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Gmail for Windows Phone
110

Gmail app based off of iOS codebase comes to Windows Phone, does what Google won't

We know many of you have wisely switched to Outlook.com for your email, but for some, either due to legacy or workplace requirements, Google’s Gmail is a necessity. While you can certainly add Gmail natively to Windows Phone, there’s no doubt that it lacks all of Google’s punch.

Developer EcoMerc has made a nifty Gmail app for Windows Phone, appropriately called ‘Gmail’. What makes this app unique is it’s reportedly based off of “…the exact same codebase as the official Gmail for iPhone/iPad”, meaning this will feel kind of like a true app for Windows Phone users.

Gmail for Windows Phone

Indeed the app Tile is very bold and dare we say, fits in nicely with our Start screen. Launching the app there is a small delay as the device pulls in data (about 5-7 seconds for us), but once loaded it acts like you’re in a full-fledged Gmail client, including access to labels, settings, archiving, mute and report spam, to name a few. It's quite impressive.

The app itself is completely free with only a single ad in the About page, meaning you never really see it. What’s really clever is for $0.99 you can remove that one ad and get push notifications—now that is something we haven’t seen before.

We’re not going to pull punches here: if you need Gmail on your Windows Phone, including all of Google’s more advanced management tools, then this app is all you need. It’s been working well on our end during testing and is laid out quite nicely.

You can pick up Gmail by EcoMerc for free in the Store here or opt for the $0.99 version with push notifications here. Windows Phone 7.x and 8 supported.

(As a side note, please try to keep the anti-Google comments to a minimum. For one, no one really cares, and two, it's not helpful. Kthxbai!)

QR: Gmail for Windows Phone

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Reader comments

Gmail app based off of iOS codebase comes to Windows Phone, does what Google won't

110 Comments

Nah, they just don't want MS branding their apps themselves. Note how MetroTube, MetroTalk, etc. are still around. There are a ton of "Gmail" apps in the Store. Though the name could be a problem should Google want to bother, which I'm guessing they won't....

To be clear, Google did not remove the youtube app, MS did. And did so because Google finally decided to work with MS on a official app. Somethig i suspect that was MS intention all along.
I would remind you there are plenty of other youtube apps on the store that aren't going anywhere.

Technically Microsoft removed the app because they made it. Google has no access to push the "remove" button, but THEY DID send the C&D.

C&D fly freely around in the corporate world. I serioudsly doubt MS was motivated by that. As besides, if there was any merit to it, it would have been over the app being called youtube and not the services it provided.
 
 

Microsoft nowadays is so tight up about being compliant with the law, that I bet their legal department verified a hundred times if they could publish the YouTube app without risking a major lawsuit.

Well, granted, one must cut MS some slack, they're still trying to gain a foothold in the market today, and they still can't shake their bad rep (Vista, bluescreen of death, people still criticizing Windows 8, etc.).
Until Microsoft can reachieve its former glory, it's in no position to take on the big dogs (Apple and Google) in a legal battle at the moment, because both the court and the public will find in favour of the big dog.
Hell, even when Microsoft was on top, they still got slammed over the whole Internet Explorer monopoly incident.

C&D letter carry no legal authority. Google would need to go to court to force the removal of the app. So, either Microsoft removed it because Google will make an official app or Microsoft felt Google would go to court over this and their main objective was to bring bad PR to google, escpecially after Google preached about companies working together.

circumstance the same.  who cares who pulled it, of course mS pulled it, it is in their store. 

Nonsense.
1 set of circumstance has MS creating a youtube app and being bullied by google to take it down. The other has MS forcing Google's hand into finally working with them.
I think it is widely known that MS has been sitting on this youtube app for sometime, and they finally decided "what do we have to lose?" and published it. The end result is not us all losing by having the app removed (and really there are other apps that do very much the same thing), but having Google finally begrudgingly working with MS on a platform (even if in a small way) they have been openly hostile towards.

