November 08, 2006

Gmail for Mobile!

Apologies for the lack of posts these days, but we've been pretty busy over here, and we just launched Gmail for Mobile.  It's a Java ME application that lets you access your Gmail account from your cell phone.  It looks like Gmail, it feels like Gmail, it's super fast and it shows you that you can really do a lot of cool stuff with Java ME, after all.

It's been a tremendous experience to get this project out of the door, maybe I'll share some details  about it if there's interest.

Try it and join the Gmail revolution, because we're just getting started!

Posted by cedric at November 8, 2006 10:51 PM
Comments

I hope it doesn't mean I'm a huge douche bag, but after hearing the announcements / seeing Bob talk about his fancy new pearl && getting one for my father in law I actually went out and finally got a "fancy phone" upgrade for myself as well. Very cool stuff :)

P.S. Please tell me you are going to do the same for the calendar stuff? I guess it would only be logical to support all of the similar core services eventually..

Posted by: Jesse Kuhnert at November 8, 2006 11:40 PM

I have also tried the new gmail for mobiles and found it very good, much better than other mobile applications. I guess that is what you can expect from google :)

I must say, however, that mail is not what I need when I am in transit. I'm never far from a internet connection, so I prefer to read mail online. What I would very much like to see google do, is support calendar synchronization between gCal and mobile phones. (SyncML or something like it)

I need this because creating appointments is often something you do person to person when you are not near a computer. And I need to be reminded "on the go" what my next appointment is.

There places out there in webspace that can help you, scheduleworld.com, but I would prefer not to complicate things with a third party.

Posted by: Kim Bille at November 9, 2006 12:46 AM

hi cedric,

gmail : congrats!! dion mentioned that he knows some of the gmail guys -- so you were one of those!

"maybe I'll share some details about it if there's interest"
+1

Josh Bloch's interview at InfoQ revealed very little about your infrastructure -- so, it will be nice to know more!

BR,
~A

Posted by: anjan bacchu at November 9, 2006 01:22 AM

hi cedric,

gmail : congrats!! dion mentioned that he knows some of the gmail guys -- so you were one of those!

"maybe I'll share some details about it if there's interest"
+1

Josh Bloch's interview at InfoQ revealed very little about your infrastructure -- so, it will be nice to know more!

BR,
~A

Posted by: anjan bacchu at November 9, 2006 01:23 AM

Hmm... gmail mobile doesn't work on my brand new HTC mteor. The whole midlet manager just craches silently when gmail tries to connect to my mailbox.

Posted by: Fredrik at November 9, 2006 02:24 AM

Can't wait till it works with hosted Gmail...

Please tell me that is coming soon.

Posted by: Mark Denovich at November 9, 2006 04:17 AM

I've been using it for a few days now. It's pretty nice, better than the WAP gMail once you got it loaded. Here are a few things gripes thought :
- Load time is a bit on the slow side on my Moto V360 compared to loading the WAP version. Once loaded, speed is not really an issue.
- When I browse message using a label, if I view a message, the 'Archive' action is greyed out (the message is already archived). But in the Web gMail, pressing the 'y' (archive) shortcut will remove the label. It would be nice to have the same behaviour in Mobile gMail.
- No way to browse contacts... I make very little use of the phone address book, when I need to call someone, I go to my gMail contact (WAP) and dial from there. It would be nice to be able to do the same using Mobile gMail.
- In addition to the closed envelope, it would be nice if the conversation subject would be in bold.

Overall, the new application is very pleasing! Nice Work!

Emmanuel
http://epirsch.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Emmanuel Pirsch at November 9, 2006 05:13 AM

Cedric: Congratulations on the release!

Unfortunately, it won't let me download it on either mine (Treo 600/T-Mobile) or my wife's phone (LG-VX9700/Verizon). I have been confused by this quote from the Gmail site, "Note: The Gmail application doesn't currently work with T-Mobile USA or BREW-based carriers (e.g. Verizon, Alltel, U.S. Cellular)." My naive assumption was that if your phone has a JVM and a TCP/IP connection, that should be all you need. But what support does the application need from the *carrier*?

Posted by: kedoin at November 9, 2006 05:18 AM

It needs your carrier to not block 2-way communication, like T-Mobile does. Google Local for Mobile doesn't work with T-Mobile either. That's why I switched to Cingular. If you can't switch, you could call and bitch at T-Mobile for being ridiculously behind the curve on what customers want, but good luck there.

