Until now, the Gmail app for iOS has only supported Gmail accounts or accounts hosted on G-Suite domains. However, in December, Google pushed a new update to the iOS app that enables support for IMAP accounts.
The Gmail Android app has supported non-Google accounts through IMAP since Google retired the native email client in Android 5.0 Lollipop. Folks in the email community call this GANGA (Gmail Android app with Non-Google Account).
However, GANGA has a pretty nasty flaw: It does not support embedded CSS or the <style> tag. This means you must inline all styles. Unfortunately, it looks like the iOS version has the same flaw.
(Image source: Trying to make sense of the Gmail CSS support after the 2016 update)
Style Problems in the New Gmail iOS App for GANGA Accounts
With any new client release, we like to look under the hood. Here’s what we’ve found so far with this version:
No Embedded Styles
Like the Gmail Android app, the iOS version does not support embedded styles in either the head or the body of the email.
No Background Image Support
Unfortunately, GANGA accounts do not support background images through HTML table background attributes or background image CSS styles.
If your emails rely on overflow:hidden, be wary that any content exceeding the container will display on these GANGA accounts. If you must use overflow:hidden we recommend using display:none to put it in an alternate block that is hidden by default. Then, display the content using embedded styles, which are not supported by GANGA. This will prevent GANGA accounts from showing the content that is exceeding the container.
No Opacity Support
The Gmail app does not support opacity when viewing email through a GANGA account. That being said, Outlook.com and Yahoo! Mail don’t support opacity, either.
SVG Image Support
Historically, Google’s image proxy has blocked scalable vector graphics (SVG) images, leading to a total lack of SVG support in all the Gmail products. However, we’ve noticed that GANGA accounts can render SVG images in this new version. This leads us to believe that GANGA accounts do not use the Google image proxy.
GANGA Moving Forward
Now that we know the iOS and the Android versions of the Gmail app have the same flaws, we can tweak the GANGA definition to include both. GANGA can now mean Gmail App with Non-Google Account. If we see a shift in support, we will be sure to update our terminology.
What Is Your Experience with Gmail on iOS?
Staying on top of email client versions is always interesting. We love sharing this information with you, but we like to hear about your experiences, as well. Please let us know what you’ve seen in the new iOS version of the Gmail app. We will keep this post updated with information as we discover it.
Thanks to Justin Khoo for helping research this topic.
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