Like any other app complaint, the developer removes the app, but only because of a complaint from google. The original article said MS were given a date to have the app removed by, from google. They obviously tried fixing it first, but my guess is Google have seen MS have made a good app and now just want the revenue from running ads in the app. But anyway, totally unrelated to this article

"please try to keep the anti-Google comments to a minimum. " Now what fun is that? Google is evil and should be executed. Maybe tortured first and then executed. How about tortured, burned and then executed. Or is burning someone also considered tortured? This is so complicated.

i think you have a serious issues, go see a professional, BUT, i'm with you about the torturing and killing thing ..... damn, now we both have to go to a professional, LOL

Nice app! I have a Gmail account which I mostly use as my spam email, very handy. How long before Google tries to pull this down? or will they not go after this app since this is by a single developer and not by Microsoft? I hope for the latter. I do see this app being very useful for many who use Gmail as their primary ID. Good Job!
Not a bad app, but the textboxes etc are very small. Had a hard time tapping the to box and then the subject.

Misleading name is a good reason why Google might have a problem with this. Most they can (and probably will) do is find a way to contact the dev and have the app renamed. Or they can be pricks and try to sue Microsoft for allowing misleading app names in their store... Though I really don't know if that last one is even possible

Agreed! This is a nice app. I actually setup my Gmail accounts as Outlook (domain: google; server: m.google.com) so that I can get contacts to sync on my WP7.8. But this app does look a whole lot more like the 'real' google email with labels and gmail settings. 

I dont use gmail (expect for some bogus accounts for registrations etc), so this does not move me for a millimeter, but GOOD JOB!!!

Would download but how long will this last? Does the dev think any legal action may be taken or at least threatened?

Read above. I don't expect any issues with this app. Google only goes after Microsoft when they release semi-official apps.

Who cares?? Just use it while it lasts. If it gets shut down, then just use the good old internet explorer for Gmail. Simple solution.

Seriously. It's not like they PAID for the damn app.  What's the risk??  Oh wait, it does take about 15-20 seconds to download.

Legacy requirements is not a problem, although there is a need to retain your email address, you can switch to Outlook while maintaining yours previous address

You can continue to have one inbox. Outlook.com with one address (myaddress@gmail.com) For year i use an address @gmail.com throught Hotmail before and Outlook.com now.
I don't open my gmail on gmail.com from years, i read all my mail sent to @gmail in Outlook.com, i replay with outlook.com and the address is the same.

You don't have separate inbox you have one inbox.

so what can this do that a built in Gmail account can't?  or maybe better question what does this do that I wouldn't WANT to do?  Built in gmail works just fine...well it was until I dumped all things google.

The fact that you can't even flag mail in the native app, search on the servers or push email once it arrives has become increasingly frustrating. I will give this app a go to see how it works, pity you can't zoom out and view an entire email though like in the native app.

Can't have everything I suppose!

Automating iOS app conversion to WP8 would be most favorable for the platform. Wonder what the iOS code base conversion process looks like.

Hmmm I have a question to whomever.... My YouTube account uses my hotmail email address. Is it because I've had it there for a while? Also I use yahoo for my spam mails mostly. So I've personally no need for any google mails or services other than watching YouTube.

Lucky you, I was forced to have google mail, and I couldn't login anymore with the email I used to originally register with Youtube. That's when I started to hate google. I registered with Youtube ever before Google acquired it.

I find the built in email app in my phone is more than enough, all I need is just read and delete my emails!

... based off of “…the exact same codebase as the official Gmail for iPhone/iPad” ...
 
So, the developer stole the code for the iOS app and then created a WP app based on it?
 
I'm not sure what you understand what "codebase" means. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codebase :
 
The term codebase, or code base, is used in software development to mean the whole collection of source code used to build a particular application or component.
 
Windows 8 and Windows RT share a majority of their codebase, for example. And I doubt somebody creating a operating system based on the Windows 8 codebase would be allowed by Microsoft to sell it.
 
