Google Enables More Apps for the iPhone

The optimization of Search, Gmail, Calendar and Reader for the iPhone is the latest step in Google's mobile march.

One day after Google announced Apple's iPhone was the most frequently searched word in 2007, Google Dec. 5 released an application that lets users access the company's search, Gmail, Calendar and other applications on the popular device.

Google has put the number of mobile phone users worldwide at 3 billion, and the move is the latest addition to what seems like a 1,000-piece puzzle Google is building to put services and ads in front of as many of those users as possible.

To access the application, iPhone users can point their Web browser to Google's home page, which detects the Apple handset and Safari browser.

Google officials said in a statement that they used AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML), the same technology they used to put their applications on the desktop, for the new application, which lets users switch between different services.

Google officials also credited the iPhone's Safari browser with enabling its "product and engineering teams to create an optimal Google experience on a mobile device."


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This is not the first time Google has tailored its applications for the iPhone. The search provider has already made Maps and YouTube content accessible via the device.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt sits on Apple's board and executives have made no secret of being enamored of the iPhone, which has been a smash success in the United States since it launched June 29, selling more than 1 million copies by Sept. 10.


In fact, the iPhone may well be influencing Google's broader push into the mobile space. The company launched its Android mobile operating software stack Nov. 5, and many expect Google will eventually launch its own branded phone next year.

Financially, Google's biggest step on the mobile path has yet to come; the company has announced that it will bid on the hallowed 700 MHz wireless spectrum when it becomes available in January.

This move would seem to put Google on a collision course with major carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless, neither of which is thrilled with Google's plans to open up the phone market they so preciously guard by regulating what services can be offered on what devices.

Until then, Google is taking baby steps.

The new iPhone application comes after the company on Nov. 27 launched My Location, a feature in Google's Maps for mobile application that shows users their location directly on the map with or without GPS.


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