In mid-August, the GPush app came into iPhone's App Store, promising to send push notifications of Gmail messages when new mail came in. Just last week, Google offered its own push solution for Gmail messages, one that pushes e-mail down from the server into the native iPhone in-box. Did that spell the end of GPush? Not quite.
First, Google's push service, which is handled by Google Sync, can vibrate the phone and sound an alert chime when it pushes a new message down from the server, but it lacks GPush's alert bubble that helpfully displays the sender and subject.
Second, GPush and Google are neck and neck when it comes to performance, at least as far as our iPhone is concerned. GPush sniffs out the new message faster about half the time, perhaps even more often. The bottom line: Google's push isn't necessarily faster or better.
Although Google's official push option is free and GPush is a premium app (whose price ratcheted up from 99 cents to $1.99), you still pay a price going Google's route. You're allowed to have one e-mail account sync over Microsoft Exchange. If you use Google Sync, you've used your shot. This is poor news for those who also access their work mail from their iPhone over Exchange. For this set, GPush is the better way to go. You can still use a standard Gmail account that pulls e-mail from the server at regular intervals, and use GPush to let you know when a new message trickles in, who sent it, and what it's about.
An update to GPush adds a Gmail in-box to the application interface and a "View" button to the notification alert. Press that button and GPush can now open your in-box within its application. Since GPush is giving you access to Google's mobile Gmail site for iPhones, you'll be able to do anything with that e-mail that you could do from the Safari browser. In other words, with its proactive notification alert, Gpush has just one-upped Google, using Google's mobile site.
While the new Gmail in-box feature is exactly what we asked for, having Gpush open to the Gmail in-box tab took longer than it should. We hope to see this speed up in a future release.
What do you think about the GPush app versus Google's official Gmail push? Share your thoughts in the comments.