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Bug Google IOS Technology

Google's iOS Gmail App Pulled 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-ready-for-primetime dept.
olsmeister writes "Google removed their new GMail app from the App Store due to a programming error that caused an error message related to the aps-environment entitlement string when the app was started and also caused the notifications not to function correctly. They are working to get the app fixed and are going to have the new one ready soon."
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Google's iOS Gmail App Pulled

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  • by wsxyz (543068)
    That functionality and usability testing by the app-store staff must have been extra rigorous with this app, or something.
    • Yeah, I'm really not sure how this made it all the way to being distributed. When you run the app for the first time, it immediately gives you an error message. How was this not caught?
      • Yeah, I'm really not sure how this made it all the way to being distributed. When you run the app for the first time, it immediately gives you an error message. How was this not caught?

        When you give an application to Apple to test, if it involves accounts you have to give them working logins. So it could be the test logins worked OK, just not some (or all?) general logins.

        Also in any server based application there could be server changes at any time that simply break an application (though given they have

        • by bamf (212)

          When you give an application to Apple to test, if it involves accounts you have to give them working logins. So it could be the test logins worked OK, just not some (or all?) general logins.

          It was failing as soon as it started, way before you could enter any account details.

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/dynamitedotorg/6306722740/in/photostream [flickr.com]

        • When you give an application to Apple to test, if it involves accounts you have to give them working logins. So it could be the test logins worked OK, just not some (or all?) general logins.

          The error is, from all the reports I've read, related to the interaction with the on-device notifications API (which is why, in addition to producing the initial error message, it also prevents notifications from working, while leaving other functions operational), not the server-side login or interactions.

        • by cgenman (325138)

          This is a bit of a simplification, but development on Apple's platform is done with sandbox accounts in a sandbox version of their system. You can build for your company in your certified sandbox, but you need other things when you release to the public. So there is a build certificate. There is also a push notification certificate (though I'm less familiar with that). It looks like Google either had a sandbox push notification certificate instead of a release push notification certificate, or didn't re

    • Google probably labeled it "beta" so you've got to expect some bugs :-)

    • by mjwx (966435)

      That functionality and usability testing by the app-store staff must have been extra rigorous with this app, or something.

      What makes you think they tested it. It's not like the App store can audited by a third party.

    • by sd123 (325151)

      As Blofield says in Diamonds are for ever, "Right idea, Mr. Bond but wrong pussy".

    • That functionality and usability testing by the app-store staff must have been extra rigorous with this app, or something.

      My guess: Google has pushed a buggy final so they could claim Apple rejected it - Apple saw through it. Google will now claim Apple published old beta.

      Anyway, what makes you think the Apple AppStore staff is a alpha tester for Google? Wouldn't that fucking be Google's job to test their app with their service?

    • by bonch (38532)

      I was curious how Slashdot would spin this terrible app release. I should have guessed that it was going to be pinned on Apple's testers.

      • Frankly, they both screwed up in their own way. I say we just point and snicker at both of them and move on with our lives. People make mistakes, and sometimes they are funny. Laugh, and live on.

        Of course, this could just be all the rum talking...
  • by guinness_duck (231583) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @05:40PM (#37926054) Homepage Journal

    Sadly the error message wasn't the worst problem that app had. No multiple accounts. No use of the Important Message feature. I've heard tags could be accessed by swiping right but that never worked for me and seems t have been an issue for many other users as well. Not to mention the whole app felt like a rushed kludge job of half baked ideas, and very inconsistant user interface. Not to mention it was far slower than just using the web site or Apple's own mail app. I think it needs a lot more work before they bother to resubmit it to the iOS app store.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      I completely agree. This app is worthless and most certainly much much worse than iOS native mail client. Sure, you can star a mail with one click, but the app sucks big time.

