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Gmail app update tightens Google's iOS ecosystem with support for Chrome, Maps, YouTube

post #1 of 35
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In a move that will only widen its foothold within Apple's iOS, Google on Monday rolled out an update to its Gmail app, one that ties together Google-provided apps and services on Apple's platform more so than ever before.

gmail


Version 2.2.7182 of Google's Gmail app for iOS contains a number of minor tweaks as well, but the major development in Monday's release is Google's tying together of its assorted iOS services. The Gmail app will now open YouTube, Google Maps, and web links in Google's YouTube, Maps, and Chrome apps if a user has those apps installed.

Users can, if they choose to, turn off this feature, but it serves to unify Google's services throughout iOS, effectively creating an ecosystem within Apple's ecosystem and ensuring the interoperability of Google services on the platform. The move circumvents some Apple regulations, namely the inability of third-party developers to have their apps set as the default handlers for certain tasks throughout iOS. That limitation hasn't kept Google's offerings from becoming popular, but the search giant no doubt would like to remove all barriers between its apps.

From YouTube to Gmail to Chrome, Google has continually pushed to grow mindshare for its services on iOS, in many cases developing more elegant apps for iOS than for its own Android platform. Many of those apps have debuted to immense popularity: Google Maps and YouTube among the App Store's top 25 downloaded apps of all time only months after their debut.

Similarly, Google's Chrome browser debuted to much interest, hitting the top spot among free iOS apps within 12 hours of its initial release. The inability to set Chrome as a default, though ? along with Apple's restrictions on browser capabilities ? limited Chrome's appeal after its debut, though it is the most popular non-Safari app on Apple's platform.

In August of last year, Google updated its Google+ app for iOS to open web links in its Chrome browser, and the Gmail update would appear to be a continuation of that trend. With the new update, Google has a video service, location service, social network, email service, and browser all linked together and likely to grow in interoperability.

The Gmail app for iOS is available as a free download from the App Store. The 12.1MB download is compatible with iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads running iOS 5.0 or later.
post #2 of 35

Ha-ha. Just say NO to the masters of personal monitoring and intellectual property infringement.

post #3 of 35

I cant really blame them.

 

Wanting all of your application to work together and depend on each other sounds like a logical step forward to promote your company.

 

It is not like they are launching Chrome over Safari in some 3rd party app, it is only in their gmail app.

 

If yo are a fan of or use any of their apps this seems to be a nice way to have them all at your finger tips.

 

I myself no longer use any of Googles products including their search engine because of privacy issues.

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post #4 of 35

Clever girl.

post #5 of 35

Smart move.

 

But to find Google apps on an iPhone you have to be really blind. Gmail instead of Mail and a new apple account (just forward your mails if it is needed)? Maps (debatable, but Apple is going to surpass it soon)? Chrome (kill yourself ASAP) instead of Safari on iOS?

post #6 of 35

I wonder if this is really why they stopped supporting the ability to push new emails using the default mail app. This way they and better herd users to their services and away from apple's

post #7 of 35

I wonder how they are doing it programatically. Apple originally allowed apps to have a unique declared file extensions that would open them with a predefined app, but how is Google doing it?

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post #8 of 35

Face it some people can not help themselves, they want a big brother watching over everything they do on the internet and providing them with only the information that the big brother wants them to see and know.

 

Honestly, they talk about Apple being a religion or a cult, I think Google fits the classic definition of cult, The puppet master want to be sure its followers only see and knows what it feels it best for them to know.

post #9 of 35
Google is a cancer growing within the body Apple. Apple needs to respond in iOS7. I don't use any of Google's stuff anymore. Stopped using Google maps when the new version asked me to set up a Google account before it would open. Used Apple turn-by-turn to navigate all over New Zealand on vacation and it was flawless.
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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Google is a cancer growing within the body Apple. Apple needs to respond in iOS7. I don't use any of Google's stuff anymore. Stopped using Google maps when the new version asked me to set up a Google account before it would open. Used Apple turn-by-turn to navigate all over New Zealand on vacation and it was flawless.

It's a two way street. Apple can't ban Google unless Google breaks the rules. If Google merely bends the rules, it puts Apple in a difficult position because banning a Google app could be viewed unfavorably by the general iOS user base and regulators. Banning Google apps opens a can of worms and allowing Google to run amuck in iOS opens another can of worms.

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post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Google is a cancer growing within the body Apple. Apple needs to respond in iOS7. I don't use any of Google's stuff anymore. Stopped using Google maps when the new version asked me to set up a Google account before it would open. Used Apple turn-by-turn to navigate all over New Zealand on vacation and it was flawless.

