Gmail App For iOS Released With Bugs, Nearly Universal Disappointment

    November 2, 2011
    Josh Wolford

Today, Google released their highly-anticipated native Gmail app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. According to the official Gmail blog, the app “combines your favorite features from Gmail mobile web app and iOS into one app so you can be more productive on the go.”

Except apparently, it didn’t really work.

And that’s why Google has yanked the app from the Apple store, only hours after its launch:

The iOS app we launched today contained a bug with notifications. We have pulled the app to fix the problem. Sorry we messed up. 8 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

Many users reported errors upon launching the app. Sarah Perez of Tech Crunch writes that it is “unusable.”

“It doesn’t even launch properly, displaying an error message upon startup.”

Not only did it fail to launch on many occasions, but one of it’s key features is failed right out of the gate: push notifications. One of the biggest reasons that a Gmail user would want a native iOS app is for these push notifications, which aren’t available when running Gmail from the web or from Apple’s native Gmail client.

Even without the bugs, users are complaining that it was poorly designed, with little added features to make it a competitive email option. For one, there is no way to manage multiple accounts with the new app.

Here is some Twitter reaction to the app:

I have to admit, I’m near tears at how bad this gmail app is. is it okay to cry? 1 hour ago via TweetDeck · powered by @socialditto

Stack Overflow says that error on launch of the Gmail app means push notifications weren’t enabled when it was code-signed. Whoops! 26 minutes ago via Twitter for Mac · powered by @socialditto

Gmail app… Very disappointing. Not because of the implementation technology. Because of the poor user experience. Hope for improvements. 15 minutes ago via Twitterrific · powered by @socialditto

come on google you’re better than that..hard to read new gmail interface and gmail app for iphone is unusable..get your team together Larry 16 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto

I’m shocked – SHOCKED – that Google was unable to launch an unbroken iOS app. 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto

This is a pretty big screwup for Google. Having to pull the app amid such negative feedback is rather embarrassing – especially given what the app was. People have wanted a native Gmail client on iOS for years. And this is not the launch they had envisioned.