So if this the statment regarding the "codebase" is correct, Google will C & D it very soon, and sue this guy's ass for stealing their code.
 

nah. bruh. you gotta flatten the UI. get rid of those gradients. seriously, WP apps with designs that egregiously disobey Metro guidelines look like untrustworthy knock-offs. they look spammy and low quality.

App a little sluggish, should be helpful for those that still use google.  All my gmail goes to outlook anyway. 

"We know many of you have wisely switched to Outlook.com for your email, but for some, either due to legacy or workplace requirements, Google’s Gmail is a necessity." Fanboyish as fuck...
 
I like using gmail and outlook, ok? ¬¬

How is saying Gmail ewww douchy and not your answer? Maybe we both need to grow up under your standards. Just saying.

Granted, as an admin you can say whatever the hell you want I guess.

I don't need this. The built-in email app is sufficient for me. But I'm happy to see the apps flowing. #GoodTimes

built in app can do what I need, dunno why people can't search the server cause I'm able too. I'm just waiting for caldav support to arrive

This is a BAD BAD app. I don't know how this has gotten featured here. Usually the apps featured here are decent. It crawls. You can't zoom in/out on the email text. So if it's a wide email, you just have to scroll horizontally. There are other crappy apps in the store that are basically just a web port of gmail or yahoo mail. This is pretty much like them....just that it's even slower. I appreciate the effort put in by the dev, but it's just bad right now. Will have to wait for further updates to see how it improves.

Not to 'excuse' the App, but depending on what 'code base' they are using, and I'm going to assume it originated from the Android source, some of the problems you talk about are also present in the Android versions of both their Gmail and basic Mail App (which do not even work consistently between the two.)
 
When Android first hit, some of our developers worked hard to push Google to incorporate basic features into the Android mail clients, but due to the way Android's JVM deals with objects (in more of a *nix construct), just adding in HTML reading to the email App didn't automatically bring over other aspects of the HTML rendering object used. 
 
For example, just being able to copy something from an Email you received on Android to paste into another App was impossible, and may still be (haven't tested this in a couple of Android Mail App versions.).   However, Google did eventually add limited copy functionality to the Gmail App for Android.
 
The zooming and scrolling were also issues with the Mail and Gmail App clients for Android early on, and sadly Google added duck tape instead of pulling the clients apart and coding them properly.  Again for compatibilty and being a slave to the really poor object model of the Android JVM (Dalvik) these things many never get better on Android.  
 
Thus shared code that was based on the Android Apps themselves, probably will exhibt many of the same flaws Android users have had to silently deal with that is rather foreign to WP users were the UI and the Object model of both WP7 and WP8 are the leading edge for true Object Oriented natures instead of limited Object Based natures.   On WP as a developer, even if an object/control is massively change it still gets newer inherited functionaly with return object functionality.  This makes things continue to work and gain features, even if the develop changes a Textbox to behave nothing like a TextBox.  (When WP7 added copy/paste, this functionaly properly worked in Apps that no concept of the feature unless the developer completely broke its inheritence relationship.)
 
 
 
 
When it comes to the pure technical architecture of WP7 and WP8 from the kernel and frameworks to the Phone Application framework, they are impressive from and OS engineering standpoint that sets the WP OS technology ahead of iOS and Android in ways users do not yet notice or even have to notice, but has created a robust and extensible long term solution that can literally keep adding technology for another 20 years using the base architecture and models Microsoft designed.
 

Looks good. Reminds me how I wish MS would actually update and improve its own email app, which is way too basic and missing key features.

Ensure you add more mail options/formatting to the WP8 wish list site. I also would like to see a rather rich email client for WP8, especially considering Microsoft was one of the first to push RTF/HTML on even their early mobile devices, that has since been removed from the mobile versions.

In the meantime, one nice thing about having your email on Outlook.com, is that even on your WP8, you can easily use the Desktop/Mobile web interface in IE for Outlook.com that has more features than the native Apps. Even on Windows 8 Tablet/PC, Outlook.com has more functionality than the integrated Windows 8 App.

Looks like a wrapped web view of GMail designed for iOS and Android browsers. Not sure how much of it's native code and how much is just GMail web view. Also, it doesn't even fit the email messages properly in the screen. Neither can I scroll sideways to check the remaining part of the email nor zoom.

