The Pros and Cons of Switching to Google's New iPhone App

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Update 5:12 p.m.: Due to bugs and outrage, Google has pulled the app to fix the problem, @Gmail tweeted

Alongside Google's Reader and Gmail renovations, Google has finally introduced a native iPhone App. The iPhone already comes with a nifty mail feature, which runs Gmail (or any mail client) through its app. But it doesn't have all the Gmail features some know and love. Yet, Google's a bit late to the app game, how does Google think it's going to convince people to switch from the old, familiar email client? 

Reasons for Switching

Push notifications Gmailers couldn't set up those little pop up notifications or sounds when routing Gmail through the iPhone Ap, as TechCrunch's MG Siegler noted on his personal site Paris Lemon. "Perhaps the biggest issue with using Gmail through the iPhone’s native mail client is that Gmail is not Push-enabled," he wrote. "Yes, you can hack it to work through Exchange, but then you lose other functionality, such as the ability to star messages via flags." The Gmail app incorporates that missing aspect, with alerts for new messages. 

Organization The Apple app has a very simple interface, showing emails in a chronological list having separate screens for all the different inboxes. Gmail's app looks and works like Gmail.  It has priority inbox and users can view labels without ever leaving the inbox. The organization of the actual email threads are easier to read, too. Instead of having to look through each email on a thread separately, Gmail shows the entire thread. It also has some other appreciated Gmail features like, starring and quick archiving and deleting. 

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Access to Contacts Apple's client remembers an email address once it has been used. Otherwise, you have to take the time to look up and completely type out your grandmother's non-sensical email address. The Google app has access to all stored email addresses. 

Reasons to Stay Put

Bugs It already looks like Google's app isn't working the way it's supposed to. Push notifications and badges apparently aren't working, explains Business Insider's Ellis Hamburger. And TechCrunch's Sarah Perez says it doesn't launch properly. If previous Google apps are any indication of things to come, we can expect even more bugs. 

Clutter It looks exactly like Gmail does on the Interwebs. There's a lot going on there -- it's not exactly phone friendly. 

Inertia Those already using Apple's mail, know it's easy and it works without kinks. As with any app, Gmail's might be buggy. Why take the effort to switch over? Those who really wanted Gmail on their phones probably already switched over to a non-Google made application -- this isn't much different. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.