Google releases, quickly recalls native iOS Gmail app
'Unfortunately, it contained a bug...'
Was it only yesterday that we told you that a native Gmail app was coming to iOS? Well, today it came – and today it left.
"Earlier today we launched a new Gmail app for iOS," Googler Matthew Izatt wrote in a Tuesday blog post. "Unfortunately, it contained a bug which broke notifications and caused users to see an error message when first opening the app. We've removed the app while we correct the problem, and we’re working to bring you a new version soon."
Don't bother clicking on the link to the new app listed in the blog post. As of Wednesday afternoon, Pacific time, if you do you'll see only this:
We can only assume that similar messages are provided in the UK, Oz, and elsewhere
The post contains a rundown of the app's features, which don't appear to be as nifty as iPhoners and iPadders may have hoped. For example, there doesn't appear to be a way to unify accounts into a single inbox.
That said, the app's search function appears to be an improvement over Apple's iOS 5 Mail, and some of the customization tools appear rather slick.
But we're judging those enhancements based only on screenshots provided on Google's blog, and not on our experience with the app itself. After all, it's not available.
Although, as Google points out, "Everyone who's already installed the app can continue to use it." That is, if you don't mind buggy push notifications.
Which web version?
Does it look like the old Web version of gmail or the new one?
If it's like the new one, then it severely sucks, automatically and without the slightest possibility of redemption.
In case you hadn't noticed, I don't like the new version of the web interface to gmail. And Google, if you're listening, 500 characters isn't enough for me to give in-depth feedback on the steaming pile of (bad word) that is the new gmail interface. Seriously, where did half my contact list go? Oh, I see, there's a mouse-hover-sensitive self-hiding scrollbar. Which numbskull thought that was a good idea?
Sorry, needed to vent. Fortunately at the moment you can turn the new interface back off.
Sloppy and lazy
Not only was it badly tested, but it was also sloppy, lazy and unpolished. To quote TheVerge:
"The app is basically just the Gmail web app with a wrapper around it and offline functionality, though it does have some nice tweaks like a left-side drawer that slides out to show labels and an easy way to attach photos from your camera roll. Of course, the bugs handily outnumber the features — you can't save an attachment from the app itself, it's often unresponsive, and the app doesn't yet index your device's address book. "
Personally I'd just stick with the native iOS client.
Google appear to be having a lot of misses nowadays. First the absolutely-awful Google Reader refresh, with its' bugs and poor design decisions, and then this?
Perhaps more money should be spent on QC.