The latest tech startup to be swallowed by Google is reMail, the maker of a popular iPhone application of the same name that allows quick searching of Gmail and other IMAP webmail accounts.

Tech pundits are divided, both on Google’s motives for the merger and the impact that the move will have on mobile search engine optimization (SEO). MG Siegler, writing at TechCrunch, speculates that Google may have purchased the company simply to deny its functionality to Apple – "to kill off," as Siegler puts it, "what is hands down one of the best email applications on the iPhone – much better than the iPhone’s native email app."

Others, however, say that the move is simple talent acquisition, as the founder of reMail is a former member of the Gmail team and could be headed back to that line of work in the near future.

The acquisition is Google’s third in as many months, following hard on the heels of the takeover of social media search engine Aardvark and EtherPad collaborative word processor maker AppJet.