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Gmail iOS app gets push notification, finally

At long last, Google has delivered push notification to its iOS app, addressing one major gripe among its users.

The Gmail iOS app.
The Gmail iOS app.
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

After a rough start, Google's Gmail app is finally trying to improve itself.

The latest update out yesterday adds long-awaited support for push notifications. That means iPhone and iPad users can receive a notice each time a new message hits their Gmail inbox.

Like other apps with Notification Center support, a new message can trigger an alert or a banner and also appear even if the screen is locked.

A couple of other enhancements grace the latest version, according to a Google blog post.

Users can configure Gmail to use an alternate send-as address instead of their Gmail address. And the app now offers a persistent login, meaning sessions don't expire unless you manually log out.

The Gmail iOS app landed in the App Store last November in a less than stellar debut. User reaction was decidedly negative. And Google had to quickly pull the app due to a technical bug. Even after the bug was squashed, users dinged the app for its lack of notification support and other limitations.

I still question the need for a dedicated Gmail app since users can easily set up their Gmail access as a regular iOS mail account. That's how I use the Gmail service on my iOS devices, and it's worked fine all these years.

But the latest changes show that Google is striving to enhance the app. So I may give it more of a shot at this point.

Google promises that it will continue to improve the app, with support for multiple accounts among the features slated for a future update.