Google Launches Native Gmail App For iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Faces Instant Backlash

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Google is launching a new native Gmail application for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch today, which is now available in the iTunes App Store. As recently revealed by TechCrunch writer MG Siegler on his personal blog, one of the app’s most important features is its ability to do push notifications. The app will also include search, autocomplete, support for attachments, priority inbox access, labels and other standard email features like archiving, deleting and reporting spam.

For many, the new app should be an improvement over the already available Web-based application for Gmail because of its support for push notifications – something that the iPhone itself can’t do for Gmail without hacking it to work through Exchange. That alone may be reason to switch.

UPDATE: Ugh! According to early reviews (and tons of Twitter complaints), the push notifications feature is broken and the app doesn’t support multiple accounts. C’mon Google, get it together. 

Priority inbox is also accessible in the new app, as you can swipe to the right to reveal the list of folders in an interface that looks inspired by (copied from?) Facebook’s recent iPhone/iPad app update.

On the iPad, Gmail’s app includes a split pane view, like Apple’s own mail app, but with Gmail’s own take on threaded conversations:

Via Google’s official blog post, the complete list of features for the new app includes the following:

  • Get alerted to new messages with push notifications and sounds
  • Find an email in seconds with search across your entire inbox
  • Autocomplete email addresses from your Gmail contacts or select from your device’s address book
  • Upload photos with a click using the new attachment button in compose view
  • On iPad, navigate your inbox and read your mail simultaneously with split view
  • Focus on your important messages first with Priority Inbox
  • Quickly scan countless emails on the same subject with threaded conversations
  • Organize your mail by archiving, labeling, starring, deleting and reporting spam
  • Pull down your inbox to rapidly refresh if you’re eager for new mail
  • Swipe right to view your labels without ever leaving your inbox
  • Swiftly scroll through dozens of emails just by sliding your finger
The app is available here in iTunes and works on iOS4 and up.