With a full-throated "Me too!" targeted straight at Microsoft's recently-released Outlook app, Google yesterday upgraded their Gmail email app for Android to better support non-Google email accounts, including @yahoo and @outlook.
Since last year users have been able to configure their other IMAP/Pop accounts to their Gmail for Android app, however, the app's somewhat shoddy design required users to switch between accounts to read and act on the content therein. With Gmail, Android users can now easily manage all the email from all of their accounts in a unified Inbox — the new "All Inboxes" option — in which they can view and respond to all of their email messages without needing to shift between accounts.
Along with the new unified inbox feature, Gmail for Android now also integrates Gmail's popular threaded conversations feature across all configured IMAP/Pop email accounts, thus offering valuable key functionality while also adding consistency to the user experience.
As welcome as the improvements to the Gmail for Android app are, the announcement of the new-and-improved Gmail for Android app cannot help but ring as a response to the introduction of Microsoft's Outlook app in late January. That app, which was available for iPhone and Android (and, of course, Windows Phone) at launch, came complete with a unified inbox and threaded conversations, and it made quite the splash both in the media and at Apple's iOS App Store and on Google Play. And as there is no word yet on when the new Gmail app functionality will carry over to Gmail for iOS or Gmail for Windows Phone, any buzz Google will get over their new — and overdue — mobile app functionality is sure to be somewhat muffled.