      Google is clearly showing a huge disparity in the quality of their stuff on this one. My advice is to stop the rush about the bug, keep the app offline and either drop it or develop something that has a little value.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I can't get into details, but I'm relatively familiar with Google's internal culture and the people they hire. And my general conclusion is that Google is absolutely the new Microsoft. Google's loaded with smart, talented, motivated people, but upper management generally lacks taste. By and large they're engineers and scientists without any real creative sensibility or vision. (And they don't appear to be good at monetizing products, with one Big Exception, and a couple of very small ones.)

        Within five secon

        • by jo42 (227475)

          Google's loaded with smart, talented, motivated people

          AKA highly educated idiots.

        • A long time ago somebody wise said that the long term success of every tech company depends on building your own competition. If you don't create the product that out-competes your cash cow, someone else will. Instead of trying to defend their little castle of Ads, Google must try to come up with products that make the ad revenue model obsolete, because a lot of other companies are trying to do that very thing. Google must continuously re-invent itself every couple of years from now on, or fall behind.

          On

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            A long time ago somebody wise said that the long term success of every tech company depends on building your own competition. If you don't create the product that out-competes your cash cow, someone else will. Instead of trying to defend their little castle of Ads, Google must try to come up with products that make the ad revenue model obsolete, because a lot of other companies are trying to do that very thing. Google must continuously re-invent itself every couple of years from now on, or fall behind.

            One o

            • Nope, it's much older - IIRC from the late 1960s or early 1970s. But Jobs, more than most, followed that precept - and it's worked out OK so far.

        • Taste? Have you been reading the Jobs biography?
        • by bonch (38532)

          One thing that fascinates me about Android is that it was the same move Microsoft made with Internet Explorer, pumping a product into a new market at a price others couldn't compete with because it was funded by monopoly profits (from web search). However, Google's marketing department took advantage of the positive feelings associate with "openness" and attached themselves to those particular communities including this one, turning Android into some kind of open source movement even though it's not open.

          Th

    • Not to mention the whole app felt like a rushed kludge job of half baked ideas, and very inconsistant user interface.

      Indeed. I've had the GMail app on my iPhone for over a year now - and it sucks rocks through a garden hose. And that pretty much goes for all of Google on the iPhone.

    • by rflii (736456)
      You think Apple let the buggy app get through so they could say "Hey, look at this crap. We know how to make a mail app for your iPhone"
      • by bryan1945 (301828)

        Was wondering how long it would take someone to blame Apple.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Was wondering how long it would take someone to blame Apple.

          On first look at the title of the article, I would've blamed Apple (though I have to admit the whole "Apple bans another app" meme is getting old).

          Except this time it's Google pulling their app. And just a few weeks ago the same thing happened with the Google Voice app.

          I wonder if the Android versions of those apps are that bad...

  • Really, Google? You hired all kinds of brilliant people, including 3 of my smartest friends, and yet you make basic quality control errors?

    Sometimes the ability of organizations with multitudes of extremely smart people to achieve nothing more than mediocrity boggles my mind.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Moreover, they released an app that sucks big time. Slow, inconsistent, barely usable, no tags, no multiple accounts. This app is worse than the mobile gmail website.

      So overall it looks like QA wasn't the only thing disregarded in the overall release.

      • Google was quite obviously testing the Apple app store QA process - submit a faulty, Slow, inconsistent, barely usable app and see what's picked up...... it seems only the money was picked up. /humour
    • All the big brains working on Adsense and search probably think a simple iOS app is beneath them and have palmed it off on Tibor the latverian intern.

      • The Latverian intern IS "all the big brains" working on Adsense - the highly qualified, highly paid geniuses are all busy attending meetings.
  • It is completely inexcusable for Google to botch up a high-profile app release like this. Google has thousands of engineers, PMs, and testers, and they can't release an app for Gmail, one of their flagship user-facing products? There is absolutely no reason for this to happen other than complete and total incompetence. And you cannot blame this on iOS 5 because the beta 1 was released back in June.
    • Google is pretty shoddy in some areas. Customer support, imo, is the biggest one but, imo, they also seem more happy to push new features than fix problems. Google Maps was broken for me on my Android phone a couple years ago due to an update for a good few weeks before it was fixed.
    • by rayd75 (258138)

      It is completely inexcusable for Google to botch up a high-profile app release like this. Google has thousands of engineers, PMs, and testers, and they can't release an app for Gmail, one of their flagship user-facing products?

