According to sources speaking with TechCrunch columnist MG Seigler, Google has indeed been working on, and even submitted, a native app for Gmail. And oh yeah, it's pretty cool.
Despite Google's pretty great UI for Web-based Gmail on iOS, the native app has been a unicorn of sorts in the iOS community since the announcement that third-party apps could be written for the iPhone and subsequently the iPad. Seigler writes:
"At first, the talk was that Apple wasn't going to allow another mail app on their device. Then it was that Google was simply focusing on the mobile Web (they've had a pretty good mobile Web version of Gmail for a while). Then it was the strained (to put it mildly) relationship between Google and Apple. Still, other Google iPhone apps came. But never a Gmail one."
As Seigler goes on to point out, the big deal with having a native Gmail app, as opposed to the Web app version, is Push Notifications. Getting that little bubble, banner, and/or sound on your iPhone or iPad is huge. And now, with iOS 5's notification center, it's even bigger.
Seigler notes that Google had no comment when pressed about the issue. Despite the silence on Google's end, if Seigler's sources turn out to be accurate, a Gmail app could be available on iOS very soon.
Are you excited for a native Gmail app? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!