Gmail for iOS Upgraded With Custom Signature, Sketching

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-12-15

GMAIL IPHONE.png Google's mobile software team has been busy building a better iOS application for Gmail.

Six weeks after Google prematurely launched a native Gmail app for iOS devices, and four weeks after relaunching it with the necessary fixes, Google has added even more features to the program.

Gmail for iOS users may now add a custom signature for their outgoing mobile messages, or even a vacation responder.

These options may be activated through the gear icon at the top of the menu for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. The app also supports nested labels, which you can see in the picture on the right.

Google also added the ability for users of the Gmail native app or Gmail for mobile browser to sketch or scribble a message on a "canvas" that can be attached with an email message.

This feature, which includes different colors, brush sizes, lines, erasers and spray paint, recalling functionality from the HTC Scribe digital sketch tool for tablets. has been added both for the Gmail native app and Gmail for mobile.

"It's perfect for sending a quick sketch that is hard to express in words or adding a fun graphic to make your email more personal," said Gmail software engineer Ingrid Fielker.

Fielker added that Google is also planning to add banner notifications, multiple login support and the ability to send-as from any account already configured in Gmail for Gmail for iOS.

Google prematurely launched its Gmail application for iOS available in Apple's App Store Nov. 2. Within minutes of downloading the application to their devices, users received error messages in lieu of their push notifications.

After detecting a bug in the application's code that broke messaging notification, Google pulled the application from the App Store, but not before thousands of people had downloaded it.

Google relaunched the app with the necessary fixes and some new features.

The app includes push notifications, message search, auto-complete for email addresses, and the ability to upload photos with a click using the new attachment button in compose view.

The application also includes Google's Priority Inbox feature to let users rank important messages, threaded conversations and the ability to sort mail in archives, labels, stars and trash.

Why put all of this effort into improving an iPhone app for Gmail when Gmail is already one of the most popular apps on Android, which is the leading smartphone platform in the world?

It's simple, really. The iPhone is the single most popular smartphone ever, and most iPhone users are also users of Gmail. Google clearly sees this opportunity as Reese's peanut butter cup match.

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