Because my iPhone is largely a work device these days, e-mail is an important element of what I do on it. And because e-mail is an important part of what I do on my iPhone, the iPhone application reMail has become key for me. The concept behind the application is quite simple. It downloads your entire Gmail account to your handheld device, compresses it so that it doesn’t take up an overwhelming amount of space, and then lets that e-mail reside on the device itself so that you can search it whenever and where ever you need. If you’ve ever tried to search for an e-mail from more than a few weeks ago on your iPhone you’ll understand how convenient the speed and off-line access to e-mail is.
And how well does it work? Well, thanks to reMail I have 81,066 different emails on my iPhone and they only take 304 MG of space. That’s impressive and makes it a must have app for serious iPhone users. Sadly, unless you have already purchased the application you’re out of luck.
As it’s been widely reported throughout the blogosphere, Google has rehired the developer of the application, made him a product manager for Gmail, and killed the iPhone application. I understand Google wanting to rehire a developer who has figured out how to compress so much data into a small footprint. I understand Google wanting to have the additional brainpower of someone who used to work for Google and has continued to hone his understanding of e-mail and how one might make it better. What leaves me a little bit perplexed is why Google would promptly have the developer kill an application that was generating money and increasingly gaining traction as more and more of us use our iPhone’s for work-related activities.
Possibility number one — Google wants to rebrand the application and release it into the App Store. (Not going to happen.)
Possibility number two — Google wants to build the technology into its suite of applications both online, and on the iPhone. (Not going to happen.)
Possibility number three — Google pulled the app from the app store and sent the following memo to Steve Jobs, “You are not to let our Google Voice application into your app store? Well then, we are not going to let you and your users play with our e-mail application.”