Google Releases Gmail 2.0 For iOS

New version of Google's Gmail app for iOS features multiple account support and a more refined look.
Apple iTunes 11: Visual Tour
Apple iTunes 11: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google's Gmail app for iOS received its 2.0 facelift on Tuesday and is now available through Apple's iTunes App Store.

Google's announcement of the app's availability preceded its actual availability, prompting the company to respond to those who sought to download the app, but found they could not, by telling them to try again later.

Gmail for iOS version 2.0 features "a totally new look and feel," says Google product manager Matthew Izatt in a blog post. That's a bit of an exaggeration: There are some useful changes and aesthetic refinements, but the app remains at its core a list of email messages, regardless of its "new, cleaner look."

The most noteworthy addition is multi-account support. The app will let you log into up to five separate Gmail accounts from the menu page and then tab among open accounts. That's very helpful on shared devices, like the family iPad.

[ Google released a Chrome browser for Apple devices in June. See Chrome For iOS: A Failure? ]

There are some new interface animations, which don't really change the way the app functions but add to the sense that many engineers toiled over this app to make it just so. Somehow that's reassuring.

More meaningful are the profile pictures in messages, so you can see who's asking you to send funds to Nigeria to recover that unclaimed bank account from a distant relative you never knew existed.

And for those with an all-but infinite hoard of email, the Gmail app for iOS now supports infinite scrolling through message lists, the perfect entertainment experience for seemingly infinite meetings.

Searching in Gmail 2.0 for iOS now triggers autocomplete predictions as you type, saving time and deterring any thought of rebellion against the machines by underscoring the fact that Google is way ahead of you. The app now also supports the ability to RSVP to Google Calendar invitations and to endorse Google+ posts with a +1 or comment without the need to switch to the Google+ app.

The iOS update for Gmail follows Monday's update to the Gmail app for Android. Version 4.2.1 of Gmail for Android introduced an auto-fit Settings option that resizes email messages to fit the screen of the device on which they're viewed. It also added swipe-to-archive and swipe-to-delete options to facilitate rapid message processing, the ability to attach photos and videos within Gmail and larger photo previews for attachments.