Apple just need to compete and provide an equally good map service, email experience and err... you tube alternative? If apple maps become as good as Google maps there would be little reason for people to bother installing a third party app. I suspect most people stick with Apple Mail because it works well. YouTube, however, has no real competitor and is potentially huge for Google. We can't live without YouTube, right?

post #12 of 35

I don't see this as being a bad thing.  Think about it.  There are lots of people that like Apple products but still like using Google services.  For those that don't they don't have to have these settings enabled.  Anyway the thing about it is you can buy an iPhone and have access to Google services and actually have some options in default app use now (Of course only through gmail app, which I personally don't care for on my Android device), as well as having the default Apple applications which work flawlessly in my past experiences with owning an iPhone, and hopefully continues with my future iPhone after i dump Android.  If you buy a Android device you don't get Apple services.  As an iPhone customer you get the best of both worlds which they each clearly have their own strengths.  I say the fact that Google seems to support iOS as much as they do, especially since Apple started distancing themselves from Google services, is a great thing for Apple iPhone users.  

post #13 of 35
I don't use Google Gmail app because Google Map is not better than Apple Map and it also lacks the street view that Google provided to Android based phones.
post #14 of 35

I switched over to Chrome a while ago, and I was surprised how little impact it had that it wasn't the standard browser. Unlike on a PC i can't click on local .html files anyway, so 95% of all cases when Safari is being invoked it's through some in-app purchasing or in-app ads in apps that I'm trying to avoid anyway. Effectively, once I put Chrome on the shelf Safari runs maybe once a week or so.

post #15 of 35
Just goes to show all those who think Apple is a malicious closed and proprietary monopolist that they can be open-minded about the choices their users want to be able to make, even with regard to a "frenemy" whose mobile OS is regarded as "a stolen product".

For me, this presents the chance to evaluate the Google Mail/Video/Mapping/Browsing/Calendaring/Now eco-system and measure it against the clear MacDaddy of them all, iTunes/Safari/Maps/Notes/Contacts and Siri. Fun times ahead!

I already compared the mapping apps on a trip to Wales, where Apple Maps showed some subtle touches that mighty Google failed at.

Voice commands with Siri show context awareness - if I previously asked it for the German Bundesliga standings, all I had to do next was say "and what about the Spanish League?" or "and the French?" and Siri would understand and respond correctly with voice and graphics. Not so Google: while Google displayed the initial result faster, it was not smart enough to understand the context of my follow-up questions, and would silently display web page URLs instead... the question "and the French?" thus turned up comical URL results, as did "and what about the Spanish League?".
Edited by airmanchairman - 5/6/13 at 11:12am
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

 I suspect most people stick with Apple Mail because it works well. 

I have very recently quit using my iCloud mail and I'm forwarding all my Apple mail to another mail service because I was getting quite a bit of spam on my iCloud account. It just started a month or so ago. Not sure what changed but I hate spam. Now the Apple mail gets filtered properly by the other mail service. I still use the Mail app on iOS, I just don't need to log into iCloud anymore.

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post #17 of 35
Originally Posted by majjo View Post
if I end up buying an iPhone, it will be because of Google, and not Apple.

 

How foolish.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #18 of 35

"The move circumvents some Apple regulations, namely the inability of third-party developers to have their apps set as the default handlers for certain tasks throughout iOS"

 

This does not set default handlers for tasks throughout iOS, in that if you quit Gmail, your default web browser reverts to Safari; if you choose not to allow the app to choose Chrome, Safari remains default anyway...

 

In the case of those choosing Chrome within Gmail, they will merely be depriving their iOS device of the speedy Nitro JavaScript engine that Safari (and Safari alone) employs for rapid web surfing...


Edited by airmanchairman - 5/6/13 at 11:26am
post #19 of 35
Originally Posted by majjo View Post
if I end up buying an iPhone, it will be because of Google, and not Apple.

 

Good for you, good for Google, good for Apple...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

How foolish.

 

To each his own... win-win-win all round, no?

post #20 of 35
Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post
To each his own... win-win-win all round, no?

 

A double standard in logic, is all. 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Google is a cancer growing within the body Apple. Apple needs to respond in iOS7. I don't use any of Google's stuff anymore. Stopped using Google maps when the new version asked me to set up a Google account before it would open. Used Apple turn-by-turn to navigate all over New Zealand on vacation and it was flawless.


I'm curious what you use for a search engine. Bing? Yahoo? Ask?

post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post

Voice commands with Siri show context awareness - if I previously asked it for the German Bundesliga standings, all I had to do next was say "and what about the Spanish League?" or "and the French?" and Siri would understand and respond correctly with voice and graphics. Not so Google: while Google displayed the initial result faster, it was not smart enough to understand the context of my follow-up questions, and would silently display web page URLs instead... the question "and the French?" thus turned up comical URL results, as did "and what about the Spanish League?".

Google search only drop your words into the search field, and can be easily replicated with Siri dictation to google searchfield in safari
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

It's a two way street. Apple can't ban Google unless Google breaks the rules. If Google merely bends the rules, it puts Apple in a difficult position because banning a Google app could be viewed unfavorably by the general iOS user base and regulators. Banning Google apps opens a can of worms and allowing Google to run amuck in iOS opens another can of worms.

