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Gmail iOS app 2.0 is super pretty, but hard to use

Gmail app was removed from my iPhone a few days later. I am still impressed by some design details.

  • animation smoothness of adding new account
  • unique loading icons
  • sidebar badge and colour, folder count badge moving together with slider; badge moving underneath the main mailing list; inbox has gradiant backgound colour based on slider's width.

It also tries to generate avatar using inital when contact don't have a profile image.

Comparing to stock iOS mail app, it's missing some core features as a mail app on handheld devices.

It's just hard to zoom on Gmail app and it does not scale text well. Gmail, the image on the left, also cuts off edges on both left and right sides. It's already a small display, every pixel is valuable.

Gmail app does not support offline reading/sending emails. I usually utilise short time to read and trash my inbox in the morning. Offline reading is the most important feature I need when traveling, especially reception is not avaiable.

Although switching account animations in Gmail app is super awesome, it takes 3 taps moving from my personal email account to work email.

  1. at inbox, tap account
  2. tap account list
  3. find your account in strange order and tap

The stock iOS mail only requires 2 taps.

  1. at inbox, tab "Back"
  2. find your account and tap, you are there

If you are aware of animation directions, iOS Mail app is just more consistant (back then forth). Gmail is slightly awkward (slide right, slide down, slide up, slide left) adding too much noise to a user.

I guess awsome animations and graphics does not mean it's easy to use overall. Good try Google.

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