Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gmail App: Old vs New

As a techie who relies extensively on his 3.5G Nokia E51 to spare himself from the occasional boredom of his neverending sentence, it is in my minute but nevertheless present interests to have an optimal surfing experience on the go (or on the no-go). One part of that is fast-loading mobile versions of websites, especially frequently accessed social sites like Twitter and Plurk. The other part is an intuitive mail application.

Before I go into my comparisons, I'll start off by saying that to me, desktop or mobile, Gmail's simplicity wins. No complaints about the web version. Now the mobile version has just been updated recently, so I'm gonna talk about what I like and what I don't like between the two.

Previous Gmail App

For some reason it takes a long time to load on my phone when I activate it, so much that my phone usually autolocks before I even start using Gmail. It hangs when I zip through the motions too quickly.

New App

I'm none too happy that they took out the automatic access. Now I have to select refresh each time I want to check whether I've got new mail, when the previous version just did it automatically. Perhaps people are not even meant to close it or disconnect from their 3G connection, but surely there are more people who disconnect when they aren't looking. Also, I preferred the old method of entering contacts to mail to. Now when I click on the To field I have to type out the address I want, when previously I was brought straight to my Frequently Used Contacts list where I could immediately scroll and check the people I want to send it to. And another thing is that now mails seem to take longer to send/receive, so much so that I have to wait for the program now to finish communicating instructions before I can close it. And for some reason I cannot seem to use the shortcut buttons as effectively. After I hit 9 two times, which is the shortcut for archival, I'm brought back to the inbox, where it is still sitting. Only after another two clicks will the archival be registered. Again, I have to wait for the information to be communicated to the other side to do so, before closing the application.

I do like however, multiple account support, although in all probability I won't even use it, since I like to re-direct all mail to my personal account. Like also that they've made outgoing links in mails easier to access. Neutral to the smooth scrolling feature though. It's cosmetically nice but... ok lor, that's about it.

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