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When I heard the story, this particular picture came to mind:

That is of course if you imagine Google to be the old grandpa and uh, the room as Apple. Bart can be Tim Cook; or perhaps just your average bewildered iOS user.

So yes this is the news of Google’s dramatic release of the Gmail app onto the App Store only to see it removed within a few hours as it simply did not work. For many of those who started up the app upon it’s first launch, they were greeted with a rather ugly and unsightly error message, as so:

As such, Google have now removed the app from the App Store, citing:

Update: 11/2/11: Earlier today we launched a new Gmail app for iOS. Unfortunately, it contained a bug which broke notifications and caused users to see an error message when first opening the app. We’ve removed the app while we correct the problem, and we’re working to bring you a new version soon. Everyone who’s already installed the app can continue to use it.

This is, at least for me, a rather surprising turn of events. Apple have always had a iron-fist when it comes to apps released on their App Store. Rarely do you see an app released that is bugged at least to the point where Google’s Gmail application is. Google are a major company and already have nous with the Gmail app. Yet somehow, with all the available testing procedures they could have gone through, they still managed to release a broken app to the App Store.

It smells a little of conspiracy, even though it’s probably just a bad mistake on Google’s part. I don’t think anyone isn’t aware of the ongoing battle between Google and Apple, specifically currently in the tablet arena where the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab have seen more lawsuits than The Private Eye. Couple that with Steve Jobs’ now notorious quip that he will go ‘thermonuclear’ on Android, believing it to be a stolen product, it does make you wonder a little bit.

It also doesn’t appear as though Google have released a timelime for when the new, fixed app will be available again in the App Store. You can however continue to use your buggy version of the product if you have it, which is a relief.