Mobile email app reMail (sort of) lives on as open source code

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When Google announced last month that it’s acquiring mobile email startup reMail, it seemed like good news for founder Gabor Cselle and investors like Paul Buchheit — but not for users of the reMail iPhone app, which was removed from the App Store (although you could still use reMail if you had already downloaded it). Today, Cselle said reMail isn’t being thrown away completely.

Instead, reMail’s code is being released as an open source project on the Google Code website. While this probably doesn’t provide much consolation to your average user, Cselle said the code could be used as a starting point for future mobile email apps:

As someone who is passionate about mobile email, my hope is that developers interested in making email-related apps can use reMail code as a starting point. Part of the reason email apps are hard is because you have to pay the tax of figuring out how to download email via IMAP, parse MIME messages, handle attachments, and store data. reMail has already solved these problems.

This move suggests even more clearly that when it made the acquisition, Google more interested in re-hiring Cselle (who previously worked on the Gmail team, and who said he’s now focusing on “other projects at Google”) than in doing anything with reMail as a product.