What is up with this new Gmail mobile application?

What is up with this new Gmail mobile application?

Summary: Google released a new Gmail mobile application yesterday that has led to a bit of confusion since they already have a mobile formatted Gmail site you can access from a mobile browser. This new method is a downloadable Java application so you must have a Java-enabled device and it appears that the T-Mobile USA limit they state may not be accurate. Find out all the details on using this application with T-Mobile on a Nokia N73 in the full blog entry.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Mobility
13

Gmail Mobile Java clientMobile device owners with html and wap web browser have had the ability to manage their Gmail accounts for quite some time, so what is all the talk about this new Gmail mobile client. Well the new Gmail mobile email client is actually a downloadable Java application for those with mobile phones and data plans that may not have a full web browser. This new application is advertised as being a faster solution so even those with a web browser may want to try out this dedicated application. You will now be able to read and reply to emails from your mobile phone while also having the ability to open Word and PDF files and images right on your phone. Search functionality is also included so you can easily find emails without scrolling though all of them on your phone. Using the application keeps your Gmail account synched too so mail sent from your phone will appear in the Sent Mail folder. Check out this quick comparison page to see whether the Gmail for mobile browser or Gmail for mobile application is best for the device you have. I use the Gmail for mobile browser now on my devices that is just accessed by pointing your mobile browser to http://m.gmail.com. One thing to remember about this new application is that it is Java-based so many high end mobile devices from Windows Mobile won't actually run the application and you should check the compatibility page to check to see if your device is supported before downloading the application. This compatibility page also states that T-Mobile USA does not support the application and as a T-Mobile USA customer I was curious to see if this just means that T-Zones is not supported or if the full T-Mobile unlimited internet plan is not supported so I installed the application on the Nokia N73 that I just received to evaluate.

I have the US$19.99 unlimited VPN internet access service plan on T-Mobile and can confirm that this new Java application actually works like a champ with this plan. I then tried accessing my Gmail account using T-Zones and again it worked fine. I don't know why the Google site states that T-Mobile USA is not supported and if you have T-Mobile I encourage you to at least try it out because it should actually work fine for you as well.

So which way do I prefer to access my Gmail account? I have to say that the new Gmail Java application has much better support for attachments and the layout is better optimized for mobile devices, even using the extremely powerful S60 3rd Edition web browser. There are quick shortcuts using the keypad that help you manage your emails on a mobile phone. New email is shown with a closed envelope and I would personally prefer to see it in bold or something that stood out more like it does in the web browser version of Gmail mobile. So I am now going to use the new Gmail dedicated application on my compatible devices and have to say this is one other area where the Nokia S60 smartphone beats most Windows Mobile Smartphone devices.

Update: I tried installing the Gmail Java application on my new T-Mobile Dash Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone and it also worked well. This is a brand new device and doesn't appear on the Google compatiblity page, but I can confirm that it works on the Dash using T-Mobile wireless data service and the onboard Java application found on the Dash.

Topic: Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

13 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Works on Windows Mobile but looks horrible

    I was able to install the app on my 2125 from Cingular but it is impossible to read anything. The font and type are so small that I think I will go back to the browser version on the phone. Did you have the same problem with the Dash??
    raaden
    • Doesn't seem as bad as what you state

      The fonts aren't that clean, but they are not that small. Everything works fast and smooth on the Dash too. It does have the landscape display so that may help.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • T-Mobile MDA

    thanks for the info. I do have the same plan as yours and I have a T-Mobile MDA. Any idea how to get this working on the MDA? When I downloaded the Gmail app, it didnt allow me to install on Windows Mobile. Do I need to install a Mobile Java JRE for this to work?
    honkingmanuka
    • Yes, some kind of Java app is needed

      The compatibility list only shows a couple Windows Mobile devices because most don't come with a Java client. My T-Mobile Dash does include one called Esmertec Java and I think you may be able to find one you can install on most WM devices. Check out the xda-developers.com website and see if they have something they recommend there.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • T-Mobile w/ Blackberry 8100

    Works great with the T-Mobile Blackberry Pearl. This app doesn't seem to work with Gmail hosted mail accounts.
    number32
  • Access non-google email the same way

    One can use flurrymail (http://www.flurrymail.com/) to access non-google email in the same way. Flurrymail is a java-based application for your mobile phone that interfaces with web-basaed email. It has many of the same features as google mobile mail.
    hantunca@...
  • This is really quite simple: Google wants more email customers, and they

    want their customers to have the best experience possible. The gmail in a browser on a cell phone took too many steps and too much time to load.

    That said, Google should be working overtime to make the desktop email experience better. We should see one that works offline soon if I can predict Google. They should have people working arround the clock on this.
    DonnieBoy
  • New mail indicators

    As well as the closed envelope icon, new mail shows up with the sender and subject in bold on my Blackberry. It is also shown that way in the graphic accompanying your article.

    Ted
    ted.byrne
    • Yeah, I noticed that

      I saw that in the graphic that Google posted, but on my Nokia N73 and T-Mobile Dash I tested the new mail was not shown in bold like I would like to see. Glad to hear it does show up in bold on the BlackBerry though.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • Didn't work on my TREO 650

    I get a message saying my device doesn't support that file type when I try to download.
    JFPSF
  • This article is terrible

    "You will now be able to read and reply to emails from their cell phones and.."

    Doesn't anyone proofread this crap?
    wakka@...
  • Gmail Mobile for Gmail Users

    Good app. Certainly not the first down loadable, java mobile email application. It has good appeal to current Gmail users, but I am not going to change my email (I dont use them) and sign up. Consumers have lots of options for accessing all their current email services with a mobile email service such as Movamail (http://www.movamail.com) and others.
    HelloTokyo
  • Gmail... ?

    Using Gmail mobile is a great experience, which comes with every google product. But like all the rest they don?t support other accounts. I also will recommend Movamail because off its versatility and usability.
    plejboj@...