At first glance there doesn’t seem to be much call for a dedicated Gmail app on your iOS mobile. After all, the built-in Mail app handles your Gmail account with ease. But what Gmail offers Google-addicts is integration with other Google services and apps, so you have access to your Google Calendar invites and Google+ posts.

It also offers a much faster search tool, and provides profile pictures of your contacts where possible in conversations. There’s also support for threaded conversations, auto-complete when entering names from both your Google Contacts as well as those stored on your phone or tablet.

You’ll also find additional tools for managing your mail – some are obviously covered by the Mail app, but Gmail naturally goes further to provide service-specific tools like labelling mails as well as reporting spam quickly and easily.

The user interface is clean and minimalist, and easy to navigate. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the Mail app, if you’re a Gmail user you’ll definitely want to give this a whirl. We’re not going back…

Version 2.7182 adds:

- Background app refresh: Gmail now fetches your mail even when it is not open so it will be waiting for you when you open the app. Requires iOS 7 and at least one type of notification (badge, alert, or banner) to be turned on.
- Simplified sign-in: Signing into Google Apps such as Gmail, Maps, Drive and Chrome just got easier. Sign in to one, and you'll be signed in to all automatically.

Verdict

Version 2 finally gives Google Mail users a compelling reason to switch to Google’s own mail app – faster, slicker, more fully featured.