Google drops BlackBerry Gmail app

By Liam Tung on Nov 14, 2011 3:51 PM
Filed under Services

Web Gmail for BlackBerry, app for iOS?

Google will close the lid on its Gmail App for BlackBerry on November 22, claiming it is focussed on delivering a better experience through the browser.

The discontinued app joins dozens of products Google has scrapped over the past year. However, its reason for stopping further developments jars with its botched release of a Gmail app for iOS earlier this month.  

Google intends to relaunch the iOS app after it resolves the problems that hampered the app at launch.

"[We] are ceasing development on the Gmail app for BlackBerry to focus on the mobile browser experience," Google stated on its apps support page.

Research in Motion issued a statement to the Wall Street Journal claiming that most of its users relied on the BlackBerry Internet Service anyway. 

"Since 2009, RIM has incorporated native support for Gmail in BlackBerry [operating system] 5.0 and above, which means that a separate Gmail app is not required," the statement said.

"The large majority of users who access Gmail on their BlackBerry smart phone already rely on the native support (provided through BlackBerry Internet Service) rather than the separate Gmail app."

BlackBerry users with the app already installed will be able to continue using it but it will not be updated or improved.

Microsoft's director of SharePoint products and technology Tom Rizzo took the opportunity to fire a shot at its rival for shuttering the app.   

"That is completely unacceptable if you’re a CIO banking on this technology to run your business," he said.

"I question Google’s commitment to businesses.  Is their focus really on delivering great business solutions, or is it on protecting their advertising business?  I see the answer in the way they treat customers." 

 
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