Google deprecating native GMail app for BlackBerry as of November 22

By Bla1ze on 8 Nov 2011 06:06 pm EST
GMail for BlackBerry

While most people likely just set up their GMail on their BlackBerry directly, Google does offer their own native app for accessing GMail on BlackBerry smartphones. Adam, I know used to use it a lot but as Phil over at Android Central noticed -- Google has now deprecated the GMail app for BlackBerry. Yes, you can still get GMail on your BlackBerry -- this is strictly the app, that you download that will no longer be supported not GMail through your BIS account.

Beginning November 22, 2011, we will end support for the Gmail App for Blackberry (installed native app). Over this past year, we've focused efforts onbuilding a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser and will continue investing in this area.

Users may continue to use the app, if installed, however it will not be supported by Google, or available for download starting November 22. BlackBerry users can continue to access Gmail through the mobile web app at in their BlackBerry web browser. 

Sounds rather harsh right? While it may seem like a shot at BlackBerry, it's more a push for people to use Googles web services considering BlackBerry devices now support HTML5 better through the BlackBerry web browser. The current GMail app for BlackBerry is based off the 'old' look of GMail so there is still room for Google to revamp it.

They've done it with the most recent GMail for iOS -- but that thus far hasn't worked out so well either since it launched on iOS essentially broken. Of course, you can't forget the Android factor either which arguably offers the best GMail app experience on a mobile device so while it may not be a direct shot at RIM, its a clear sign they want you aware of Android.

Source: Google

Reader comments

Google deprecating native GMail app for BlackBerry as of November 22


For accounts you really don't want to check all the time. Plus, if you never opted for a BB data plan, it would actually work with just carrier data. I can see this affecting a small number of users but nothing drastic.

Kinda a, meh.. so what, it's gone deal.


You really should Edit the main article to Clear up the confusion,

Users will still be able to use gmail with the native mail client connected with BIS,

for the majority of users this changes nothing.
we will not be forced to use the webmail like phil implies

This is CrackBerry, lets reassure the less technical in our fold that if they have gmail set up using the Native email client on BIS this doesn't change anything for them

I thought as much but thanks for the clarification. Guess you could say that I'm a worrier and was a tad concerned since I do prefer using the native email client to access gmail and don't want to lose that. I absolutely hate using my mobile browser to access anything other than web surfing.

nothing, anyways Gmail for BB is a lame app, only reason why someone uses it to bypass the max 10 email accounts per device restriction on some carriers. Now native email app pretty much supports the Gmail folders etc..there is no reason to use a GMAIL app now

I don't know hey - I really love this app - been using it since my Nokia days - it's very effective at searching for old mail etc etc - and I only use Blackberry native mail for a specific account which receives very important email.

If you need access to more than 10 accounts for example...I have about 11 accounts integrated with the BIS and another 9 in the gmail app.

I agree. It puts its own icon for every account and I don;t want that. I use one single icon for all my email accounts.

I deleted the first revision of the GMail app about 5 minutes after it infested my phone and it has not been back since.

No, I do not think I'll lose much sleep over the demise of this litte app.

Actually it was VERY useful.

It supported Gmail functions like archiving (vs deleting) or starring messages. I could also search my whole gmail account for a message I needed.

And as an added bonus it DIDN'T cause the new message count for my BB to increment. No email is that important, I don't actually WANT my email to show up in my notifications area.

Sadly the Gmail app has been badly broken for a long time. So I'm using native BIS. Do I like it, no, it loses all the advantages of Gmail. But at least I can read my email on the go. But I will miss this app, a LOT.

RIM isn't dead, carriers sell blackberries, BIS works, data works. Failed troll. RIM is still in business. Google is simply dropping an app, that is all.

