Everyone was a bit surprised when Microsoft came up with a YouTube client of its own that didn’t have ads and was capable of downloading videos for offline viewing. Some went as far as labeling the app even better than the Android version of YouTube. Pretty quickly though, it became apparent that Google wasn’t happy with the new app, and it was soon taken down from the WP Store, temporarily at least. In this context, it looks highly unlikely that Windows Phone users will be receiving an official app for any Google service in the near future. After Google Maps, Gmail is probably the most popular service offered by Google to smartphone users. While WP8 has some pretty decent options when it comes to navigation, now the Gmail app from iOS has been ported to WP8 as well (sort of). Of course, Gmail for WP8 is an unofficial app, and has its fair share of problems, but if you are a regular user of the service, it is worth a shot.
Gmail for WP8 has an interface that is pretty similar to the stock Mail app in WP8, but it is also slightly reminiscent of the iOS version of Gmail, apart from the WP-style menus.
To get started, you have to sign in using your ID and password on the app’s welcome screen. Once logged in, it takes a few moments for the app to pull all of your messages. The emails show up with the name of their sender (or recipient), importance level, subject, preview and associated date. To perform actions on one or more emails without opening them, hit the ‘Select’ button from the bottom bar. Emails can be moved, deleted and archived.
The app supports viewing and management of all labels you might have created on your account. This means it is possible to view sent mails, drafts, unread, spam, etc. If you can’t find a message by browsing through the labels, use the search key and look for the keyword or sender you want.
Although some of the buttons in the ‘compose’ view don’t function properly (or at least, they didn’t for us), you can still send mails from within the app quite easily. It is possible to attach photos with messages, or format the text pretty thoroughly. If you try navigating away from the compose page without sending a mail, Gmail asks you whether the message should be saved in drafts.
Gmail is a free app, but if you want to enable push notifications in it, you’ll require to purchase the paid version for $0.99. The app works only with WP8, and can be grabbed from the following links. Although it seems a bit unlikely that Google will go after a relatively unknown developer, it is better if you get your hands on the app quickly, in case it is taken down.