When Google first released their native Gmail app for iOS, it was just a total mess: an HTML5 web app that not only had less innate functionality than loading up Gmail in Mobile Safari, but couldn’t even do its one selling point — push notifications — right. Heck, it even gave error messages at boot. Iit was so bad Gmail pulled the app within hours of release.
A little while later, Google released an updated version that fixed everything wrong with the old Gmail app, but it was still a total snoozer of an app. But today’s update to Gmail for iOS actually brings some cool new features to the table that might persuade some folks to switch from Mail.app.
What’s new? Well, first of all, custom signatures can now be chosen, and vacation responders can be set up to reply to emails automatically when you’re away from the office. In addition, if you’re using iOS 5, Gmail gets a new notification sound for incoming messages.
The biggest new feature, though, is one called Scribbles, which allows you to draw a sketch in an email using a bunch of simple drawing tools like colors and brushes. Good for signing a document quickly, or just drawing a cute picture for your sweetie.
Coming soon? Multiple login support, banner notifications and a swank new Send As feature.
Personally, I’m glad to know that Gmail for iOS is a work-in-progress and that Google’s committed to adding new functionality to the app. I practically live in Gmail, and I do use a lot of its more advanced features like labeling, multiple signature and account support, and so on. A Gmail app that matches the functionality of the desktop version would get me switch from Mail on my iPad once and for all.