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Google updates iOS Gmail app, lets users link directly to other Google apps

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We all know that, when it comes to all aspects of its product line, the folks at Apple are, shall we say, control freaks. Unlike Android devices, Apple doesn’t give you the ability to choose your preferred method of launching external apps when you, for example, click on a link in a text message. It automatically launches the link in Safari. Android, on the other hand, prompts you to select your preferred app to launch the same links.

But now Google is stepping on some digital toes by giving iOS users that option, at least when they’re using the Gmail native app. So now, instead of automatically launching Safari when you click on a link embedded in one of your e-mails, you can adjust the settings so that they instead launch in another Google app, such as Chrome or YouTube.

This is no doubt Google’s way of responding to Apple’s decision to discontinue using the company’s maps and YouTube apps as the standard on its phones. Those apps were noticeably missing when iOS 6 was first released, but the removal has since been carried over to iOS 5 as well.

Despite being the leading OS on the market, Google still wants to make sure that as many eyes as possible are on its own line of services, even if the user is access them through a competitor’s device. It will be interesting to see if, and then how, Apple will respond to this major change.

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