Official iOS Gmail app arrives without push notifications gets pulled

first_imgThe official Gmail app for iOS that we told you about was released by Google today. It was an attractive, functional, and complete Gmail experience, aside from one major hole that made for an embarrassing initial launch. The otherwise nice Gmail app was released with broken notifications, and has already been pulled from the App Store:At an initial glance of the (former) App Store listing, you might have been led to believe that it would deliver full iOS notifications. The listing read “receive notification badges for new messages,” but it’s worth noting that this isn’t the same as full iOS 5 Notifications. That means, even when the bugs are fixed, there will be no notification banners or lock screen alerts. The only notice you’ll get is a badge on the icon for new messages. As these weren’t working in the botched launch, there was no way of testing whether they appeared instantly or not.In addition to the lack of push, the app also spurns any multiple account capabilities. On launching the app, you sign in with your Google account, and are given no options of adding a second. This could be seen as just as big of a drawback as the lack of push for some.Otherwise, the app is almost exactly like the Gmail web app (the Gmail that you get when accessed from a tablet user agent), with a little bit of a Facebook for iPad aesthetic thrown in. Both the “new Gmail” design and all of the expected functions (priority inbox, threaded conversations, starring, archiving, etc.) are here. You can even attach files, though it (unsurprisingly) appears to be limited to photos. The menu can be accessed by (obviously) pressing the Menu button, or by simply swiping the screen  over to the right.Some may not have too big of a problem with the lack of full iOS 5 notifications, but it’s a glaring omission nonetheless. The icon badge that Gmail will eventually offer is an improvement over Google’s web app. But even after Google’s app returns, users are probably best sticking to the tried and true Exchange method, which enables push in Apple’s Mail app.The following notification error was what prompted Google to pull the plug on the app after only an hour or so in the App Store. On logging in for the first time, a blue box box popped up, saying “no valid ‘aps-environment’ entitlement string found for application”:How could such a blatant error make it through Apple’s stringent app review process? Conspiracy theorists will say that Apple may have intentionally released it to make their rival look bad. That could very well be the case, but of course we have no specific evidence of that.We’re also left with the question of why full iOS 5 notifications got the shaft in the first place. This was almost certainly a decision on Apple’s part. I can’t imagine why Google would want to handicap their own app. Perhaps Apple only decided to allow a third-party email client on the condition that it didn’t have great notifications or multiple logins.When it returns, Gmail will be a universal iOS app, optimized for both iPhone (and iPod touch) and iPad. The iPad version doesn’t add anything that the iPhone version doesn’t, but it does take up the 9.7 inch screen nicely. You can check out a screenshot of the iPad version below, and try the app for yourself here after it returns to the App Store.last_img read more