Well, that was a big disappointment. Google just unveiled its first native Gmail application for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch this morning, and the app is a mess. It’s unusable. It doesn’t even launch properly, displaying an error message upon startup.
Within moments of the application becoming available in iTunes, Gmail users took to Twitter, posting complaints, screenshots and generally ranting about the sorry state of what could have been a much better Gmail experience.
One of the app’s most promising features was its support for push notifications. This is something that the iPhone can’t do for Gmail by default. Unfortunately, none of the features Google promised in its blog post are accessible, because, for many users, the app is stillborn. You can’t even log in. (See below screenshots).
Twitter reactions are harsh:
Apparently, not everyone thinks the app is bad news, however. And some have been able to load it:
After installation, here’s what the app looks like (thanks to screenshots from Twitter users across a number of different cellular providers):
The real question is here is how were these problems not caught during testing, either on Google’s part or Apple’s? (Conspiracy theory: Apple did catch the errors, but approved the app anyway).
Update: Google has now pulled the app, with a message stating:
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.