Google Feb. 18 acquired reMail, a startup whose application downloads users' e-mail to their Apple iPhone and lets users conduct full-text e-mail search. Google could have reMail founder Gabor Cselle build a reMail-like application for Google's Android platform. If this is the case, Google has struck a blow to Apple, which has more than 100,000 apps in its vaunted but Draconian App Store. A Google spokesperson is implying Cselle will work on Google's mobile Gmail efforts. Google's acquisition of reMail underscores that the application guerilla warfare with Apple is continuing apace.
Google and Apple are engaged in application guerilla warfare.
Google Feb. 18 acquired reMail
, a startup whose application downloads users' e-mail to their Apple
iPhone and lets users conduct full-text e-mail search.
The purchase was first reported by reMail founder Gabor
Cselle, a former Google engineering intern who will be rejoining Google as a product
manager on the Gmail team.
The hire and acquisition alone aren't such big news, but
it's what Google is doing with reMail. Cselle
said in a blog post
Google and reMail have removed reMail's iPhone application from
Apple's App Store and will discontinue it. ReMail will continue to work for
those who downloaded it, with support running through March 31.
The prevailing sentiment
is that Google will have Cselle build a reMail-like
application for Google's Android platform. If this is the case, Google has struck
a blow to Apple, which has more than 100,000 apps in its vaunted but Draconian
The hints are subtle, but undeniable. eWEEK asked Google about its
designs for Cselle and the reMail technology. A Google spokesperson was
vague beyond implying Cselle will work on Google's mobile Gmail
"We're excited to welcome Gabor to Google, and we're
looking forward to continuing to improve the e-mail experience on mobile
devices. Other than that, I don't have any specific info to share."
Meanwhile, Cselle noted: "reMail's goal was
reimagine mobile e-mail, and I'm proud we have built a product that so many
users find useful. Still, I feel like we've only seen the beginning of what's
possible. Google is the best place in the world to improve the status quo on
how people communicate and share information."
ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick highlighted
the blow to Apple and boon for Google:
"That Google just bought something that's all about
one of the iPhone's core functions, e-mail, is interesting. Sure, the app is
shuttered now, but imagine if Apple had decided to buy reMail instead. If
Cselle was working on the iPhone's native e-mail application, that would have
been better for Apple than this may turn out to be if he helps make Android's
e-mail the best in the mobile world."
This isn't the first time Google struck at Apple's iPhone
ecosystem. Google made a major march on the App Store when it moved to purchase AdMob
AdMob's claim to fame is that it has the most amount
of advertising placed within iPhone applications. In acquiring AdMob, Google
would gain incredible insight into the App Store, providing a competitive
advantage for Google as it seeks to grow the Android platform.
Apple isn't standing still. The company bought Quattro Wireless
in response to the AdMob bid, but its most notorious
offensive on Google was
the original Google Latitude and Google Voice application submissions
and forcing Google to rewrite them
as Web apps.
There has also been speculation that Apple is planning to
replace Google with Microsoft Bing
as the default search engine for its iPhone.
Moreover, Apple is patenting geolocation apps
that would compete with Google Apps such as
Google's acquisition of reMail underscores that the
application guerilla warfare with Apple is continuing apace.