- Search – Everyone knows that Google practically owns the word “search,” and they did not disappoint with the email search functionality here. The search renders results on the first try without you having to decide whether a search on “from,” “to,” or “subject” is going to produce the email you’re trying to hunt down.
- Organization – Navigating between inbox drafts, unread emails and all mail is much more user friendly on the Gmail than on the native email application. In fact, the native email application doesn’t yet offer the ability to filter unread emails to the top of the inbox.
- Vacation Responder – While I haven’t yet used this on my Gmail, having the option to set up an out of office adds a nice feature that could come in handy at some point.
- Multiple Signatures – My favorite thing about the Gmail app is that you can have different signatures for each email account based on the settings in their respective desktop versions. You also have the option to choose your mobile phone’s signature as the default.
- Signature Edits – The one drawback of my favorite feature of the Gmail app is that you aren’t able to see/edit the email signature until after the email is sent. That means, if for some reason you want to edit your standard signature, you need to send your email using Safari from your phone or from a computer.
- No Unified Mailbox – I’m “old fashioned” and always check my email accounts separately, but I know some people out there like to have all of their emails in one place. Those people won’t be getting that with this app, at least not yet.
- No Single Mailbox Sign-off – If you sign into multiple accounts, there isn’t an option to sign out of each account separately. You have to sign out of all accounts and log into the accounts that you wanted to keep. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but that’s what it is as far as I can tell.
- Integrated Email – If you browse the web much on your phone and like to send various links or blog posts to yourself via email, the Gmail app can’t handle that for you. Performing that action will attempt to send an email from whatever email account you have connected through the native email app, which you may not want do.
The Bottom Line
The Gmail app offers a variety of features but not being integrated into the iOS operating system is a deal-breaker for me. If you really love the Gmail features and the only drawback giving you pause is the integrated email issue, there is a potential workaround. You can link your Gmail to the native app with all notifications turned off so that you can leverage email integration and then download the Gmail app to meet all of your other Gmail needs. A little too much work for my liking but it is an option. What do you think? Is Google offering enough for you to change your primary email app?