Posted by: Jason Carreira at November 9, 2006 08:17 AM

I can't wait till you support gmail hosted and my Motorola Q phone! Any word on either?

Posted by: Nick Parker at November 9, 2006 10:50 AM

Very cool. Loaded it onto my BlackBerry 8700 and it's running nicely. Very timely, since the POP3 interface had quit synching messages down to the phone's native mail interface.

My biggest feedback is to ask for a version that acknowledges the device's native interface. When I'm on a BlackBerry reading mail, and I hit the delete button, I expect it to delete the message (or archive - this should be configurable). Right now, it either exits reading the message, or simply does nothing. This is weird. Also, when I get a new message, I'd love a notification in the system tray. Again, this is simply expected behavior on a BB.

The interface is generally great. I like being able to manage my gmail account on a synched interface, and with a couple of improvements, I'd even prefer it to the native BB interface, and they've been working on that for years.

Posted by: Rob Kischuk at November 9, 2006 05:11 PM

Very cool. Loaded it onto my BlackBerry 8700 and it's running nicely. Very timely, since the POP3 interface had quit synching messages down to the phone's native mail interface.

My biggest feedback is to ask for a version that acknowledges the device's native interface. When I'm on a BlackBerry reading mail, and I hit the delete button, I expect it to delete the message (or archive - this should be configurable). Right now, it either exits reading the message, or simply does nothing. This is weird. Also, when I get a new message, I'd love a notification in the system tray. Again, this is simply expected behavior on a BB.

The interface is generally great. I like being able to manage my gmail account on a synched interface, and with a couple of improvements, I'd even prefer it to the native BB interface, and they've been working on that for years.

Posted by: Rob Kischuk at November 9, 2006 05:11 PM

It should be a great app, but I cannot even download it. Is it as designed? I am outside US/Canada (Eastern Europe).

Posted by: Max Ischenko at November 9, 2006 10:30 PM

I'm using it from Australia. Brilliant user experience for such a tiny screen, and by golly yes, it is fast. Congratulations!

PS: I'd also be interested in any details of the project that you'd care to share.

Posted by: Alan Green at November 9, 2006 11:18 PM

congratulation too Cedric....

Juste one very annoying issue: does not seems possible to create mail off line to send them later on?

Posted by: Thomas Landspurg at November 10, 2006 05:37 AM

Great stuff! I was just surprised to see that a certificate exception involves the definitive error message "This application won't work on your mobile phone...". Downloading the right root certificate from the verisign website has simply resolved the problem for me so why not documenting it? Users who spent money to download an app can expect a minimum of support to get it working...

Posted by: Armand dos Santos at November 11, 2006 01:10 AM

Hi Cedric,

Congrats for the GMail client! I'm using it on a T-Mobile Dash phone and I really like it.

The UI is great, kind of like when GMail was first released, it made me wish my native (mobile this time) e-mail client was as good. I particularly enjoy being able to tag, star, delete messages and have those actions performed live on my account.

On the down side, I wish the midlet was easier to launch on WM5: You have to run the Java VM app and then choose to launch the midlet. I would like to be able to see the new e-mails count on the Today screen too. Those 2 things also remind me of similar experiences of Java on the desktop vs native apps.

Keep up the good work, with Google Map, this is the 2nd app that I consider a keeper for my small phone. Pretty good average I'd say ;-)

- Sylvain

Posted by: Sylvain at November 12, 2006 06:58 PM

+923334239955

Posted by: ammad at December 1, 2006 05:27 AM

Cedric,

I'm actually working on an analogous program for Google Calendar. I'd be curious to hear what you think: http://gcalmobile.googlepages.com

Henry

Posted by: Henry Bridge at December 1, 2006 08:47 AM

Cool. Now can you fix this? http://groups.google.com/group/hosted-setup/browse_frm/thread/3679219517453b9a/5b1b2a88f358debf?lnk=gst&q=gmail+migration&rnum=3#5b1b2a88f358debf

Posted by: Roger at December 4, 2006 10:41 AM

Great read, do post some technical or inside stuff of Gmail mobile, will be very useful for me. Thanx in advance.

Posted by: Gmail_Guy at January 8, 2007 09:24 AM

where can i down load the goolge mail app.
i can use the web based version already but cant seem to find the link to the app version to upload on to my n73?

Posted by: danny mc at January 9, 2007 02:28 PM
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