Google updates the mobile version of Gmail running on the iPhone and the Android Web browser to make it faster and more flexible with aggressive caching and the use of new technologies such as HTML5 and Gears. The new Gmail for Mobile comes out April 7. Although Android occupies a relatively small portion of the mobile operating system market at this point, companies such as Samsung are planning to equip upcoming devices with the OS.
has equipped the new version of Gmail for Mobile,
rolling out on April 7, with technologies that will theoretically allow it to
run faster on both the Apple
iPhone and on mobile devices equipped with Google's Android Web browser.
The Android operating system is making an appearance on an increased number
of smartphones, including three
new devices set to debut in 2009 from Samsung.
More Android-equipped phones
may follow from Verizon Wireless.
According to Google, updated Gmail for Mobile
can perform e-mail, Web navigation and searches more quickly than before; in
addition, Gmail will also compensate for a shaky data network connection,
allowing users to open recently read messages and compose e-mails even if the
network drops out.
"All this is achieved with aggressive caching and by leveraging new
browser technologies, like HTML5 and Gears," Joanne McKinley, an engineer
for Google Mobile, said in a Google Mobile Blog posting.
"The full impact of this new architecture isn't
visible yet, but it will enable us to significantly improve performance and
quickly roll out new features in the near future."
Google has integrated other improvements into the Gmail for Mobile
interface. Chief among them is a floating options bar that appears at the top
of the screen, allowing the user to archive, delete and perform other e-mail
functions without needing to repeatedly scroll up and down. The search menu has
been repositioned in the top header.
On the aesthetic front, Gmail for Mobile's
labels have been redesigned to more closely match those in the desktop version
When it comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch, however, this new Gmail for Mobile
only works with OS 2.2.1 and above; those with an older version will have to
rely on the previous version of Gmail for Mobile.
"All Android-powered phones are supported," McKinley wrote. "New
Gmail for Mobile is available for