Google's Gmail is the third most popular e-mail service in the U.S., after Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.
Google's Gmail is the third most popular e-mail service in the U.S., after Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.

Story highlights

Gmail mobile app is released, then pulled, from Apple's online store

The app was made available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Google said bugs broke the app's notification system and caused error messages

No word on when fixed Gmail app will be released

CNN —  

One of the most highly anticipated apps for Apple devices was made available on Wednesday. At least, until it wasn’t.

Google announced a Gmail app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that was designed to make it easier for the service’s more than 190 million users to navigate their mail.

“We check email pretty much everywhere these days,” Google content manager Matthew Izatt wrote on the Gmail blog. “And when we do, we want easy access to our important messages so we can respond quickly and get back to life – or slinging birds at thieving green pigs.”

Users of Apple’s operating system could already access Gmail through a mobile site or set it up as their default e-mail account. But the new app promised a smoother experience with a host of new features. The tech blogosphere was delighted.

“Go get the iPhone app for Gmail!” popular blogger Robert Scoble wrote on his Google+ page.

Then, a few minutes passed.

“UPDATE: DO NOT. The Gmail app is really a piece of crud,” he wrote. “Not worth loading. Very disappointed.”

Google had obviously already noticed what Scoble did. Shortly after it was unveiled, the app was pulled from the Apple Store.

“The iOS app we launched today contained a bug with notifications,” Google posted on its Gmail Twitter account. “We have pulled the app to fix the problem. Sorry we messed up.”

Later, a fuller explanation was added to the original blog post.

“Earlier today we launched a new Gmail app for iOS,” Google posted. “Unfortunately, it contained a bug which broke notifications and caused users to see an error message when first opening the app. We’ve removed the app while we correct the problem, and we’re working to bring you a new version soon. Everyone who’s already installed the app can continue to use it.”

The app … at least the fully working version of it … will send push notifications and sound cues when new messages are received, search your inbox for an e-mail, autocomplete e-mail addresses and upload photos to messages.

It will also feature the same Priority Inbox that Gmail’s Web version has and add a new mobile interface that will allow users to navigate their inbox more quickly with touch controls.

There was no word from Google Wednesday afternoon as to when the fixed app might be back up.