In case you missed the update or perhaps don’t use the app, Google updated their GMail iOS app to 2.0 today. I updated mine and have decided to give it a more permanent go vs the exchange push I’ve had running in the mail.app. Notifications work great and you get the richer power of Gmail … give it a look!
The new GMail, much like the Google search application, provides connectivity to the web when you click links instead of linking out to the device’s Safari browser. This is a major opportunity to show the power of sync and connected accounts – something Google gets better than most. In the case of the app, however there is no obvious connectivity …
In Chrome when I click a link to a site where I need to login the browser like all modern browsers asks if it can save my credentials and other helpful data to assist in future connections. I use this all the time and even use LastPass to enhance the capabilities. Beyond simply saving my password data and syncing across multiple machines, Chrome actually syncs my extensions, history and tabs as well. Getting a new computer means I just have to login to have everything neatly restored … which brings me back to the GMail app.
I know the Gmail app is not designed or intended to be an uber app, but it does link into what appears to be Chrome while I’m signed in to my account. I’m looking at Google to connect the dots and enable easy access to any site via a link I might click in mail. If I have to login to every site (at least once) I’m going to be less likely to want to stick with the GMail app and instead switch back over to Mail which is linked to Safari and where I’ve already gone through this “pain” over time.
There are very few companies that can do this. Apple certainly hasn’t shown any real strength in connected synchronized services. Contact and Calendar sync has been a mess since the beginning and iTunes Match is a very mixed bag. Google excels in this and should really push it forward … hard.
An interesting development within the .Mac Gallery App for iPhone is the ability to configure the iPhone to redirect activity to the app over the browser.
I could easily see this evolving quickly to include all kinds of apps that can deliver a richer experience over the browser. If you are a publisher, this seems like a no-brainer. The New York Times showed off their swanky new iPad app this week and I would certainly want to direct traffic to that once installed. The mobile web is great, but the richer experience of the application is much more compelling.
The potential for a brand to earn greater traction within their app just by tweaking an existing consumer behavior – clicking a shared link in email – is quite high in this case and something I definitely want to consider for client engagements we develop in the near term.
BTW – The Gallery app also includes a friend feature which while totally manual in nature (adding people) is I believe Apple’s first real nod to social connections.
Every day I read about new services and ways to use the Android and iPhone webkit browsers, yet thereâ€™s been no change to make some of these tools work well with the s60 software.Â I canâ€™t even open a new tab without a silly bookmark hack, and it seems thereâ€™s been little to no change in the S60 browser for a very long time.
By now, I would expect (and I donâ€™t even think itâ€™s that big a deal really) to be able to launch a new tab from within the browser yet there is NO way to do this.Â It should be a menu item!Â Once you have a few tabs open there is also NO tab management system â€“ they can only be displayed in the order in which theyâ€™ve been opened.
I originally blogged about this in the fall of 2007.Â Since that time, weâ€™ve seen a number of new devices, a revised OS and yet the browser is still the exact same thing.Â Iâ€™m sure someone will correct me that the actual version number (undetectable to users) has changed, but there is nothing new here.Â I asked about this feature at Nokia World and did not see it in the N97 prototype shared with us over dinner either unfortunately.
My initial hack involves using a start page that forces new windows to spawn (like m.twitter.com) though today I use a homescreen shortcut to a bookmark of about:blank.Â If you drop to either your multimedia menu or the homescreen and use that, it will force a new windows to open.
If you are going to talk about the full internet in a pocketable mobile computer, we should also recognize that itâ€™s quite likely youâ€™ll be multitasking across several web sites at once and need a simple (and standard!) way to open a new tab.Â Why is the Nokia Internet Tablet the only device that does this?