Google axes its BlackBerry Gmail app


PETALING JAYA: Google has announced that it will end support for its native Gmail app for the BlackBerry platform on Nov 22.

The company plans to streamline its efforts, stating: “Over this past year, we’ve focused efforts on building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser and will continue investing in this area.”

Existing users will still be able to use the app, however after Nov 22, it will no longer be available for download and support such as the troubleshooting guide will be discontinued.

In response to the development, RIM released a statement noting that the BlackBerry OS incorporates native Gmail support, and that a standalone app is not required.

“The large majority of users who access Gmail on their BlackBerry smartphone already rely on the native support (provided through BlackBerry Internet Service) rather than the separate Gmail app,” the statement said.

BlackBerry users can continue to access Gmail through the mobile web app (www.gmail.com) in their BlackBerry web browser.

The announcement by Google comes in the wake of a reported second outage with users reporting delays of

BlackBerry Messenger chats and e-mail messages in the same regions where the company saw a major outage less than a month ago.

The BBM and e-mail delivery delays are affecting the EMEIA region (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa) that suffered a nearly four-day-long complete outage in October due to a failed backup server in Britain.

These setbacks come at a crucial time for the company as it deals with product delays, a sliding stock price and a shrinking share of the mobile device market. — GABEY GOH

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