Google on the iPhone: Macworld Makeover

Monday, January 14, 2008 | 11:36 AM



Six weeks since launching the first version of an integrated Google.com on the iPhone, we've heard a lot of meaningful and insightful feedback from you and we've addressed some of them in this current release:

  • Customization of tabs: We're all very diverse in what products we use, particularly on mobile. Now you can customize the tabs you want on Google.com. Go to the More tab and press "Custom tabs" to select your favorite three Google mobile products.
  • New and improved Gmail: The latest version of Gmail delivers messages to your inbox without the need for you to refresh it. Also, if you need to write an email, we help you complete the address -- you only need to type out the first few letters of your contact. Read more about pre-fetching and address auto-complete on the Gmail blog.
  • New and improved Calendar: A calendar can be one of the most important things on a phone. Now Google Calendar is faster and has a month view.
  • iGoogle for the iPhone: One of the most common requests to date has been to include personalized modules. We're happy to announce a new iPhone-optimized version of iGoogle that mobilizes all of the modules you know and love. Simply click on the iGoogle link from the Google.com home page or go to www.igoogle.com.
Some of you have been wondering why we've made this only for the iPhone. The entire experience is made possible by the iPhone's general usability (touch and high-resolution) and the capabilities of its web browser (AJAX, CSS). It's also pretty cool that the iPhone has an unlimited data plan so you never have to worry about cost when you're browsing the web. And we're working on making this version of Google.com available outside the U.S.

To get to the latest Google on your iPhone, just go to Google.com on your iPhone or iPod Touch web browser. Let us know what you think!



107 comments:

Andy said...

It looks great! I especially love the Gmail interface. By the way, can I see ALL of my calendars, or just the default one?

Starmile said...

Google, this is all great. But you're missing a huge market by ignoring all of the Blackberry users out there who desire a better Google mobile experience.

If I were in charge of Google Reader mobile, I'd seriously give thought to acquiring Viigo. They've got a slick reader out there and it blows away Reader's current mobile attempt.

Andrew said...

This interface change is great, but the one thing i wanted the most, the ability to label mail from the iphone without going to html is still missing. If you could add this it would be great. Also, when apple releases the SDK for the iPhone, please add google maps to the ipod touch. You could also create some widgets to compete with the ones Yahoo! currently offers. Thanks!

Joel Anthony said...

Nice improvement, but the ability to see all the calendars is broken. Also, events spanning several days only show up on the start date. The interface does look nicer now.

sbultez said...

Great update, but you need to bring back the 24h option in Gcal.
Also, add the ability to add/edit events ;-)
Thanks!!!

dave said...

I agree the interface looks much better, but there are a few quirks:

1)Viewing multiple calendars.
2)The ability to add new events to a calendar.
3)Outbound links in reader should open in a new tab like search results do.

Other than that, A+. Keep up with the iPhone updates.

MasterP79 said...

I think this is great, however the mobile version of Reader needs some more work imho.

I often tap on the "see original" link to get to the actual posting on the source site, not just the rss content. This is especially true for sites only showing excerpts in their rss feed, like most news sites.

However, when I use the back button in safari, it takes me back to my top level reading list, not the individual feed/group I was looking at before.

Maybe a preference option to always open external links in a new tab would solve this...

But overall you have done a great job, I especially like the new Gmail interface and tab customization.

bgillet said...

Some nice improvements to the user interface; but one kink using an iPod Touch -- when I click "More" it shows Google Maps, but when I click on Google Maps it takes me no where. Is there a missing link or is it trying to link to the Google Maps application that is not available on the iPod Touch?

Daniel said...

Looking really great.
Unfortunately, I don't have en iPhone because it's still not released here in Denmark.
But I do hope that the same feature will appear on Windows Mobile...... but even more, I'm looking forward to se this on Android. I think this combo will be a main selling point for me. Would be all I need to make my mobile life a joyful experience.... almost all I need :)

EP said...

I love Gmail & Google Calendar on my Blackberry! My phone, the one thing that travels everywhere with me, is where my personal and corporate worlds merge (email, calendar, contacts). Please don't leave us corporate Google fans out of your plans, we love what you've done already, but need the corporate/secure link to our work email.

Buying an iPhone and clipping coupons is not an option, my wife says.

-- Google/Blackberry (G/B) Fan

Mark said...

The new additions are great and all but whenever I try and get to google.com on my iPhone from here in the UK I'm automatically redirected to Google.co.uk and see their dated mobile pages rather than the updated US ones.

I want to be able to use the Google I want to use rather than getting shunted to Google UK every time.

Rob Ri said...

Does it work with Google Apps for your Domain?

FoxBoom! said...

