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August 23, 2010

Google's iPhone App Adds Notifications for Gmail and Google Calendar

I rarely use the native email clients from Android and iPhone. Gmail's mobile web app has a better interface and it's easier to use than those applications, but there are some limitations that force you to switch to the native apps: you can't attach files and there's no support for notifications. Until mobile browsers add support for these features and integrate with the operating system, native apps will continue to be more powerful.

The latest version of Google Mobile App for iPhone solves one of these issues by adding push notifications for Gmail and Google Calendar. You no longer have to use Google Sync to get notifications when you receive an email message or an event is about to occur.

"Now Google Mobile App can help with push notifications from your Google account to your iPhone -- an icon badge shows you’ve got new mail in Gmail, and Google Calendar event reminders appear right on your home screen."

After updating Google Mobile App 0.6, it seems that Google only shows a badge when you get a new message, just like the native mail client.

Update: Google's mobile blog says that "you will only receive pop-up messages and sound/vibration for calendar alerts - new email is shown using the unread count on the Google Mobile App icon and in the apps tab".


  1. I tried it, but doesent seem to have any sounds?
    Or is it because im using push for Gmail iphone app?

  2. What would the benefit be of no longer needing to use Push via Google Sync? Just a simplification? I've only had my iphone for a few weeks but I have loved getting pinged whenever an email arrives and it's seemed to have worked really slickly. Just wondering what this will add.

  3. For the push notifications to work i need to keep it running in the background, right?

  4. I still prefer Google Sync to get everything in the native app. Most of the time, I get email alert from Mail app even before the Gmail web page refreshes to show the update. :)

  5. I like Google calendar because when you click the link for location, it will Google Maps.

  6. I find Mail so limiting too, been using the app altamail for a while and was really impressed to see that they have added push notifications that you can customize makes it even easier for me now :)