iOS Gets High-Priority Gmail Notifications Before Android

Google is now rolling out support for high-priority Gmail notifications to mobile users but is prioritizing iOS over Android, the company said Thursday. The change is part of a major Gmail redesign announced by the Mountain View, California-based tech juggernaut in late April, with the revamp itself being meant to encompass all platforms, though its features are rolling out in stages. Google hasn't clarified why iOS is receiving high-priority notifications before its own platform, though the phenomenon may be explained by the same issue third-party mobile developers regularly face - the fact that optimizing iOS apps is significantly easier than doing the same with their Android counterparts as the number of devices one has to target on Apple's operating system is much smaller.

Regardless, Google rarely debuts new mobile solutions on iOS before it introduces their Android versions and the company hasn't clarified why that's the case with high-priority Gmail notifications. The functionality itself is technically already available on Android smartphones and tablets but only as part of Inbox, a Gmail alternative geared toward productivity that sacrifices chronological listings in favor of a much more automated approach to email management. As is the case with the vast majority of new solutions from Google, high-priority notifications are powered by artificial intelligence technologies and deep learning in particular, with the service hence becoming more efficient at accomplishing its task the more it's used.

The feature is disabled by default and has to be activated via the Notifications drop-down menu in the iOS app, with the Android version of the tool being expected to behave in the same manner. Google hasn't said when high-priority notifications will be available in the Android version of Gmail, save for stating the plan is for that to happen "soon." AI-curated notifications are part of Google's attempt to reimagine the contemporary email experience, making it more automated and intuitive, the company said earlier this year.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]