I just get redirected to google.co.uk, which really isn't anything special on the iPhone. :(

frhamill said...

for you iphone users:

Cons: Quick Add feature gone
Addresses of Contacts gone
Agenda View of Calendar gone
Input icons are sloppy

Pros: (beyond what's touted)
Sharper looking interfacex

rudisdotnet said...

looks really great, folks. keep up the great work.

Dan said...

Amazing! Keep up the great work guys!

Kevin said...

First do no harm...please return the "quick add" capabilty in Calendar. All else looks great! Many thanks.

Bram said...

While the new layout looks great, it's a major problem that the calendar is only showing the default calendar. If you're like me, you use more than one calendar to keep track of events (work and personal events on separate calendars). But when I check my google calendar, I need to see both of them. To take away secondary calendars is a major problem.

Christophe said...

Gmail does not work with the iPid Touch

Visionary said...

Well it all looks great, but why go to all this effort for one phone: what about the rest? I'm sure it would be better to spend time adding these wonderful enhancements so all users could get them rather than a very small subset.

Charlie said...

I'm seeing only one calendar now. My family's shared calendar, with our birthdays and get-togethers, is gone! Where did it go??

And how do I add or change calendar events? And label gmail messages?

And in reader, when I tap "See original", and then hit the back button and return to the page reader was on, it's gone! I'm at the main reader page again! And I *can't* get back to the feed item I was looking at, because it's been marked as read and taken out of the list of items! The item is basically unreachable!

Other than that, nice to see continued development...

Victor Kryukov said...

Calendar is nice looking, but...

on google.com/calendar/m I can see all my calendars (not only default one) and
I can add new events - the functionality that new calendar is missing. I'd say that w/o these features new look is useless for me.

Jack said...

I agree with most of the comments on the calendar. I liked having the agenda view, quick add, and multiple calendar. I would like the new calendar interface _plus_ the old one. If I had to choose only one, I'd rather have the old.

I like the new e-mail interface. Haven't used the address book much with either interface.

Simon said...

As some have pointed out already, the same think for windows mobile would be great.

Jeff said...

As Rob Ri was wondering, how can we get such a start page for the Google Apps for your Domain. I would really like a Google button from the main screen that could automatically pull up a Google Apps start page (whether that be Google.com or the Apps program. Instant accessibility rather than having to bring up a browser ever time is of primary concern to most of my employees.

Bram said...

Suggestions:

- Agenda View of calendar
- More than just a default agenda
- Add events to my calandar
- Google Talk for mobile use ;)

teezeh said...

I would like to check out the new web app, but I can't -- I'm in Germany and get redirected to www.google.de/m in the old design all the time. So plz hurry up and localize this obviously great stuff!

Bram said...

Change your settings to United States ...

teezeh said...

Changing settings to U.S. does not work...

Alexandru said...

Well...unfortunately in my opinion this release it's worse than the original. Sorry but that's my opinion. And i don't like the blue menu either. Also i find it to be much slower. Any change it's good tho...it means it's a work in progress :)
One suggestion besides the ones stated above would be to make reader resize the images in posts if they are wider than the screen. Also the old version(i don't know about the new one) displayed some posts with a much to small font and their was no way to read comfortably other than rotating the phone.

Bram said...

Who wants to see an Official mobile version of Google Talk?

Sites like http://iphone.beejive.com/ and http://flickr.com/photos/meebo/sets/72157601471145566/ can do it, why google not?

Ron said...

Oh MY GOD!!!! You guys rock. My iPod really is my go anywhere web companion now. Can't wait for the official iphone to hit Australia now. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

funsutton said...

I think this looks really great! I may have to forsake my mail and calendar client built in on the iphone for these!

David Carrington said...

I like the look of all this. When are you making it available for Windows Mobile devices?

Bernard said...

Is this app available just on the iPhone or on the iPod Touch as well?

I'm getting a Touch next week, can't frickin wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugo Waterloo said...

I'm a fan, but one problem: I can't zoom in or out by double-touch or double-tap, which is really annoying. Since the email doesn't format to the fit the screen, I have to scroll right and left in order to read successive sentences. Not fun. It'd be nice to be able to zoom out and see the entire text, should we have the eyesight necessary to make that useful.

Nick said...

I really like the new look ( especially gmail). But I don't like the fact that you can't add events to gcal and can't see your events as a list. Please change that google!

asa said...

google redirects using your ip address so we never be able ecape the dated google.co.uk mobile page

Come on google update it in regions not just in the us!

Ricky Cornell said...

I think you guys did a really good job, I am appreciate of your work.

Though I do wish there was an easier way to access my Google Calendar appoints using the native iPhone Calendar app other than Google Calendar -> Plaxo -> Outlook -> iPhone and /back/. By using it web only, I have to wait for the information to load, and I can't look at my calendar when there's no service like when I'm on the subway (prime calendar maintenance time). Hopefully Apple is friendly to Google and will help facilitate the development of this feature.

