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.
You’ll note, Chrome is not an option and Safari is actually seizing the default browser option away from Chrome where I’ve also set it. I have no idea why there is more than one way to set a default application or why Apple is allowed to do this on Windows, but it’s damn sneaky.
There are definitely some bugs though as you should expect in a beta. In Gmail, if you click a link within a message you get a new window instead of a tab which is how my preference is set. This is the same BS that exists in the current release of Safari.
Clicking the title on a Digg post opens the page in the current view rather than opening a tab as you see in Firefox and Chrome.Â Interesting that this is the exact opposite of the way links are handled in the first point.
On both my systems (XP and 7) even with the preference set from within Safari, I am unable to get it to be the default browser.
I tried to install Gears which appeared to install, but on restart of Safari, I found the browser had reset â€“ no saved bookmarks, passwords etc.Â Iâ€™d only been using it for about 30 minutes so the loss was not severe, though annoying to have to re-enter things.
I can’t add a new bookmark (only a folder) in the bookmark manager.
Itâ€™s impossible to add a link to a postÂ using WordPressâ€™ graphical editor as seen here:
I’ve also noticed some striking similarities between Chrome and Safari … The Top Sites view (first image of the post) is very similar to the Most Visted view in Chrome though it seems to load a live view of sites when possible which is a nice touch. Safari has also moved the tabs to the top of the window panel and added two icons over on the right side of the upper chrome which are very similar to Chrome’s … On the left is Safari 4 and on the right is Chrome:
Sure the changed the wrench to the gear, but the options in both menus are very similar.
Thereâ€™s a cover view option in bookmarks which will also look to show you a live view.Â I donâ€™t tend to use local bookmarks much aside from bookmarklets so this is not of much interest to me though I suppose would appeal to a more mainstream consumer.
Iâ€™ll probably play around some more but until I can get around the tab issues and the default browser setting, using Safari is annoying â€“ even though it is seriously fast!
I should probably preface this post by saying Iâ€™m far from a windows expert. I am quite comfortable within XP but donâ€™t really have much experience in Vista outside of the few occasions Iâ€™ve launched it in VMware to flash a phone. I use XP daily for work, but basically just tolerate how it all works. I definitely prefer OSX, though the more Iâ€™ve used Windows on a daily basis the less I find I care as there are ways to basically to everything I need on each system.
The Windows 7 beta was leaked at the same time I ordered the Samsung NC10 netbook so I decided to go for it. I had a few days of experience in VMware before the NC10 arrived and overall I find that itâ€™s quite peppy and looks really slick. It definitely reveals XPâ€™s age visually and offers some general niceties. I was pleased to see that performance in both virtualized as well as the netbook environment was excellent. The standard install / startup of the NC10 includes some Samsung specific applications for controlling the keyboard, trackpad, battery etc and none were obviously included in the Windows 7 install though they all installed without too much hassle in Windows 7. I did have to use compatibility mode to install things, and thus far the only conflict here seems to be the synaptics trackpad software. Through some trial and error I was able to find that the conflicts are unfortunately with most of the cool stuff you get with the synaptics driver. By disabling the virtual scrolling and gestures, I was able to stop the trackpad from freezing. While this essentially reduces the trackpad to a basic device again, I at least can continue using the PalmCheck feature which prevents the trackpad from activating while typing. With the smaller keyboard this feature is actually critical for me.
Otherwise Iâ€™m running Firefox, iTunes, Tweetdeck, Chrome, Windows Live Writer, Evernote, Launchy, Skype, WinSCP, OpenOffice, Boingo and probably a few things Iâ€™m not remembering. Iâ€™ve seen a few circular stalls (the windows 7 beach ball) which I expect to have resolved when I upgrade from 1 to 2GBs of RAM. Windows 7 installed beautifully and seems to handle pretty much anything Iâ€™ve thrown at it. Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing how things evolve over the course of the beta.