Yah u got a point! RIM isn't dead.... It's on life support, and the doctors are neglecting the fact that it is! And i ain't no troll... my past three phones are what? BlackBerries. But u know what? I am not gonna stand here and get shit on by RIM with mediocre devices, false promises for an amazing future, developers abandoning BlackBerry support! And no sir its not just google with g-mail! Its not just one app... every week i'm seeing a formal goodbye from some other developer or company to RIM and Blackberry! Yeah and thats how i'm gonna stick here and be a fanboy and praise a company that does not seem to give a damn about the fans! Well actually they do care about their fans, the ones in 3rd world countries that do not know the rate at which technology advances. Maybe thats why RIM focuses in opening new markets in countries that are so behind the rest of the world, so when they get new BlackBerry phones its amazing cause they do not know anything about anything (technologically speaking!). They are stuck in 2005 with their lack of development, just about where RIM is stuck as well! Yes, so now u tell me if u want to support a company that constantly drops the ball! And if you do, that's your choice! I got mine! I loved BlackBerry before because they had quality products that were wonders of their time! Now they trying to stay alive! Every new product is still months or years behind everything else thats out there! Not to say the ones coming out soon! I am not an android or apple fanboy! I have a macbook, BlackBerry phones, and never touched an android device! I'm just a consumer that wants to get quality for what i spend! But now with the state of Blackberry i can no longer flog a dead horse! Promises have been broken too many times! As a fan of a product that's a laughing stock to all, the abuse has become too much and too REAL in my own mind! No more defending some company that does not want to buckle up! Yeah the crackberry nation was quick to point out that apple dropped the ball with the iphone 4s! In a way they did... but who are we to criticize when the 4s is still a year ahead of all the shit products that RIM just brought out! I'm selling my 9900, hopefully before i get fed up and break the shit! I should have stayed with my 9780 and it would have been almost the same shit to me! The ball is in my hands... and i know who i ain't throwing it to! U decide if you wanna throw yours to a company that has been dropping it every single time! Enjoy

Oh! And this is not all about one stupid little app that rarely ever used, i could care less! This is all about the bigger picture... the one that RIM does not want to get. The one that looks like a total train wreck about to happen. I'm stuck with a phone that has 10 developers for it! And many thinking about leaving, if not doing it as we speak!

Yeh i honestly think this is it for real! Can't take it anymore and try to fake myself about something thats simply not good enough! And i can't close the door when i'm leaving. RIM doesn't have money to buy doors!

RIM need to follow suit and depreciate the BLACKBERRY now! They need to start doing something else.. software, hardware, or better yet! MOBILE SECURITY for corporate phones and stuff! IF they do want to continue a name change is in order like u said above! RIM BLACKBERRY how about RIP BLACKBURY or RIP BLACKBURRIED!!!!! hahahahahaha Slogan "RIP dressed in BLACK to BURY" hahahaha

Interesting how Apps are becoming yesterday's answer to mobile. HTML5 is looking like it could cause a significant shift in the mobile ecosystem over the next year as large houses get away from mobile app development in house and just build on HTML5 instead.

Its a shot at RIM. Its really amazing how you guys try to put a positive spin on everything.

" it's more a push for people to use Googles web services considering BlackBerry devices now support HTML5 better through the BlackBerry web browser."

This isn't a big deal at all. The app was severely lacking and really wasn't valuable for anything more than switching between gmail accounts. Using the web browser to access gmail is far more effective anyway.

While I feel the BIS version is flawed too, it is still a better alternative. Neither is better than simply using the web browser for it. Especially when using a BB7 phone.

Hi @Revyrah,

Alex from RIM here. I agree that there’s certainly no shortage of options for accessing Gmail on a BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, RIM has incorporated native support for Gmail in BlackBerry OS 5.0 and above since 2009. This gives users access to multiple Gmail accounts, calendar and contact syncing, and Gmail specific functions such as archive, star, label, conversation view and remote search. BlackBerry users can also access Gmail through our webkit browser with full support for HTML5.

For the latest BlackBerry news, be sure to keep an eye on our Inside BlackBerry Blog:

Alex, RIM Social Media Team

Well, this app was pretty crappy as Google never did implement proper BB UI elements. You couldn't even select and copy/paste text properly. I find using BIS to be much better.

The app that I hope Google doesn't deprecate and would redevelop is the Google Voice app. It's designed poorly and needs a major rework. Perhaps they could make it into an HTML5/webworks app. Of course they most probably won't and deprecate support for BBs there too.

weak sauce. i used the app to search through all my email for certain info. your bb purges stuff from its memory thats over 3 months old for the most part, so it was cool to be able to search everything.

With the enhanced Gmail pluggin, you can use labels and even search remotely on Gmail's servers for emails that aren't on your device.

Wow. Just saw that for the first time. The search takes a bit and it isn't as fluid as the app's searches, but it's nice to know it's there. Thanks!

Just learned this too! I was just assuming this was the same as my old 9000/9700 on OS5 that wouldn't let you do more than 3 months. I'm sure my 9800, 9810, and 9900 have all had the "forever" timeframe and I've never even noticed. Thank you.

I used the Gmail app to search for older emails...I'm gonna miss it.
HTML 5 would be great if it included all the features...for example there is no Google+ app for BB OS and there is no Conversation feature on the mobile web interface as far as I know.