      Inexcusable? Maybe. ...but not at all unexpected. Anyone who's attempted to make use of the Google Voice iOS app over the last ~year that it's been available would think that an app that errors-out at launch is the next evolutionary step. It's had at least three updates but none of them have addressed abysmal performance, hangs, lock-ups, and false "call failed" error messages that were present and widely experienced from the very start.

  • Seriously, WTF would I install an app thats basically a web page to use GMail when I have the built in mail app?

    I just enable IMAP on GMail, and all my computers using that account are synced perfectly. IMAP really is awesome, don't understand the need for a web based (unless I'm at a kiosk, or using some else's machine) to access email when I have a native app.
    • I love how Android allows me to keep my personal GMail and my work Exchange account in different apps, I assume that this is meant to do the same thing on iOS. That way by just looking at the little "unread" number hovering over the app I can tell whether those unread emails are personal or professional: right now I have no way of making this differentiation.
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Use exchange sync instead of IMAP with gmail, you get push notifications as well as cal and contact syncing if you want. Specifically, use the Exchange option in Mail, not the IMAP or Google Mail options.

      Gmail supports IMAP IDLE for push, but the iPhone mail client only supports push on Exchange for some retarded reasons I've yet to determine.

    • by darrylo (97569)

      iOS IMAP and the gmail iOS interface are crippled, as neither supports push.

      As BitZtream said, the exchange sync (aka, "google sync") is the way to go, as you get push email, and also synchronized contacts and calendars. The only downside is that google sync doesn't support contact groups -- all of your contacts get lumped into one big pile (if you want contact groups, use iCloud -- iCloud contacts is the one really good thing about iCloud).

  • Love the sensationalist attention whore of a headline. They way it's worded, it makes it sound like Apple pulled Google's app instead of Google taking it down because it didn't work right.
    • by Threni (635302)

      I didn't read it that way. You sound a little defensive.

    • by Firehed (942385)

      They should have. I liked iOS apps better back when their app review department actually did something. Everyone bitched and whined about slow updates, and now we have a bunch of shitty apps. They shouldn't be reviewing for good taste (beyond store policy violations) but there's no way they even opened the app since the first thing it did on launch was pop up a cryptic error dialog.

      Honestly I'm just as disappointed in Apple for letting this through as I am in Google for submitting such an atrocious piece of

  • This is unheard of. The industry standard is to leave non functioning apps in the app store.
  • by rubypossum (693765) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @09:22PM (#37928810)
    It seems like Google has been having problems communicating [parislemon.com] within its own departments lately. They're just doing too many things at once. It's like watching a sleep-deprived juggler get thrown a few extra chainsaws during their act - not a pretty sight.
    • by rsborg (111459)

      It seems like Google has been having problems communicating [parislemon.com] within its own departments lately. They're just doing too many things at once. It's like watching a sleep-deprived juggler get thrown a few extra chainsaws during their act - not a pretty sight.

      Is this any surprise after Larry Page restructured the organization [cnn.com] to resemble more (in the words of the linked article) "a confederacy". The last line of the article may have been prophetic:

      As far as internal practices go, the new model appears to give more autonomy to the business heads and let them do most of the interacting with only a little centralized leadership from the top.

      This confederate model may work well for Google, but keeping a cohesive company focus will remain challenging for the new CEO.

    • by bonch (38532)

      This company is late 90s Microsoft. Engineer-driven rather than user-driven, and all behavior motivated by the need to support the monopoly product.

  • They are working to get the app fixed and are going to have the new one ready soon.

    It's not really what any self-respecting developer would call an app though. It's a sloppy and lazy thing which is just a wrapper around the mobile web interface. To quote The Verge [theverge.com]:

    The app is basically just the Gmail web app with a wrapper around it and offline functionality, though it does have some nice tweaks like a left-side drawer that slides out to show labels and an easy way to attach photos from your camera roll. Of

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