Startups Give E-mail a Big Boost on the iPhone with ReMail and GPush

8/14/09Follow @wroush

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open the regular mail app to read the full message. That’s all there is to it—once you’ve entered your Gmail login information into the GPush app, you never have to open it again. (For geeks only: Behind the scenes, Tiverias’s servers are creating a persistent IMAP connection with Google’s Gmail servers. When you get a new message, Gmail notifies Tiverias, which notifies Apple, which pings your iPhone.)

The recent rejection of the native iPhone apps that Google developed for location-sharing and voice-mail handling (Latitude and Google Voice, respectively) have contributed to the impression that Apple won’t allow any application onto the iPhone that competes with built-in apps or impinges on businesses Apple may one day develop. And these are far from the only examples: Apple also blocks mobile browsers like Opera that would compete with Safari. Given that GPush gives Gmail users a way to get push notifications without paying $99 a year for Apple’s MobileMe service, the approval of GPush is more than a bit confounding.

Gontownik speculates that after the storm of protest generated by the Google Voice rejection, “there’s a lot of pressure on [Apple] to accept any app that could be considered controversial.” My own theory—and I hope it’s wrong—is that whoever approved the app at Apple didn’t get the memo about competing apps, and that once GPush has gotten more publicity, the company will decide that it doesn’t like the app after all.

But for the moment, GPush is in Apple’s good graces. Gontownik and co-founder Eliran Sapir assure me that the overload issues that brought down Tiverias’s servers last week are being fixed, using software called Scaler that moves most of the work to cloud servers at Amazon. So visit the App Store and give GPush a try—before Apple changes its mind.

Postscript: On the subject of iPhone apps, there’s an important improvement in the works for Fluent News, a free news aggregator app that I wrote about back in June. Fluent News already gathers headlines and summaries for up to 600 news articles across 12 categories such as business, politics, entertainment, and technology. In an update that the company plans to announce on Monday, the app will get a search feature, allowing users to look for current or archived stories by keyword, the same way you might do at a Web-based news site like Google News. Fluent Mobile, the company that makes the app, says the new feature will make Fluent News “the first iPhone application to allow users to perform keyword searches across top news sources.”

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Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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