They don't support the apps anyways and they haven't progressed at all, so it isn't really a loss...

I would still just use BIS to get gmail. But having this gone isn't good. It was an option to use, and options are good.

Is Google Maps next to go...

I used BB Traffic when it first hit beta. I didn't really like it. I've been using google maps a lot now. Since I'm in another country for a while I've been using it for things I didn't know you could do. The part I love the most about it is that I can find my way to places on public transit with google maps. It includes the times of the bus stops, the number of the busses, how many busses I need to take and how far I have to walk to each stop. I would love for BB Traffic to have everything in one app but until then I'll need other apps.

The updated version of Waze gives turn by turn direction.
It's free and quite accurate.
It does slightly drain your battery but which navigation app doesn't (?)

I like Gmail but if they start pulling they're services and support for BlackBerry, I'm going to have to find a new email provider. I need a communication device with a fantastic keyboard so I'm sticking with BlackBerry for a long, long time. I refuse to switch to an Android phone for Google's integrated services and would rather get an iPhone (even when I loathe them).

I don't think you need to worry about getting your e-mail on Gmail accounts at all.

Google is just stopping support for an app they is probably used by less than 1% of BB users.

Why use an app that does not integrate nearly as well as the BB Mail/messages Inbox?

I'm never leaving BB either but if I did it would be for a droid because apple is actually crippling Kindle, Google Books, Audible and other apps out of their own choosing to try to cajole you into buying their stuff.

If Apple did win the phone wars, and there were no smart phones left, I'd switch back to a dumb phone first. I just don't like their approach. Just because they lure others to their web does not mean I walking into it.

... actually, I have been looking more and more an doing a conversion to Microsoft's "Live" services/email. I started with Hotmail long ago.... went to gmail when it was brand new.... but now I'm wondering if gmail continues to offer any advantages over the Microsoft offerings. (also, I expect long term support from Microsoft with RIM.)

Honestly I still use gmail for email, it still handles EMAIL better, but Microsoft does web documents soooo much better, I actually run both cloned so I can manage my emails in gmail, but document handling in hotmail for one of my accounts, I'd love to stop paying for Google Apps but they are still the best for lots of email handling

DeRusett, how does Hotmail handle docs better than Gmail? I have a hotmail/live account but haven't used it much due to my reliance on Gmail. Do you use Office365? @dunaway

I never switched to Gmail, hotmail has worked flawlessly for me, ya it had that one time in the rut when I was getting every spam email. Now i get more spam in my gmail account then my hotmail account. Plus gmail never let me use my full name as an email handle whereas windows did :).

That's why I rely on Yahoo Mail for my personal email rather than the "sophisticated" GMail... GO RIM, prove that to Google!

Hey, hay, hay, what is with all this straw in my back? Okay, so this isn't the one that broke my berry back, but I keep getting the feeling that"the straw" can't be far off. Then again, I am sending this from a touchpad, so take it with a grain of salt and mix the metaphor.

LOL I can't believe this is news. People want to search their old emails once and awhile? Log into a computer once and awhile. Who cares if google isn't supporting it, just like Kobo, they haven't done a damn thing with it, so who cares? Now you will just have to grow up and start using your BB properly, start extracting email info and organize it using one of the many supported apps. No biggie.

I used to use it for searching my mail. But for some reason that hasn't worked for a few months now. I would search and the app would freeze. This happened on both my 9900 and my 9700. I started using the website and I don't touch the app. The site kicks ass and I don't really see much need for the app anymore if you have your gmail emails pushed to your phone.

I used to use the Gmail app alot and still like having it, but eventually migrated to native BB email via BES Google Apps connector. I still use the Gmail app on occasion, so I'm a little disappointed, but not surprised Google killed it. @dunaway

its ok, they just added a themes section to appworld on the PB. glad to see they have been using their time wisely.

Looks like I can finally get into developing for RIM. My submission will be a link to google images search.

I found that the OS7 browser directly to the Gmail site works fantastic if I have to go look for an e-mail that is older. BIS works great for instant Gmail.

In case you have BIS or the unlimited e-mail plan, you can use the advanced search feature in your 9900. Just set it to 'in server' and it will search all your emails, even the ones that are not in your device. It is that simple.

This does not affect me. While my email address ends in, I find my device's default messaging app to exceed my needs.

My primary gmail account is configured with my device thru BIS.

My secondary GMail account that I use to register with spammy-lookin websites is configured thru to forward to my primary email account.

