Google has officially launched its Gmail App for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The new "time-saving" app offers notification badges for new messages, easier message searching, threaded conversations, and e-mail address auto-complete.
There is also a Priority Inbox for important messages and a labeling system/spam filter. A simple swipe down refreshes your inbox, and a right swipe quickly reveals your labeled e-mails. The iPad version offers a split view for reading your messages while viewing your inbox.
Google gets credit for Gmail's sharp mobile web interface on the iPhone, however despite several native apps available from the company we have yet to see Gmail for iOS. This could all be set to change, as a Gmail app is said to be on its way to iTunes. Google has not made any official comment about a possible iPhone and iPad mail application, but observers think the time is right considering Apple's launch of iOS 5 Notification Center.
Sources have told tech reporter MG Siegler that the Gmail iOS app has already been submitted for review and should be released shortly. Besides Gmail's powerful search capabilities, push notifications would make the app infinitely more useful for iPhone owners. Unfortunately reading Gmail on the iPhone currently does not provide a push option.
You don't hear much about web apps these days, but there are some that look and function so well you might forget you're using Safari. Google has been constantly improving its Gmail web interface and they've recently revamped the mobile site again. Similar to the native Apple Mail app, the mobile version of Gmail's website is designed with the iPhone touch screen in mind.
You can swipe to archive a message, and now Google has improved the scroll speed to simulate the same quick flick of the finger to jump down in the mailbox. The toolbar has been anchored to the top of the screen, a welcome reversal of a recent change that had the toolbar floating over emails.
Now you can receive iPhone push notifications instantly every time a new email comes to your Gmail inbox. The app, called Gpush, has been released by Tiverias Apps and approved by Apple.
Users can select between several options to determine how they are alerted of new mail. The iPhone will vibrate, ring, display the email message sender and subject on the lock screen (like incoming SMS), or just show a badge of how many new messages have come in on the GPush icon.
Google has recently added IMAP as an available protocol for their GMail. This is a long awaited feature for GMail users (not just GMail iPhone users) as it allows for true synchronization between GMail and offline mail readers.
UPDATE: Now iPhone users can simply choose "GMail" from the list of built-in accounts when adding a new email account. Navigate to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Add Account -> Gmail and enter your account Address and Password. Touch "Save" and it will connect automatically.
Old information follows:
Google has offered two sources of easy to follow instructions, a text version and a video, for setting up GMail reading via IMAP on the iPhone. Both are copied below: