Google updates Gmail for mobiles

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Google updates Gmail for mobiles

Google has introduced major changes to its Gmail service for mobile phones to take advantage of the latest browsers, such as those on the iPhone and its own Android-based devices.

The firm said in a blog post that it has refreshed the user interface, making it quicker to open, respond to and archive messages.

"Despite the advent of 3G networks and Wi-Fi, smartphones still lack a high-speed always-on broadband connection, and can have connections far less reliable than their desktop brethren," said Google Mobile engineer Rob Kroeger.

"So we've gone back to the drawing board and redesigned Gmail for the mobile browser to overcome some of these limitations. We made performance more consistent, regardless of connection type, and laid the foundation for future improvements."

In order to speed up basic functions, email is now cached on the device itself before being sent back to Gmail servers when a new network connection is established.

"As a result, you can start up Gmail even if you're on a slow connection. You can even compose mail and open recently read messages while offline," said Kroeger.

Other user-friendly features, such as floating task bars, make the most of the functions on the relevant browsers, he added.

A video posted on the blog, along with screenshots, show a user-friendly interface and a clear design. The new version of Gmail for mobile is available now on Android-powered devices or iPhone OS 2.2.1 or higher.

The service is currently available in English, and more language options will be added throughout the day.

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