I hope you’re enjoying the Push Gmail feature that Google released earlier in the week.
But that was not the only thing that Google released for iPhone users last week. If you prefer Gmail’s iPhone web app over iPhone’s native Mail app like I do then you might have noticed that Google released two new features, which saves you some clicks.
Heaven Kim, Product Marketing Manager at Google explains the two new features:
The first one is 'Move', which you can find under 'More' in the Floaty Bar. The 'Move' function lets you label and archive a message in a single step. So as soon as you 'move' a conversation to a certain label, that email will disappear from your Inbox and show up under that label. We introduced this feature to Gmail for your PC earlier this year, and now we're making it available for your mobile phone as well.
Another improvement we made is 'Enhanced Refresh.' With this feature, your Gmail inbox auto-refreshes when you switch back to Gmail from another tab or application. And if your phone goes to sleep while Gmail is open, it will refresh when you wake it up.
These two new features is part of an initiative which Google is calling ‘The Interactive Webapp’ series where they plan to continue releasing features for Gmail for mobile. We had seen the first installments of the series back in April where Google had released an updated version of Gmail web app for iPhone, which included number of improvements including the offline feature with the help of new browser technologies like Html 5 and Gears.
I think Gmail is one of the best web apps for the iPhone. With push Gmail finally coming to the iPhone, I have started using iPhone’s mail app to intimate me of a new email and Gmail's iPhone web app to check it as it is much better than the iPhone Mail app.
As I have mentioned before, I have been waiting for Google to release a native iPhone app for Gmail but I’ve just realized that their focus on enhancing the iPhone web app makes a lot more sense as developing and maintaining native apps for different mobile phones can be very cumbersome, whereas a web app can be quickly tweaked for a new phone with a mobile browser and they don’t even have to worry or wait for the App to be approved.
But the workaround (Gmail web app and iPhone mail app combo) that I’m using isn’t great so instead of a native iPhone app for Gmail, Google should at least release an iPhone app or include the feature in Google Mobile iPhone app (that can be used for multiple Google accounts) that will alert me when I get a new email. This iPhone app should use Push Notification service and could also be used for some of their other applications like Calendar, Latitude etc.
What do you think? Do you use Gmail’s web app or iPhone’s Mail App to check your email? Let me know in the comments.[via Google’s Mobile blog]