Push It: Google Launches Push Gmail For iPhone, Windows Mobile

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Been holding your breath for Google to roll out push Gmail for Google Sync? If you own an iPhone or Windows Mobile device, you can finally exhale.

Google on Tuesday expanded its Google Sync service to include its Gmail e-mail service -- a long-awaited step from Google in that it means Gmail messages will finally be available as push notifications for iPhone, iPod Touch and Windows Mobile phones.

In other words, if you're an iPhone or Windows Mobile phone user, you can now include Gmail alongside the Google calendar items and contacts already available through Google's seven-month-old Google Sync program. Your Gmail messages show up immediately, instead of at intervals, on the devices.

"Having an over-the-air, always-on connection means that your in box is up to date, no matter where you are or what you're doing," wrote Douglas Gresham, a software engineer for Google Mobile, in a post to Google's Mobile blog. "Sync works with your phone's native e-mail application so there's no additional software needed. Only interested in syncing your Gmail, but not your Calendar? Google Sync allows you to sync just your Contacts, Calendar, or Gmail, or any combination of the three."

Google's push update for Gmail doesn't include the S60 platform for mobile phones running on Nokia's Symbian OS -- a surprise considering the Google Sync beta, first released in February, allowed users to synchronize their Gmail contacts and Google Calendars with iPhones, Windows Mobile phones and S60 devices. Gresham's post didn't address why S60 and BlackBerry users have to wait longer for their Gmail push fix.

Push notification for Gmail has been a long-sought feature for mobile users, such that third-party app developers attempted to fill the gap -- at least for iPhones. Among the most popular Gmail push apps for iPhone are GPush, a 99-cent app from Tiverias Apps, which was released in mid-August, and PushMail, a $4.99 app that purports to send any e-mail redirected to a dopushmail.com account.

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