One Definite Advantage Of The Pre Over The iPhone: Push Gmail

palm-preGoogle has a post today on its blog outlining how many of its applications are built right into the Palm Pre’s webOS. That’s hardly surprising given that it’s an OS built around the web technologies Google knows and loves: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. But buried in the post is a little nugget of information that is sure to enrage some iPhone owners: The Pre will support push Gmail from the get-go.

Push technology allows an email to come to your phone without the user having to specifically call up to the server to get it (known as “pull”). This means near instantaneous receipt of messages as opposed to your phone being set to check for new messages at set intervals, which is how Gmail configured through the iPhone’s mail client currently works. Push Gmail has been rumored for a little while. But now it looks like Google is ready to tout it.

Push email is a feature that made BlackBerry devices so popular back in the day, but now it’s on a number of phones — including the iPhone with MobileMe email and Yahoo Mail. But, despite users clamoring for push Gmail since the iPhone 2.0 software launched last year, it’s still not available. The Pre is able to do it because it supports the IMAP IDLE protocol, according to the post.

Push Gmail also not surprisingly works on Google Android phones. But there is no word on when it will be available on the iPhone other than some short messages in the past that Google was working on it. Considering the budding rivalry between the iPhone and the Pre, and Apple’s close ties to Google, I’m betting we’ll see it come soon to the iPhone as well. Who knows, we could even hear about it at WWDC on Monday — let’s hope.