For Google to have the chance to shove rival e-mail clients out of the way on mobile devices, push has to come to Gmail.
That's what happened Sept. 22 as Google released push mail support for Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and Windows Mobile-based smartphones in its Google Sync product.
E-mail suffers some degree of latency when negotiating a packet path from mail servers to the e-mail clients they reroute mail to. This Google Sync push play means e-mail that pings Google's mail servers will automatically be pushed to users' Gmail accounts.
So users shouldn't have to refresh their Web browser to see the freshest e-mail messages, which they will see "very quickly," according to Raju Gulabani, product management director for Google Enterprise, who noted:
""Apps customers who love native mobile applications can now get push mail, contacts and calendar across the major corporate devices: BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows Mobile and, of course, Android. With the over-the-air, always-on push connections, e-mails and changes to calendar events and contacts are reflected very quickly on their phones.""
Google released Google Sync in February to let users synchronize their Gmail Contacts and Google Calendar with their iPhone, Windows Mobile and Nokia S60 devices.
However, push Gmail support was a glaring omission, particularly because Google already enables Gmail push on Android and RIM BlackBerry devices (via the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server).
With Gmail push coming for iPhone, Google has plugged a hole for users of the hottest smartphone in the world, and one that roaming business workers continue to use to connect with colleagues, customers, partners and other parties for work and pleasure.
Google Sync is free to all Google Apps customers and can be enabled by domain administrators in the U.S. English version of the administrative control panel. Push Gmail is already enabled for Google Sync users of iPhone and Windows Mobile devices. Here's how to set it up.
Read more takes about push Gmail on TechMeme.