annoyances. Granted it does work. However I've been using a Windows Live email for about a month now and am very happy with it. Reminders sync with iphone and just seems to run smoother with the iphone than Gmail and definetly has a nicer layout on the web, IMO.

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