Google has issued significant updates to its Gmail and Google Calendar apps on iOS. This is the first major update to Gmail in—get this—four years.
That surprises me. But I’ve been Google’s Inbox—instead of Gmail—on the web and on my iPhone and Android devices because of its simple, streamlined user interface. (I alternate with Microsoft Outlook on iPhone/Android, actually.) Looking at this new version of Gmail, I see some similar capabilities—swipe to archive, and so on—and then some weird Gmail-isms I don’t deal with in Inbox, like the ability to “star” messages. They’re similar, but Inbox still seems simpler to me.
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The new Gmail is also supposed to be a lot faster than before—Inbox is already a speed demon–and it provides some new (to mobile) features, such as Undo Send for those “whoopsie” moments. It works like Undo in Inbox, where you have a short window to turn back the clock after a certain action. (Inbox lets you undo an archive operation, for example.)
And finally, as you’d expect, Gmail for iOS sports improved search with instant, as-you-type results. You know. Just like Inbox. Actually, Gmail’s search seems even faster.
On the Google Calendar side, things have been top-notch for some time now—Google Calendar remains the very best mobile calendar client—but it picks up a few useful new features too. There’s a new(ish) landscape view for the app, which now provides both month and week views. The app finally supports iOS’s Spotlight Search feature, so you can find events, reminders and goals by swiping left on the home screen. And it works better with alternate calendars.