By now you’re probably well aware that Google released their long-awaited Gmail iOS app today, only to unceremoniously yank it from the App Store when people pointed out that it didn’t really work. Google offered a mea culpa by stating that they have removed the app while they correct the problem, and that they’re working on a new version to be released soon.
Here’s a thought: just keep it. At least for a little while.
I’m sure this must sound a bit petty, but people have seriously been waiting years for a native Gmail app, and they must have been awfully disappointed today. Even if we set the broken push notifications aside for a moment, the app itself was still… shall we say, lackluster?
Several people pointed out on Twitter that the app was just a slightly-tweaked version of the Gmail mobile web view that we’ve had access to for years now. Sure, it had some welcome additions, like improved search functionality and the ability to star emails, but it’s still essentially the same old thing.
What gives, Google? I can almost forgive the notifications issue — we all make mistakes after all — but what’s with releasing an app that offers little (if any) improvement over what was already available?
Now, I’m sure that Google will fix the problem and issue an fixed version in due time, but what they should really do is put it back in the oven, and leave it in there until it’s better than done. I realize that in the grand scheme of things I’m a nobody, but here are a few things I think Google should fix since they’ve pulled the app anyway:
Or not. Like I said, I’m nobody and Google is, well… Google. Here’s hoping that the next version of the Gmail app (whenever it happens to go live) manages to erase the bitter taste that this release has left in my mouth.