From my Bold's BIS settings, I filter email sent to the secondary address. So spammy messages don't buzz my hip.

My primary computer and media consuming device is an Apple iPad 2.

I configured my email/calendar/contacts on the iPad with MS Exchange and typically add/remove/edit/view contacts soley from my Berry (primary communication device). This device does not have any filters set up.

Never bothered to download GMail for Berry or GMail for iOS.

I get terrible carrier signal in my garden-level apartment. Though the wifi signal is solid and consistent. 10 mins ago when I was in the kitchen expecting an email and flipping thru my iPad, it came right away. I don't know if because I had the email app open it "refreshed (and pulled)" the email in, or push just worked as expected, but it came thru right away on my iPad. And curiously, my Berry buzzed with "lightspeed" the email notification 7 minutes later. Both devices are connected to the same wifi network. This is not earth shattering or in need of tech support or attention, I just found it interesting that one device received the same email 7 minutes sooner.

I do think it will be interesting to see if I get a Facebook notification on screen with iOS 5 first or if it blings or buzzes my Berry first.

I use the gmail app on my BB. I like having the option and control of which webmail service I want to recieve through BIS. I can have multiple gmail accounts on the app. some gmail users may use thier accounts on and off so this may have been convenient for them, there are a few good features on the app. Its a shame there will be no further support, i've also been using this app from way back on nokia and sony ericsson etc etc. Getting a bit annoyed with app developers and apps being halted for BB OS! Hopefully its cause they are working on development for QNX and BBX :)

When BB was down (remember) I used this app, and it was great. I think should have an option of a pop3 checker to bypass the NOC system when it's down.

I enjoy using this app! And I use it a lot Unlike setting up gmail through BlackBerry Internet Service and havin to go to the browser to check your other folders, this app served a useful purpose as you can simply do that folder search in app! Gmail through BlackBerry Internet Service doesn't offer you that and that's what I'll miss...

This app was junk anyway, there had no been no updates since something like 2008. I had only used it to search for old emails but when I upgraded to the 9780 that stopped working so I deleted it. Big surprise Google is getting rid of an app for the device of a rival company.

With BB email you can't also use Google Sync which means you are limited to one calendar. The Gmail app and G-sync allows the multiple calendar feature.

And Native email has never sync my inbox properly.. it never shows read messages

Yeah gsync does allow multiple calanders but only if they are shared within gmail. Plus it has a bug of importing to one calander in bb, and then uploading it back to gmail causing double entries ( one in your gmail calander and one from your shared). I can't believe they tested that or accepted that, nor that bb build the native support for the full gmail cal func.

Nice thing thought that invites to gmail are now standard added to your calander with gsync, to bad that is another feature the native bis bb gmail sync lacks...

Ok I'll rant a little more, not all fields are synched with the native bb gsync for contacts, they are with gsync.

All in all bad integration

Hey, although I don't like the idea of alternative choices being removed or unsupported for BlackBerry devices, times change. We must adapt to what the future presents to us...

TBH, what I really don't understand or appreciate is why we get the link referring us to Phil Nickinson who calls our devices "poor clunkers". I thought that comment was unnecessary to say the least. I don't recall the reverse being true. No reciprocation of respect among the "Mobile Nations"???

Who care's really...Blackberry is so 1990's.

Blackberry needed to change years ago...but they failed to recognize the importance of the emerging consumer market. They failed to realize that push email, multiple calendars and contacts are the new paradigm, not just for BES (BES/BIS still one calendar...old school). They failed to recognize paying for the BES for most companies is not worth the cost. Besides you have Good messaging which is better and works across multiple platforms. Blackberry has nothing that remotely excites the general consumer. You lose the consumer market, your lose the Enterprise market. Blackberry will soon join Palm as the next epic fail.

Is there a high quality BIS and Web Browser alternative for Gmail? Basically a high quality gmail app?

How can you say it's not a direct shot at Blackberry??? They didn't say "we're no longer supporting the iOS or Android app." They are clearly, like everyone else, jumping off a sinking ship

Is there a way to add labels and star emails when all of your emails are sent to the main "messages" aggregator? I don't like the idea of having multiple folders for different email addresses to use this feature with Gmail. Even with the enhanced plug-in, I still don't see an option for this, unless you separate your email into different folders for corresponding addresses.

I never used the app on my phone anyway, I DO wish they'd update their app for the Playbook though, that thing never seems to work right & now I have a feeling since they've stopped the phone app they'll stop working on the Playbook one as well & I actually used that one.