Email is sexy again: Google buys reMail iPhone app.

With all the chatter about Twitter, Facebook, and Buzz, you'd be forgiven for thinking that email was dead. Looks like Google wants to prove you wrong, with its acquisition of reMail, a ground-breaking iPhone app. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers decode the spin.

By Richi Jennings. January 18, 2010.


Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention a T-shirt war...     Ben Parr tees off:

reMail, an app that provides advanced e-mail search capabilities for the iPhone ... [is] the newest company to be enveloped by ... Google. ... The terms of the deal were not disclosed. ... Founder and CEO Gabor Cselle ... is the former VP of Engineering for Xobni and also a former engineer at none other than Google.


The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Harry McCracken doesn't sound so thrilled:

Gabor Cselle ... shares news that doesn’t sound all that thrilling to me: Google has discontinued reMail and yanked it off the iPhone App Store. ... Google will stop supporting the app at the end of next month, and there will never be another update.


Cselle doesn’t explain why Google is killing reMail. It’s possible that the company remained impressed by Cselle and wasn’t interested in reMail itself. [Or] that it sees reMail as the foundation of an ambitious Gmail app. ... We just don’t know, and Google doesn’t seem to be dropping hints.

Gabor Cselle is rockin' all over the world:

Gmail is where my obsession with email started as an engineering intern back in 2004, and I'm thrilled to be coming back to a place with so many familiar faces. reMail's goal was reimagine mobile email. ... I feel like we've only seen the beginning of what's possible. Google is the best place in the world to improve the status quo.


If you already have reMail, it will continue to work. ... We've enabled all paid reMail features for you: You can activate these by clicking "Restore Purchases" inside the app.

MG Siegler makes a certain hand gesture:

This [is] really interesting. reMail isn’t just any email search startup, it’s a startup working to perfect email search on the iPhone. Or rather, it was. ... it looks like this may be another battle in the Apple-Google mobile war.


I’m betting [Google is] just as happy to kill off what is hands down one of the best email applications on the iPhone — much better than the iPhone’s native email app. ... It’s sad that other iPhone users won’t get a chance to check out this app now that Google is killing it. But all’s fair in love and war, I suppose. And make no mistake, this is war.

Clint Boulton watches:

Where there is opportunity to grab users and/or make money online, Google is ready and willing to shell out millions to buy cool products. ... But it should take care not to buy too much and then watch them flounder. Yahoo was notorious for ... buying properties such as Maven Networks, Geocities, Zimbra ... only to shutter the Web services or sell them off.


It must be nice for talented programmers and CEO-types to know that when they leave Google they can incubate something and then come back to either: A) leverage the mothership's assets to grow ... or B) sell out to work on a similar product to your own, thereby avoiding extinction by the Googlebot.

Liz Gannes calls it an "acquhire binge":

It’s a given that employees are going to leave, and new fresh faces will seem like better opportunities. In a time when Google is busy launching massive products like browsers and phones, folks with cool little ideas may well be better off exploring and testing them outside the company.


Google’s not the first tech company to try to rejuvenate itself with old blood; Cisco pioneered the concept of a “spin-in,” which often involved investments in former employees’ startups and options to buy them.

So what's your take?
Get involved: leave a comment.

And finally...

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him as @richi on Twitter, or richij on FriendFeed, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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