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Gmail mobile site now in HTML5

Gmail - old & new, night & day
By Joseph Holder on 15 Apr 2011 10:02 am EDT
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I'll admit it. I'm an avid Gmail user, but I don't use the mobile site. There's too much clicking. And waiting. And clicking. It's entirely too much like the WAP sites of yesteryear, you remember. Back when SMS texting was the brand new thing. I don't use the mobile Gmail site. Until today. Today, I discovered the HTML5 version of Gmail on my OS6 BlackBerry.

The new version of the Gmail mobile site is like night and day compared to the old. The experience with the site is much like sitting at your home computer, though slimmed down and optimized for the BlackBerry experience. Buttons appear and disappear as needed. Menus follow you around the page. Emails looks like they belong in the page, no need to zoom in and scroll left and right.

I am impressed with the mobile site, impressed enough to use it much more often now.

One Page to Rule the All 

Like the home version, Gmail loads in just one page. The only time you'll see that Requesting...., Loading.... Bar at the bottom is when you first open the site. Emails, labels, and even options load within the same page and with minimal delay. Again, like in the home version, watch how you use that back button.

Contacts at your finger tips

Finding contacts at the gmail mobile site  

Start to compose an email. Start to type a name. Immediately, you're presented with possible results for that name. Not pulled from your BlackBerry contacts, but from your Gmail contacts. Not finding the name you're looking for? Gmail will pull even more information from your contacts to give you every name and email address you could possibly be typing.

Search

Gmail searchGmail holds all my important emails - past, present, and (presumably) future. My BlackBerry can not; it can store many messages, but I wouldn't expect to be able to search my BlackBerry for an email I got four years ago. The Gmail mobile site makes it possible for me to easily search for that four-year-old email.

The HTML5 Gmail mobile site offers BlackBerry OS6 users an experience more akin to the usual. Faster load times and easier ways to search contacts and messages make this new design a winner. The mobile site will never replace the speed of push email; but the features packed in to this HTML5 site means I'm going be using it much more often.

Reader comments

Gmail mobile site now in HTML5

25 Comments

I have several folders and keep the unarchived stuff in my inbox that need action. So, this helps a bunch.

So how do I find this new gmail experience? Is it an app? A web site? Do I need to update something on my blackberry? (I have a 9650, verizon, 6.0 BB)

It may have been this way for some time on iOS, but BlackBerry users have been stuck with the basic mobile interface.

Only last week I used the mobile site and it was using the 'classic' interface.

It's a definite improvement but still a little buggy. I imagine Google will put their magic refinement into it soon enough being so new.

what are the advantages of using the Gmail site on your Blackberry instead of setting up your gmail address on your blackberry?

you can't keep all your history on the BB, so this allows you to look at ALL your mail. (that's one advantage)

The ability to search for "archived" mail that you may have archived from your desktop. Also if you use the "starred" mail feature to mark email then you can find all of your starred emails just as you were logged into the web client from a desktop. There's a couple.

So what is the difference between the gmail website and the gmail app? It seems like they both do the same thing, except I don't have to have the app installed to get to all my emails. Right?

Well the Berry just got an HTML5 browser not too long ago and it is only on models running OS6. I have the 9700 and the Browser is okay. It is really hamstrung by limited memory and processor. Common' Bold Touch!

Anyway, nice to have a better mobile option to check all email folders and archives. Speaking of archives, the mobile version allows the user to archive email. Using the Blackberry push with a Business GMail account the user can delete from hand held only or from both hand held and server. If you do the latter, the email is gone!

Personal Gmail accounts have the ability to archive, use labels, star, etc. in the Blackberry Push.

Hoping Gmail upgrades their business accounts.

Not quite sure what you mean by "Business GMail".

I use Google Apps for my email and have all of those wonderful options - including Archive and Label. In fact, the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is look through server logs and archive them.

Are you sure that you're looking at the emails through the Inbox rather than the Messages app?

Maybe on the playbook, but as far as my phone goes I think the blackberry inbox for gmail is more functional.

Seems like a nice upgrade. But wouldn't you have to manually check your email. There would be no notification?

With the gmail app on my tour, I have access to all my emails and all the features of gmail without having to open a browser. and they are pushed to me. Not to be a buzzkill, this is a very nice upgrade, but, the app still rules!

I definitely like the look and feel... but, I have three Gmail accounts--is there simple way to toggle between them?

Yes, I know that on the Desktop version of Gmail I have to sign out / sign in, but with the Gmail App there is an "Accounts" option.

I might have to give up appearance for usability, unless someone has a better idea.