Gmail Gets Improved Web App on the iPhone

You don't hear much about web apps these days, but there are some that look and function so well you might forget you're using Safari. Google has been constantly improving its Gmail web interface and they've recently revamped the mobile site again. Similar to the native Apple Mail app, the mobile version of Gmail's website is designed with the iPhone touch screen in mind.

apple iphone google gmail webapp

You can swipe to archive a message, and now Google has improved the scroll speed to simulate the same quick flick of the finger to jump down in the mailbox. The toolbar has been anchored to the top of the screen, a welcome reversal of a recent change that had the toolbar floating over emails.

Now that the toolbar is fixed in place, several functions can be accessed from anywhere in the web app. If you are a user of the Gmail web app and the changes don't show up on your iPhone, make sure to clear the Safari cache and reload the page.

For developers, Google has offered to post information about the HTML and Javascript methods they used to make Gmail on the iPhone behave the way it does. The company periodically updates Gmail based on user feedback and the iPhone version is no different. So far the improved version of mobile Gmail is only available in English on the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple's iPad has its own web app version of Gmail optimized for the larger touch screen.

For those who use the Gmail web app often, the easiest way to access the page is to add a webclip to your home screen. This shortcut makes it possible to tap one icon to open Safari and load mobile Gmail immediately.