The big hoopla is over push notifications, which up until now, the iPhone couldn’t do for Gmail. Version 1.0.2 does indeed have functioning notifications, but no text, only sound. Other than that, the experience of using it is more or less exactly like using Gmail on your computer.
Which, at least in my opinion, is a step up from the standard Mail app. I’ve always had issues with it, mostly with the search function. And while the Gmail app is nothing fancy, I think it has a nicer interface – I particularly like how the menu is presented down the left side.
Major drawback: you can’t log in to multiple accounts. This is one of my favorite and oft-used Gmail features, and it’d be great to see it worked into future versions of the app.