MailWrangler, Gmail-Specific Email Client Rejected From App Store

Angelo DiNardi wrote an iPhone app called MailWrangler. It’s a WebKit wrapper for Gmail’s iPhone web interface, with support for multiple Gmail accounts. He submitted the app to Apple on July 17; six weeks later, he got this response from Apple, rejecting it from the App Store:

Your application duplicates the functionality of the built-in iPhone application Mail without providing sufficient differentiation or added functionality, which will lead to user confusion.

This is depressing. One other iPhone developer told me about a week ago (in the wake of the Podcaster saga) that he was told by a friend at Apple not to bother working on an iPhone email client — that alternatives to MobileMail wouldn’t make it into the App Store.

MailWrangler presents a significantly different (but still iPhone-specific) interface than does MobileMail. And while you can use MobileSafari to access Gmail’s iPhone web UI (which is the UI MailWrangler presents), using MobileSafari requires you to log out and log back in manually for each separate Gmail account you wish to check. MailWrangler sounds like a terrific app for people who use multiple Gmail accounts and prefer the iPhone web UI over MobileMail.

Sunday, 21 September 2008