Gmail App For BlackBerry To Be Discontinued

Gmail App For BlackBerry To Be Discontinued

The maker of Android software, Google Inc, said in an “end-of-life announcement” that it will no longer support the Gmail App to its rival Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry smart phones.

Google said “Beginning on November 22 2011, we will end the support for Gmail App for BlackBerry (installed native app). Over the past year we have focused effects on building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser and will continue investing in this area”.

However, Google will allow users to use  Gmail App in case they have already downloaded it.  In a statement that was posted online, Google said that while the Gmail users on BlackBerry will be able to continue consulting Google’s guide for troubleshooting the App, the guide “will not be maintained or enhanced”.

Google’s Gmail ranks among the world’s popular web-based e-mail services and it is said by the company that it has service to around 200 million users. According to ComScore data, the number of unique visitors to Gmail rose to 31 percent in October reaching 59.6 million.

However the RIM spokesperson said it will not affect BlackBerry users who access Gmail as they can still make use of its native support to synchronize with Gmail. Since 2009, RIM incorporated the native support for Gmail in BlackBerry OS 5.0 and above.

Gmail’s pull out : RIM’s woes

Many analysts were worried with the embarrassing service given by BlackBerry during last month and they also feared that many users might switch to Android and Apple devices.

It left millions of users unable to have access to e-mail across western Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe North and South America. The blame was put up on the failure of a core switch and the back-up mechanism at a facility in Europe.

RIM is struggling to find a way to stop its decline in the smart phone share market and revive its interest in Playbook tablet since the market went to 4.1 percent, the lowest ever since Aug 13, 2004.

The decision to end Gmail App however came as this internet giant has increasingly shifted its focus to RIM’s rival: Apple.

Roger Entner, founder of market research firm Recon Analytics LLC at Massachusetts said “Google is sticking it to RIM because RIM has become more and more of a competitor, from an eco-system perspective and pending the Motorola decision from a device perspective”

Though Zdnet UK asked Google whether this would be killing of Android Gmail App in favour of the browser based alternative, there was no reply at the time of writing.

However this is the second time in the week that Google has removed an app from the mobile Operating System since it released and subsequently pulled its Gmail App for Apple devices including iPad and iPod touch due to a bug associated with the notifications feature and some crash reports.

No matter how RIM spins it though, when one of the largest e-mail providers in the world drops the support for a platform and asks the user to wait for a period of time for a mobile web page to be developed doesn’t seem good.

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Nishadha - November 21, 2011

More bad news for Blackberry although they did manage to announce a cool new version recently. Another thing this highlights is the how most services are dependent on Google whether they like it or not.

Mary - November 21, 2011

Nice under the belt hit for Blackberry. I happen to own one and it tops iPhone any day of the year. But i guess only thing that matters is money for these companies.
Lucky me i don’t use gmail that often, can’t talk for the rest of Blackberry users though.

Adrian - December 8, 2011

Gmail has been one of the most popular email services of today. So this alarming news could really create some effects to blackberry users. Maybe it won’t caused any declination on the part of blackberry market, but could possibly increase the number of android users.

Josh Grund - January 23, 2012

It’s very unfortunate that the Gmail app for the Blackberry has been discontinued. I’m sure there are a lot of Blackberry users that are also Gmail users at the same time. Most people are fascinated with Blackberry because of it’s BBM, but now, Gmail users will have to get an Android or iPhone as an extra phone if they want access to their Gmail while on the go.

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