Google Users Pan Mobile Gmail 'Improvements'

This isn't as bad as the recent "improvements" Skype introduced to its desktop client, but it has some users questioning the value.

According to the Google Mobile blog, the company used HTML5 and Gears to make the mobile browsing experience faster, more resilient to carrier network snafus and more like the full-screen experience you get on a laptop or desktop.

The new architecture is available for the iPhone and Android-powered devices -- but no word on support for Windows Mobile, Symbian or -- gasp --BlackBerry. Hey, Symbian has 40 percent market share, but never mind about that.

Naturally, one of the first comments on the blog was a complaint that it doesn't support BlackBerry.

But most negative comments expressed frustration that the "improvements" weren't in the form of a native application. One comment read: "Why is this not an app? I hate having to go through my browser, not to mention the fact that it would be nice have a badge reminder."

Another common complaint was the inability to use labels: "And it would have been great if I could have labeled something - geesh! How am I supposed to organize stuff without using labels? Wait till I get to my desktop? Kinda defeats the purpose doesn't it? Yes, the things you did were nice and I can feel how snappy it is, but sorry, still FAIL."

Other users simply didn't see the point: "What is the benifit [sic] over the native Android app?"

Apparently, though, the best is yet to come. According to Joanne McKinley, the Google Mobile engineer who posted the blog, "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."

For some, the future can't come fast enough.