I just found out that on 22nd of November, Google is going to discontinue their Gmail App for BlackBerry.
This is a serious, serious problem for me.
Let me explain.
I have 12GB of email in my personal Google Apps account.
I have 7GB in my Mobile Industry Review Google Apps account.
I want quick, easy access to that mail. I love the fact that *anywhere* in the world, I can query my Google mail through the BlackBerry app really quickly. It’s a bit clunky because Google seems to have stopped evolving the app — but it gets the job done and I’ve found it highly reliable.
I also need to be able to easily, easily ‘manage’ my mail. The BlackBerry Gmail app is one of the *quickest* ways of managing my email. Much of the avalanche of email that comes in needs to be reviewed-n-archived (simply press ‘e’) or deleted (‘d’) or starred for follow-up (‘s’). I can get through my email SO quickly with these little keyboard commands.
Come November 22nd, however, I’ll need to lump it. Luckily I’ll still be able to *use* the app, since I’ve got it installed on all my BlackBerries. However Google are actively *removing* the app — that is, on November 23rd, you won’t be able to find it to install it.
It’s an interesting move.
Why are you doing this Google?
Of course, the key point is that they’d rather I do everything in the browser. Or on Android. Both are shite experiences. There is no Android hardware — NONE — worth looking at from a messaging/email standpoint. They’re all tinpot shit experiences for me. I need the BlackBerry UI. I need to be able to get shit done quickly using a decent physical keyboard — something that is beyond every Android device ever marketed to date.
And the browser? Don’t make me laugh.
Of course the fundamental problem here is the abomination that is Gmail support on BlackBerries. Google Sync works like a dream on every BlackBerry I’ve ever owned. The calendars and contacts all update beautifully. The email, however, is a nightmare. It certainly works. Just, deletes don’t seem to sync. Ever. It’s been winding me up something chronic for a long time. And, because deletes don’t sync, email begins to pile up on my device so that every few weeks I need to actually delete my Gmail account on the device and set it up again. Just so it becomes usable.
It’s a bit of a mess, frankly.
Well, I’ve been looking for a decent solution for a while. I think the answer is definitely to stay on BlackBerry for my primary messaging experiences. I don’t think there’s anything better.
Google, on the other hand, by making this decision have seriously annoyed me. It’s a real inconvenience. I spend a lot of money with them on Google Apps accounts and don’t expect to be dicked around in this manner.
I’ve been quite enjoying using the ‘connector’ for Google Apps that makes it work natively like BES on my BlackBerry. The biggest issue I have is that I can’t search my 12GB & 7GB of email data easily this way. That’s why I have the Gmail App on the BlackBerry.
What a flipping annoyance.
I’m going to take another look at Office365 and their BES connectivity.
Meanwhile, beyond glaring at Google (and BlackBerry, for not sorting out their Gmail Plugin), do you have any suggestions?
Update: Ben Smith over at Wireless Worker has this perspective.