Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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App Review: Gmail for iPhone


This is a million times better than the existing mail app on the iphone. Finally.

The pros:

  • Notifications when email comes in: I have previously used Blackberry and Android phones, so I got pretty used to having them tell me as soon as I got an email. I need this for work...things are time-sensitive. Who has to time to constantly open the mail app and recheck? Not me.
  • Threading like we're used to: Conversations look and feel the way they do in the browser. Enough said.
  • Left menu design: This left menu slide out tray is something I've been admiring in the new Facebook app. Glad to see Google embracing it since that's what gmail users are accustomed to seeing and using for navigation.
  • Compose: It's logical, and has all the links for attaching things. I have always despised the iOS mail app's lack of attachments. It's annoying to go find the photo/file first and then compose the email.

The cons:
  • Have to toggle between important/starred/rest of inbox: I adored the changes gmail made to help organize your inbox. Being able to see separate sections for each of these has really simplified my life and made sure I don't miss any more important messages. Unfortunately, in the app you have to open the left menu and toggle between these options. They aren't all laid out on one screen. This is a product of the limited real estate, so not really Google's fault, but still bugs me.
  • Labels display in an odd spot: Labels are inexplicably crammed in at the bottom left, after the message preview. Why aren't they displayed left side (before subject line) like in the browser? I find it a little harder to visually sort as I look through the list. It feels almost like an afterthought.
  • I really have 460 unread messages?: The last con is a bit of a personal one. I find it a bit annoying to see the red indicator showing me that I do indeed have 460 emails (spaced out throughout all the folders in my email) that are unread. Could we just limit this to my inbox? It's a bit overwhelming this way. Thanks.
What are your thoughts on the new Gmail app for iPhone? Share them in the comments section below.