Google's Missed Opportunity

Google's iOS Gmail app is terrible. Wrapped around UIWebView, riddled with errors and crashes, and missing many key features, Google has disappointingly managed to uphold its trend toward shoddy products in its iOS line-up.

Many will argue that Google's focus is on Android, and while that may be true to some extent, it certainly does not exempt them from criticism. In fact, it demonstrates remarkable shortsightedness.

iOS is Android's direct competitor, and Google, whether they admit it or not, is actively seeking to draw iOS users to Android. More users, more ads, more revenue. Simple.

What better way to win over an iPhone user than by providing a superior interface, on Apple's OS, than Apple can provide? Why not push out a working, attractive, novel Gmail implementation for iOS? I certainly know that the sight of a well-designed Gmail app would have me second guess my opinions of Android.

Instead, faced with repeated questioning of its design clout (i.e., Reader and Gmail this week alone), Google has once again crumbled.

While some of its other apps are not quite as high profile, a Gmail app is a big deal, and such a high profile disaster is only going to weaken its case for any potential Android adopters. And frankly, that's just pathetic.

I have nothing against Android, but I find it brutally frustrating to watch Google flounder in the face of the professionalism offered by iOS, and even Windows Phone.

Until they can show me they can develop a working mobile app, why would I ever switch to their mobile operating system?