I'm using a Lumia 710 in Canada and the store says "This app is not available for your phone." Any idea why not?

Im seriously tired of this back and forth between MS and Google they are only hurting people like me who friends and family are all on Android and I like my Google services but luckily we have people like this developer thank you and I'll probably buy the app im going to try it out now

LOL. Keep the anti-google comments to a minimum? Why, because all the article does is bash google Gmail the while way through? If you must have Gmail, wisely switched... Freaking joke.

If your IT/corporate is letting you GMail, let alone 'forcing' you to use GMail, someone in the company needs to bring into question the security/privacy concerns and the lack of knowledge of the IT decision makers. PERIOD.
 
If you 'must' have access to the GMail advanced management tools, then use this App until you can dump GMail.
 
 
For everyone else, forward your Gmail to an Outlook.com created 'alias' and have the rules throw it in a Gmail Inbox folder. Setup your Gmail address as a 'send from' at Outlook.com and notify all your friends of your main Outlook.com account to get away from GMail all together.
*(Using the pull/forward and outlook.com send/receive alias technology, it makes a great solution to aggregate ALL your email accounts under a main account, and never have to deal with multiple email services or a mix of various flaky email providers.  Even with our own corporate (non-exchange) email servers, we recommend users to utilize Outlook.com, as it is a far better web based interface than 3rd party software, and even takes load off our older email systems.)
 
 
GMail is more 'dangerous' than just their data mining for end users as it brings up a long list of privacy concerns and even corporate policies you may be accidentally violating just forwarding an email to a GMail address or even using a personal GMail account on your corporate network.

Ya but I have forwarded all Gmails to my outlook account ..so goodbye google.
 
would have been useful when i was new to wp8 though.

also, its funny how to people associate google with go-to webmail service when it was infact hotmail that came up with worlds first webmail service.
 
but google provided gigabytes of storage space and good spam filters...slowly i am realizing that google itself is the biggest malware.

I think the purpose of this app is to make you switch to Outlook.com, because it's terrible. Kudos on the effort, I guess...

Hey Daniel, when do you think will Google bring its official apps to WP. Atleast Google Maps, coz in gmaps pro, I can't get search nearby neither I get to tap a place to get a pop up (like in Android Map app), nor the info for a place phone no, work hours etc) aka Google+ local.

Tested it, the preview version (lacks of push in demo?! That was the only thing I wanted to test drive) compared to the build in Email app it is a poor thing. Long time to open sucks, I got used to smooth environment of WP8.
Not good enough.

How on earth do you use an iOS codebase (which is Objective C) on Windows Phone? You'd have to be incredibly brave to put your password into this app.

As hard as it is to resist slamming Google supporters, I will ask this question, though: What is the "punch" that Google supposedly has that you can't get with Outlook?  What must-have features are missing?

Hi all,
 
Just for info, I am the developer for the app, and I have tried to read all of you comments and some we will take into account for the next next update.
 
Most importantly THE APP broke last night. Yes I fixed it, and yes the update is with Microsoft, just waiting for approval. Basically a small change with Google's backend caused the app to malfunction, obviously we are trying to make sure this doesn't happen again.
 
For a couple of the other issues:
* Offline access: We have been working on this since we launched the first version, but are limited by the way the browser works, and will probably not get it working
* Zoom in the messages: Interestingly this is strongly linked to the above :-(
 
I hope you all will continue to use the app, and know that we are doing everything we can to make the app as good as possible.
 
Peter

Keep on your good work EcoMerc, i really need a good app for Gmail because with the built in email app (that is good) i have some problem with the threaded email....

I personnaly dont' want a use a different seperate app for gmail, i have a google apps account with my domain for years, and i'm still waiting to be able to update my google account faster then every 15 min.... its annoying that microsoft and google can't get their thing straight and let you update your gmail in real time like on a blackberry, iphone or what ever.... sorry for my rant that my 2 cents