Gmail for iPhone and iPad gets redesigned, adds multiple account support, more

Gmail for iPhone and iPad gets redesigned, adds multiple account support, more

Gmail for iPhone and iPad has been updated with a completely new design and, multiple account support, and more. This update comes only 5 months since Google's acquisition of Sparrow and it's pretty clear that the Sparrow guys have been hard at work with Gmail's new app. For the first time, I'm able to say that the official Gmail app for iPhone and iPad is really great.

The highlights of Gmail 2.0 for iPhone and iPad include the new beautiful interface with hidden sidebar, gestures, and the perfect amount of animations, the ability to easily attach photos and scribbles with a tap of the paperclip icon when creating emails, support for up to 5 accounts, push notifications, threaded conversations, and separate signatures for each account with the option to use the desktop signatures you've already created.

The search in Gmail is also more sophisticated with autocomplete predictions as you type and you can RSVP to Google Calendar invites and +1 and comment on Google+ posts directly from the Gmail app.

Navigating around the Gmail app is great experience. The team behind this new app took great care in making sure everything was perfectly polished. I have not experienced any lagging while scrolling, switching quickly between screens, searching, or anything. Honestly, I hope Apple and Jony Ive are taking notes, because the overall design of Gmail's app is much better than Apple's Mail app.

The good

  • Beautiful new interface with tasteful animations and gestures
  • Easily attach photos and scribbles when creating emails
  • Support for up to 5 accounts
  • Push notification support
  • Separate signatures for each account with option to use the desktop signatures you've already created
  • Sophisticated search with live predictions
  • Threaded conversations with profile pictures
  • Auto-complete contact names
  • Respond to Google Calendar invites
  • Read and respond to Google+ posts
  • Organize mail by archiving, labeling, starring, deleting and reporting spam
  • Universal for iPhone and iPad

The bad

  • No unified inbox

The conclusion

I'll admit, when I first got wind of a Gmail update for iOS, I was far from thrilled because of Google's track record with the Gmail app. Within moments of downloading it, I realized how very wrong I was. The official Gmail app for iPhone and iPad is now a great app and could very easily replace Apple's built-in mail app for some users.

Personally, I have more that just Gmail accounts, so I will not be using Gmail 2.0 as my go to mail app, but I do plan to use it when I know I'll be spending a significant amount of time in a particular Gmail account (like going through the huge amounts of app review requests I get each day).

What are your thoughts on the new Gmail app? Is anyone planning to replace Apple's built-in mail app on their home screen with Gmail's?

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Source: Gmail

Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at iosapps@imore.com

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There are 18 comments. Add yours.

stubbs says:

It still doesn't support notifications for labels! I filter a lot of things so that they skip the inbox, so that's a crucial feature for me and anyone else who does the same thing. Frustrating, Android got that feature back on Gingerbread, if I recall.

acwyau says:

Why not include the ability to attach files from Google Drive? That would make it the killer mail app I'm looking for.

WreakingHavoc says:

GoogleDrive and/or Dropbox would be great!
HTML is not working correctly, if you send a web address or email address as a test to yourself from the app and open it in that app the addresses are not actionable (HTML). Dates are not actionable either so you can't add them to Google Calendar.

isuquinndog says:

I thought Gmail app already had push notifications? I know it had badge updates because I was using them.

sleblanc1976 says:

It did have push before..

Alvaro Bernedo says:

Hi Leanna. What connexion speed you have? On the iPhone 4S this new Gmail app lags quite a bit, and on the iPhone 4 taps take at least a whole second and more to register. Contact autocomplete does not work well and stops midway. Overall, it still feels like an app wrapper around a web interface. Perhaps you don't feel it that way because of the power of the iPhone 5 or because of the speed of your connection? Love the design though..

iSpikeyBoy says:

Looks nice, but I sitll rather use the build-in Mail app. It still works just fine for me.

wormeyman says:

is this a native app or another app around a website? If i had to guess it appears native.

Dev from tipb says:

Only been using a short time, but this is a fantastic update -- it is great to see Google is not wasting the talent acquired in the Sparrow acquisition. As a Sparrow user, I wish the new gmail app had kept a few more of its gesture shortcuts, but it is loads better than the gmail app used to be.

I found myself using both Sparrow and Mail.app on my iPhone -- Sparrow when I was *really* doing email because its interface was so much nicer and Mail.app because its background privleges meant that the mail was there quicker if I just needed to jump in and out. Unless Apple allows 3rd party mail apps the same background abilities that Mail.app gets, I suspect I'll keep pairing Gmail/Mail.app in the same way.

david_fabian says:

The new design is very clean and fast. I second that Google Drive integration would be AMAZING, and it would mark the first time in iOS history that one could reply to an email with an attached file (not just a photo).

Also it seems the app doesn't show the signature as you compose, which is undesirable because sometimes you want to change or delete a signature before sending an email.

emjayess says:

"Honestly, I hope Apple and Jony Ive are taking notes, because the overall design of Gmail's app is much better than Apple's Mail app."

I agree because I'll never again use an app from the empire that's become, yes, "evil." No, google, you don't have access to my private info...

rbiro says:

The bad:
You still can't collapse lists of labels in the left column
You can't customize the email alert sound on a per account basis
You can't quickly tag labels by typing w/autocomplete
3 taps to switch accounts when you're at the inbox. 4 or more if you're in an email.

iArnie says:

All this app needs is the ability to chose notification sounds for each account.

rjc3000 says:

Limit of 5 accounts? The "+" button went away after I entered my 5th account.

JPiLLa says:

One for each alter ego or what? Geez, who has more than 5 gmail accounts and why??

johncblandii says:

Word is Sparrow squad had nothing to do with this. Don't recall the source but read that earlier.

TimeHorse says:

The new GMail app has a very nasty feature too. It parses all meetup.com messages and removes any RSVP option so you can't actually inform event hosts if your coming or not. Every message is treated as if you receive this message therefore you want to go. And thus the only option is to add it to your calendar. That's disgusting. What I want to be able to do, is to tell the Meetup event host whether I'm coming or not so that the event host can keep track of how many people are coming and get confirmations from people who cannot come. Subverting meet up in this way, as I say, is disgusting.