Although Google is working on launching a native Gmail application for iOS devices—an app got posted then pulled—now Google has announced its existing Gmail app for BlackBerry will be no more: Google will end support on November 22—and at that point the app will no longer be available for download. Folks who already have the app will be able to continue using it, but Google won’t offer any help or any way to obtain the app in the event a device gets wiped or lost.
Google Apps customers using the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise service are unaffected.
Going forward, Google says it plans to focus on the “mobile browsing experience” for Gmail, meaning BlackBerry users will need to access Gmail accounts via their built-in Web browser rather than via a dedicated app.
Google offers a native Gmail client for its own Android mobile operating system, and puzzled industry watchers by rolling out a native Gmail client for Apple’s iOS—even though bugs made the company quickly withdraw the app. It seems clear that Google is not averse to developing native clients for mobile OS’s other than it’s own, but it is curious that it would decide to embrace iOS and abandon RIM’s BlackBerry platform in the space of a few days.
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