Google finally released a native iOS Gmail client for the Apple iPhone and iPad late on Tuesday, then within hours withdrew it due to a bug in the notification system of the app. The much sought after release is meant to ease navigation of your Gmail account as well as add extra functionality not available with the iOS built-in email app.
After a wave of complaints by early adopters upon its release the search giant pulled the plug on the app, issuing a no nonsense reply through Twitter, "the iOS app we launched today contained a bug with notifications. We have pulled the app to fix the problem. Sorry we messed up."
In a slightly more detailed response, Matthew Izatt commented on the Official Gmail blog, "earlier today we launched a new Gmail app for iOS. 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. Everyone who’s already installed the app can continue to use it."
Those installing the app also quickly discovered the one account limitation, a frustrating surprise for those fully invested in Google's email service for personal and business use. Android's Gmail app and the browser versions do carry support for multiple accounts.
Cnet commented that the client was a big step up from Apple's default client in a number of ways, being easier to star and label incoming messages, and simpler to attach pictures to emails. It felt "choppy" though, and the UI lacked the same panache Apple users have come to expect from apps. For general usage, iOS' default client seems to still offer a smoother experience despite its shortcomings.
On Tuesday Google also unveiled Gmail's new look. The revamped Gmail brings a fresh face to the popular email service, among its highlights there's elastic density, a feature that dynamically expands or contracts the interface according to the size of the browser window.