In the last few months, Google has released an update to their Gmail app. I’m pretty much an exclusive Gmail user these days, at least for my personal email. I normally configure the Mail app on my iPad to fetch my mail and it does a pretty good job of doing so. I decided to try the Gmail app for iPad since there are some limitations with the native mail app. The biggest limitation for me is that there isn’t a way to just see unread email. I’ve tried using search strings and looking in my all mail folder for email I haven’t read isn’t very efficient.
The Gmail app has a pretty cool interface and acts just like using Gmail using my regular web browser. I think the best part is that I can search for just unread email. I can also archive and delete my mail just as if I were using Gmail in Safari or using Mail on my MacBook Pro. I’ve been using the app for about 2 months now and I gotta say that I am enjoying using it more than the native mail app. There are just a few minor things that keep me from switching over permanently. One of them is that it only integrates with Google contacts that I have saved in Gmail. Right now the contacts that I do save are all in iCloud because Gmail saves all the contacts that I’ve ever sent an email to and I don’t want to see all that clutter in my address book. Second, I don’t know if I can use it in offline mode or not. This is something that I haven’t tried yet but I suspect that you need to be connected in order to use it.
Everything else about the app is pretty good. I’ve replied to various emails with ease, I’ve composed emails as well which hasn’t been a problem, and I’ve done some forwarding too. I think I’ll continue to use the app as my main mail app for my iPad but I’m going to stick with using the native mail app on my iPhone for now since it seems to be working ok. The only things that I have really sent to archive in my mail that I only check occasionally is just some promotions or newsletters that I read from time to time. Hopefully they continue to improve the app and make it more integrated into iOS to make it even more usable to me.