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Gmail app for iOS getting closer, report says

The search giant is said to be revving up a dedicated Gmail app that will run on Apple's iOS devices.

Google is readying a dedicated Gmail app for Apple's iOS, says TechCrunch columnist MG Siegler.

Separately, Google formally announced a new look for its Web-based Gmail service, one that introduces the spare look of other Google applications, a revamped search function and improved "density" of the tool's layout.

Citing "multiple sources," Siegler revealed the Gmail iOS app effort on his Parislemon tech blog yesterday. The sources say that the app has already been submitted to Apple for review and should be out soon, assuming it gets approved, which Siegler sees as likely.

If true, it would mean that iOS users would join their Android counterparts in gaining access to a dedicated Gmail app with some handy bells and whistles.

As Siegler points out, Google already offers a Gmail Web page for mobile device users. And of course, iOS users can also set Gmail accounts through the Mail, Contacts, and Calendars feature on their devices. But a full app would presumably offer a variety of useful features in one single package.

One such feature could be push notifications. Another potential feature would be a priority in-box. Siegler further speculated that the app could offer icons for your contacts, better conversation threading, a more robust search functionality, and even integration with Google+. Though a few of those options are already available either on the mobile page or through the iOS mail feature, a dedicated app could bundle them all together.

Siegler does point out that Google doesn't have a great track record with iOS apps, which he believes can be buggy and don't always look pretty. But his sources have told him that the new Gmail app is "pretty fantastic."

Google had no comment when Siegler contacted the search giant. The company also told CNET that it is not commenting.

Updated at 9:00 a.m. PT with response to CNET from Google.

Updated at 10:22 a.m. PT: Added paragraph on Google's revamp of the Web-based Gmail interface.