updated 10:30 pm EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
Gmail for iPhone may finally be imminent
Google may answer one of longer-lasting complaints about Gmail on the iPhone by releasing a native Gmail app, multiple insiders claimed Monday. The app is described by CrunchFund partner MG Siegler's contacts as "fantastic" and taking advantage of push notifications. It will presumably include starring and may have recent but now established features like Priority Inbox sorting as well as possible improvements for contact IDs, a new threading layout, and much more in-depth searching.
The app may have already been submitted for approval. If cleared, it could be available soon.
Approval is a possible point of competition. Apple has often denied apps that "duplicate functionality" and is well-known for being more resistant to allowing certain Google apps than usual, such as its year-long Google Voice block that has been unofficially attributed to retaliation against Android. Apple has been more willing to allow similar but more specialized apps in recent months.
Adding a Gmail app might help close a gap with Android. As expected, its Gmail app is often considered a selling point for many who have accounts and want advantages such as push e-mail, labels, and filters. On iOS, Gmail users either have to setup a special Exchange sync account to get live mail and lose some features, limit a Gmail account to periodic checks, or use the HTML5 web app.