An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

September 24, 2007

Gmail Mobile Improves the Interface

Gmail updated the mobile version available at by adding more features from the desktop version. Now you can configure the links to some of your labels and add other views like Spam or Drafts. Next to the messages you'll see a checkboxes that allow you to perform one of these actions for all the messages: archive, delete, report as spam, add a label, star or mark as read.

There's also a link to the AJAX-free version, for mobile browsers that are able to render more complicated web pages. Of course, a better way to use Gmail on your mobile phone is to install the Java application, which preloads some of the messages and requires less clicks and keystrokes.

For example, to read a conversation that has 16 messages at Gmail's mobile website, you have to go to a page that shows previews for the first 9 messages, click on the first message and then move to the next message 15 times (if a message is very long, Gmail uses pagination so you need to click even more). In the desktop version and the Java app, you can read all the messages in a single page.

{ Thank you, Chance. }


  1. Actually the mobile gmail Java application is even faster than gmail on a computer...

  2. I like the new interface, but I wish they would make a Windows Mobile application. My Motorola Q doesn't have Java, and there is mixed results getting IBM Java running in order to run the GMail Java app.

  3. << Actually the mobile gmail Java application is even faster than gmail on a computer... >>

    Yes, but it also has less features.

  4. Just use Pocket Outlook in WM. Java app is mainly for lower capability devices.

  5. The Gmail Java app is great...

    However, sadly they haven't seen fit to allow it to work for those of us who've 'upgraded' to Google Apps.

    Enabling this should require nothing more a username change, but this issue has been ongoing for over 6 months.

    They seem to be trying to force people on Google Apps to get blackberries, as they have released Mobile Gmail for the blackberry, and are pushing it heavily, but ignoring all other phones.

  6. I noticed this had been updated while checking my email on the bus this morning. This is a very welcome update for me. I've only just started using mobile Gmail since I switched to Google Apps for my domain and was getting a bit frustrated with the lack of features in the mobile version, so had started to scroll around the screen using the basic HTML version instead...

    There's also a link to the AJAX-free version, for mobile browsers that are able to render more complicated web pages.

    That's been there for a while now.

    I wonder whether they've done this to make Gmail for mobile look better on the iPhone? (Does it?)

  7. Google should definitely add support for Google Apps and for multiple accounts in the Java app. To log in using another account, you have to go the settings, deactivate "Remember my credentials", close the application and start it again. A "sign out" option would be easy to add.

  8. this isn't "new" they had check boxes last year.. it does look nicer, it has colors.. still waiting for the mobile gmail team to get with the mobile reader team. the mobile reader is by far the sleekest..

    and the apps suck battery life, the web interface is much more efficient

  9. The mobile interface didn't have checkboxes. Here's the previous look (Google Video).

  10. Not sure about these changes. They're not so hot for mobile devices. Problems I've found so far:

    1. Checkboxes on the left mean I can't read my mail with the jog-dial only on my WM6 device (TyTNII). I have to navigate right to select the thread.

    2. The font's changed in the edit-box where you reply to a mail, it's now so small it's virtually unreadable.

    3. The new format is nice, but takes up far more vertical space. I used to be able to see maybe 15 inboc threads on a QVGA screen, now I can only get 4-5.

    All of this might be good for the iPhone, but not for anyone else. And the java app is all well and good but it's a bit of a PITA to have to start up java each time.

  11. Cool - I've been waiting for something like this that could actually give me Gmail on my iPhone.

    And yeah, it looks better than the standard Gmail pulled up on Safari - plus it actually works (it was hit or miss with whether you could reply or compose a message with standard Gmail on the iPhone).

  12. does it work with google apps? I don't seem be able to make it work...

  13. Actually, with all due respect, there are TWO GMAIL APPS. There's one that has a Red Icon for Gmail Users and one with a Blue Icon for Gmail for Apps Users. Don't ask me why. If you have accounts at both, you need both applications on your mobile phone. You can, of course, also use POP if you prefer.
    You can get them:

    Gmail Mobile for Apps:

    Gmail Mobile at:

  14. Scott,

    You seem to have a Blackberry, as filters BB user-agents and spits out a horrible:
    "Mail by Google
    Sorry, the Mail by Google application is only available for BlackBerry devices. etc... etc..."

    I wouldn't mind cheating the UA but well, it'll probably never work in the end.

    a Google Premium subscriber...

  15. Gmail on mobiel works rather good. And I agree...even faster than on PC.

  16. It works fine on Google Apps, at least on my domain. Go to

  17. MMmm.. I can see the new version when using firefox on my laptop. But when I try the same specification on my mobile device, it keeps showing me the previous version.

    Same happens with our google apps domain. It does not show this new version.

  18. i've been using both the mobile version and have app of gmail but the only thing is it doesnt allow embedded images to load nor shows images in mail..

  19. Okay am I just being dense or what? When I try this out on my iPhone, there's no way to reply to a message.

    Anyone else having this problem?

  20. Oh, I see now - you have to click on the thread from the Inbox, then click on the actual email you want to reply to in the thread...seems a little pointless.

  21. i relaly like the gmail app, but have more than one gmail account and would love to know if there is anyway to have multiple instances of the app on my mobile phone. i just cant figure out a way to do it... i think the app would need to be renamed to something else, like gmail2 - so that it doesnt replace my existing one. but im no java coder :(

  22. The check box and horizontal rule associated with each message in the new interface significantly degrades scrolling performance in IE on WM5 on Samsung Blackjack.

    The lost performance, IMHO, doesn't outweigh the new functionality.

    Google would be well served if they allowed the mobile user to select the number of messages to display per page -- since user need is primarily governed by device type and network speed.

    They would also be well served if the top of the page included an anchor link to the application menu which appears only at the bottom of the page. This would reduce scrolling needs a great deal!

    I often wonder if anyone from the development team actually uses this interface!

  23. First, complaints: At least from a Blackberry, text cannot be cut and pasted from gmail messages. Addresses cannot be pasted into the "to" field when composing. Strange.

    Second, in response to the possibility of maintaining 2 instances of the gmail app, refer to the prior comment which notes that there is a gmail app with a blue icon and one with a red icon. If you use a Blackberry, you can install both apps and set them up with different account info.

  24. it is VERY annoying that you can't view embedded images using gmail mobile.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.