In an update due later today, Google Mobile will now allow push notifications for email and calendars via its mobile app.
Announced on its Google Mobile blog, the Google Mobile App for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad will now support push notifications of calendar events and emails. Both Gmail and Google hosted email for domains are supported.
This is an important development because Apple (AAPL), up until this point, has only allowed its own MobileMe and Yahoo accounts to do push for web email. Microsoft Exchange calendar and email ActiveSync is also supported. Google built a work around that let Gmail users use Exchange’s ActiveSync to get their Gmail and GCal events pushed but the process isn’t terribly reliable and can drain the battery on iOS devices.
As of later today, the Google Mobile app will work in the background to check for new emails/calendar events via Push notifications server to alert iOS users when a new email or event has come up. Interestingly, the Mail.app program might not have even received the mail when you get there from the notification, because it relies on the slower IMAP protocol.
Hopefully a future version will have Google (GOOG) Talk/Voice notifications as well. Google Voice, the full iPhone application, has now spent over a year in the App Store’s review process.
Google has also added some interesting search features in the latest update. When looking for flight info, weather, stock quotes or currency conversion you’ll see answers before you even hit ‘Search’. iOS device users can get the update here when it is available. (UPDATE: it is live)