GMail mobile site updated for Android and iPhone

Gmail has just received a boost on the iPhone and Android platforms with an upgrade to Google’s mobile Gmail site that provides optimisations and new features for Webkit browsers.

The Gmail  native apps for the iPhone and (surprisingly) Android leave a lot to be desired and users have been clamouring for an upgrade. Rather than revisit their native app code, however, Google has decided to make a significant improvement to its mobile Gmail site that will give Android and iPhone users a much better Gmail experience through their web browsers.

Browsing to from Android or the iPhone will now redirect you to the new site. Google have made heavy use of HTML5 features to spruce up the interface  and bring some long awaited features from the full web version.

Gmail now caches mail on your device, using Google Gears on Android and HTML 5 database storage on the iPhone. This means you wont have to download as many emails each time you access the service and there will be some offline functionality too for when you can’t find a 3G or wifi signal.

Mobile users now have the ability to add stars and labels to mail threads and actions like archiving can be applied to multiple messages at once. You can compose new mail or add stars, etc. while offline and any changes are applied to the Gmail servers the next time you have a connection.

Overall, the site now looks a lot better too. Nice animated effects have been renedered in pure HTML5 (like the spinning progress wheel) and there is a new ‘floaty bar’ toolbar that offers easy access to common functions.

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