Gmail 2.0 for iOS hands on: It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there

gmail 2 0 hands on ios img 0257

Google has been making it a point to show its apps some more love these days. After an update to Gmail on its native OS of Android, Google decided to give iOS users a gift of a major update to its mobile mail client. The previous versions of the app on Apple devices left a lot to be desired and led to a lot of third party solutions, one of the best of which being Sparrow, which is now owned by Google. After six months of reworking its in-house offering, it’s clear Google made something worth using – as long as you don’t compare it to it’s Android equivalent.

gmail 2 0 hands on ios img 0253

After getting the update to the new look Gmail app, the first thing users will notice is an entire redesign to the interface. The previous theme of Gmail included dark colors and somewhat boring, rounded corners, and so-so fonts. Now bright colors, crisp texts, and sharp boxes. Even pulling down the menus to refresh or loading a message displays a multi-colored, animated ball that offers just a second of extra brightness to the experience. 

It’s not a deal-making feature or anything, but it’s just a nice little touch that adds a bit of class to browsing mundane emails. That or it’s a very clever cover up for some in-app lag, in which case it worked because it’s distracting.

The threaded message view now includes a nice icon, subject, sender, and message information taking up all available space. There’s a bit more in the iPad version, taking advantage of the extra screen space, but on the iPhone it’s a little sparse. It’s also a bit more difficult to collapse an expanded thread on the iPhone. This is just the start of issues with message movement. You have to back out of each message and re-navigate your inbox to go to the next message. It seems like a little thing, but it really does change your browsing experience – especially if you’re used to Sparrow or other major third party options.

Integration with other Google products like Google+ and Calendar are welcome improvements that make things a lot easier. Direct replying to events with Calendar is great for creating a more universal Google experience. Seeing Google+ notifications right in your Gmail inbox is also nice, especially if you’re a heavy user of the social network that, with the bigger push by Google through other tools like Gmail, now seems like an inevitably perpetual presence than a forgotten option.

gmail 2 0 hands on ios img 0254

A heavily requested feature that has finally made an appearance in Gmail 2.0 is the ability to include multiple accounts in the app. You can link up to five Gmail identities to the Gmail app and switch between them. It’s nice, but if you’re a power user it probably still isn’t quite what you’re looking for. Changing between accounts is a multi-tap process. It’s not painful or anything, but it’s a little cumbersome and less than efficient – more just required to get to where you need to go. Perhaps we should just be glad it’s here but when you’re used to things like Sparrow, it’s hard to accept less.

All things considered, Gmail 2.0 for iOS is anything but a disappointment. For people using Apple’s Mail app or other free alternatives out there, Gmail is definitely a big enough step up to act as your go-to mail client. It looks great, the ability to manage multiple accounts was much needed, and the overall Google integration is very useful for people that already call other tools from the search giant their defaults. If you spend a lot of your day communicating from inside your inbox, Gmail 2.0 probably still leaves a bit to be desired. Navigating the app can be cumbersome and there’s a bit of a lag issue. It’s too clunky to be as quick and easy as one would want, it’s not quite up to par with Sparrow or the Gmail Android app – technically making Google it’s own biggest competitor no matter how you look at it. Gmail 2.0 is a huge jump from its previous version, but it doesn’t quite land it in the big leagues yet.


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Home Theater

All of the TVs getting Apple’s AirPlay 2 in 2019

This year, Apple made it clear it was done keeping its AirPlay wireless streaming technology to itself. With an open API, the way is clear for a plethora of third-party devices, including this growing list of TVs.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.

Sony is showing something off at MWC -- will it be the Xperia XZ4?

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.