I wasn't thinking in terms of ban, only in responding by outperforming. Or perhaps at least finding some way of preventing Google from turning your iPhone into a de facto Android phone, which is where I fear they are headed.
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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalmanPak View Post


I'm curious what you use for a search engine. Bing? Yahoo? Ask?

You got me there. I did keep Google as default search in Safari. Tried Bing for a while. Guess my position is that Google's core competency is search, and I prefer to limit them to that in my world.
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post #25 of 35
YouTube is the only Google service I still use, but I recently trashed the iOS app for it because compared to the Safari version, it is complete crap.

I am extremely close to completely deleting my Gmail account that I've had for 6 years. All I'm doing now is waiting a few months to see if any stray emails trickle in from random forgotten websites.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I have very recently quit using my iCloud mail and I'm forwarding all my Apple mail to another mail service because I was getting quite a bit of spam on my iCloud account. It just started a month or so ago. Not sure what changed but I hate spam. Now the Apple mail gets filtered properly by the other mail service. I still use the Mail app on iOS, I just don't need to log into iCloud anymore.

I do it the other way around - on my business mail goes through apps for domains with google. Apple mail and IOS mail pick up may mails there. It is a good solution because the google spam filter is excellent. When I need to I can access my mail through regular gmail webmail. My primary personal does the same thing except it is collected by iCloud mail. My secondary accounts go directly to iCloud.

 

I can see the time I will have to change that set-up. I wish iCloud mail would be more versatile. 

post #27 of 35

Totally off-topic, but it didn't deserve it's own thread and was only an interesting note anyway:

 

MG Siegler has joined up with Google Ventures as a general partner. 

http://parislemon.com/post/49782762413/on-to-google-ventures

melior diabolus quem scies
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post #28 of 35
Gmail is clumsy. YouTube performance sucks. Chrome i've no use for.

Fantastic.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I wonder how they are doing it programatically. Apple originally allowed apps to have a unique declared file extensions that would open them with a predefined app, but how is Google doing it?

It is pretty simple, Google is using URLs only its apps recognize. The openURL() method can be used to parse the sourceApplication parameter to find out which app is calling and respond or not to the calling app. I have played around with method in my own apps and learned how to ignore calling apps that do not provide the exact URL information needed for a positive response. Yes, this means Google could block calling apps from launching its apps. Hopefully, this answers your question.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philotech View Post

I switched over to Chrome a while ago, and I was surprised how little impact it had that it wasn't the standard browser. Unlike on a PC i can't click on local .html files anyway, so 95% of all cases when Safari is being invoked it's through some in-app purchasing or in-app ads in apps that I'm trying to avoid anyway. Effectively, once I put Chrome on the shelf Safari runs maybe once a week or so.

Do you mean on the iPhone? Then Chrome is just a skin over Safari
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post #31 of 35
But not earth!
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curtis Hannah View Post

But not earth!

Why would one need Google Earth?
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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post


How does nitro compare to v8 though?

On the iOS platform?

 

Hah...

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philotech View Post

I switched over to Chrome a while ago, and I was surprised how little impact it had that it wasn't the standard browser. Unlike on a PC i can't click on local .html files anyway, so 95% of all cases when Safari is being invoked it's through some in-app purchasing or in-app ads in apps that I'm trying to avoid anyway. Effectively, once I put Chrome on the shelf Safari runs maybe once a week or so.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Do you mean on the iPhone? Then Chrome is just a skin over Safari

 

Exactly. Not much of a Google "end run", when you consider that all 3rd party browsers on the iOS platform, Chrome included, are little more than "Safari with a 3rd party wrapper", by which I mean Apple's version of mobile WebKit is the underlying browser engine on all iOS devices anyway.

 
On the plus side, users of Google services now have a "native Google experience" of sorts on iOS devices, but only at the expense of losing the speedy Nitro JavaScript engine that is Safari-only, as well as the more important ability to add articles to their Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches in one action using Reading List.
 
With this in mind, it will not surprise me if Apple let's this change ride (surely Google could not have easily slipped this past Apple's scrutiny at App Store or Management levels), as it helps to debunk the argument that Apple is overly controlling and exclusive of 3rd party alternatives.
 
The opportunity is Google's to lose in the twinkling of an eye if they let privacy infractions and malware intrusions jeopardise the iOS platform, however...
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Totally off-topic, but it didn't deserve it's own thread and was only an interesting note anyway:

 

MG Siegler has joined up with Google Ventures as a general partner. 

http://parislemon.com/post/49782762413/on-to-google-ventures

 

Wild! An Apple-head roaming free in the Google-plex!

 

I wonder how many meetings he'll attend where he'll be asked to "recuse himself" and leave due to his known affiliations.

 

Oh to be a fly on the Googleplex wall - I'd just tail MG around the place...

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