Sometime recently Android updated how email is potentially rendered as a user preference in the gmail app. As you can see above there’s now a way to auto-fit content into the window instead of having it go way past the screen edge. For whatever reason this was never a standard thing and I’m not actually sure why it still isn’t one.
What’s ridiculous however, is that if you also use the Email app as I do for work / exchange mail there is no such option and as you can see the rendering is pretty sub par.
For comparison I enclosed a shot from the gmail app as well. Users of iOS devices know this has always worked well and are probably just shaking their heads …I can’t help but think there are actual differences between how WebKit is being utilized across the system. The apple way is simple, it works. The android way leads to these differences … perhaps this is what’s also causing the issues I’m seeing with copying rich content in the clipboard.
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.
Email and PIM functions on the Blackberry are stellar. Dare I say the best actually. I’ve used a slew of mobile devices and the sheer speed with which you can cut through inbox clutter is unparalleled.
I should qualify that point by saying I use a corporate issue device running on BES, not the consumer version. When it comes to the consumer mail experience I’ve consolidated my email within Gmail and sadly that’s where I’m finding some cracks in the foundation … I can’t tell whether this is a Blackberry or Google issue, but Gmail on the Blackberry is lacking thanks to one substantial detail – there’s no IMAP.
Gmail easily pushes to my device and often arrives before the Gmail screen even has a chance to refresh. The problem is that there is no reconciliation … at all. Thanks to POP3 access I have to manage my mail in two places which I’ve been tolerating because I want my mail, but loathe.
GMail started acting flaky last night but today I have not been able to log in a single time. I’ve gotten timeouts from the web UI, been unable to connect via mobile and even received a report from Nokia Messaging that they were unable to connect to push my mail. A quick post on Twitter and Facebook and it seems I’m the only one with an issue … not cool.
Google seems to be taking lessons from Microsoft on Error Message Details .. here’s as much as I can glean from the failed login attempts:
Detailed Technical Info
Numeric Code: 17
During Gmail’s outage today your inbox was probably still receiving mail even if you were enable to send new messages. I was trying to mail a picture to twitpic while on the train and saw this:
Apparently when using the offline feature you can’t queue any new attachments … yet.
I’ve been using Gmail for years like many people and have also had it working on my mobile devices using both the J2ME app initially and more recently the IMAP option via Nokia Email. IMAP via mobile gives me access to a few days worth of mail based on how I’ve set the prefs which is nice, but if I need to search something while either in a low connectivity zone or on a plane, I’m out of luck. Well not anymore!
I activated the GMail Offline option via the Labs button last night and now have YEARS of access ready to search and access in Firefox. On my commute I’m accustomed to seeing messages like Unable to Connect to Gmail, Will try again in … which pops up and makes Gmail pretty useless until the connection resumes. WIth Offline mode activated, Gmail and Google Gears maintain a very smooth transition. Instead of the annoying (and bright yellow message) I see a simple message at the top of my inbox that reads (paraphrasing) that I’ll have access to my offline store until the connection can sync with the server. It’s about time!
While checking to see if my Gmail account’s offline mode had been activated I noticed that I had a new folder over the side … What the heck is the fakefolder?? Not surprisingly, it’s empty.