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Google fixes Gmail iOS app but users still critical

Company has rolled out an updated version of its Gmail iOS app after the first contained a major bug, but many users are still unhappy with the app's limitations.

Google's Gmail app is still getting shot down by unhappy users.
Google's Gmail app is still getting shot down by unhappy users.
Screenshot by CNET

Google's latest update to its Gmail iOS app fixes a glitch in the first version, but many users are still giving the app a collective thumbs-down over its limited functionality.

Released yesterday, the new 1.0.2 version of Gmail for iOS squashes the original bug that broke notifications and displayed an error message upon launch. The update also sizes images from HTML messages so that they properly fit the screen.

Users still running the original version are advised to uninstall or at least log out of it before installing the new version.

The app now launches smoothly without errors, and it displays a standard Gmail interface with folders and categories on the left and a list of each e-mail header on the right. iPad users can take advantage of the larger screen to view the categories, e-mail headers, and each selected e-mail all at the same time.

A glance at the app's page in the iTunes Store now reveals more positive ratings and comments than the original received. But a fair number of users remain highly critical.

Many are complaining about the limited notification functionality. The app does support badge notifications, which display the number of unread messages on the app's icon. It also supports sound notifications, which will alert you when a new e-mail pops up in your inbox. But there are no options to receive visual notifications, such as Banners or Alerts.

Others are dinging the app because it doesn't support multiple Gmail accounts, while some find the app too slow.

In general, though, users seem critical because the app still seems unnecessary.

Gmail iOS users can already fully access and manage their e-mail on the go using the mobile site or by setting up an account through the iOS Mail, Contacts, and Calendars feature on their mobile device. I access my Gmail account directly on my iPhone and iPad, and that option has always worked well. I can even set up the fully array of notifications, both audible and visual, which I can't do with the dedicated app.

In response, Google has acknowledged the feedback and the requests for features such as improved notifications and multiple accounts. In a blog post yesterday, the company said the new app is just getting started and promised to add the requested features and more in future updates.

The app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, and requires iOS 4.0 or higher.