Kudos on the remake though. It works nicely.

Chad LaForce said...

you guys nailed it. I immediately noticed the change in gmail yesterday in my iPhone. Thanks for making email on my mobile a pleasing experience.

julie said...

works with ipod touch but clips the right edge off quite a bit, so flip it on it's side to make it work

sign in fonts too small (in the form) but the rest are ok

Tito said...

Good job! Notice that if I access www.google.com from outside the US, it will redirect me to the national mobile version (in my case google.it) and then there is no way to access the iphone-formatted page. Unless I type in www.google.com/m so I don't get redirected.

Thank you
Tito

Pete said...

I add my comment about multiple calendars. Please add that as well as the Quick Add feature back in!

Joe Brooks said...

Can Google please make this version available for any touch phone/mobile device and not just for iphone.. Thanks :D

Johnson said...

The new interface looks great. Perhaps one day, we'll see these as native iphone apps.

However, I am still seeing that the Google search from Safari's native search box is still showing results in classic mode.

Avi said...

Re: the new iPhone Gmail:

Great job with the redesign: it's snappier and much more usable - thanks!

Two things which could be improved:

1) list view works great in portrait mode, but if a conversation has a label, I can't see much of the subject. So I figure I'll rotate it to landscape mode, to get a wider screen, and see more of the subject line - much as the "standard" gmail interface works, where if you resize your browser, you see more of the subject line. But here, the

2) Labeling!! I can't seem to apply/remove labels to/from conversations -- I use this functionality extensively, it's a big part of my workflow, and it's a big part of what makes Gmail rock - it really should be in this client!!

Thanks again,
Avi Flax

Rob said...

I love it! just noticed it this morning.

One addition I would really like: the ability to specify the account I'm sending the email from ( on behalf of ). I've got 2 other email accounts set up in gmail, and I like to reply / send on behalf of those rather than using my gmail specified address. The classic interface supports it, but not the new iphone mobile interface.

Kevin D. White said...

The new interface lacks SSL support. The app does respond to https but the whole top toolbar goes missing. This makes google mobile not only worthless but downright dangerous. Thanks Google!

Avi said...

Gmail's working great for me on the iPhone with SSL at https://mail.google.com - I do see a broken image at the top, but I don't know what that is, and don't really care - it works.

Richard said...

I really like the new look & feel but I think there is a problem. It seems that my iPhone won't automatically go to sleep or even turn off the back-light if I'm in Gmail.

I've been on the Inbox view for a couple of minutes now and it's still at full brightness. Sure enough, when I close my Gmail page it goes back to normal and goes to sleep.

Is google doing something that keeps my iPhone awake? Did they find and undocumented feature? :

Later...
Richard

Justin said...

LOVE it, guys!

Only one request: I have a few e-mails under my "Send mail as" setting in Gmail, but the mobile version only lets me send from my default unless I'm replying to a message. Can you please add the ability to choose a from address in the mobile interface? I see that you've improved that family of features a LOT (and thank you!), but that one last piece would be very very awesome.

BenoƮt said...

Great work !
Thank you so much for this, the first version was great, this one is far better !

nheagy said...

Why doesn't this work outside the US? Shouldn't the user agent check trump everything else?

RevHelix said...

Broken on my iTouch, might want to look into that.

viskwal said...

still getting the same old ugly google mobile page in Belgium.

it annoys me to death why companies think they need to serve me "smart localized" copies of their website.

RevHelix said...

I live in Canada, I get the new look for the most part.

Except where the top menu exists I get a nice "?" Box.. as if it is missing an image.

Rather annoying.

Google, if your going to do something, do it!

At the very least do it clean like.

And worst case, if it is developed in English, show it in English or have a language selectable if a native language(s) hasn't been done.

*HINT* I would imagine that most computer users are used to having to read English (Don't think too many titles are in swahelli).

Ben said...

There isn't enough room in the menu bar for all combinations of 3 apps... for example I have "Calendar", "Reader", "Notebook." With "Home" at the front, "More" is forced to the next line (off the bar).

Benjamin said...

Definitely like the look of the new version. Some things need to come back to the calendar view though:

1) Quick add

2) Agenda view

3) Viewing of shared calendars

4) A today button, especially if there is no agenda view

Also, the pictures should be resized to fit the screen in Reader and gmail, instead of having to scroll back and forth.

Otherwise this is great, I use it regularly.

Jason said...

whats the point? iphone already has calendar and mail that can synch up with gmail via imap. not sure why this is even necessary.

SymbianAddict said...

what about s60. the nokia n95 is just dying to use this interface.

Richard said...

gMail is great, but I hate the igoogle interface. I was VERY happy with the desktop version on my iPhone; is it not possible to have the option to have the desktop view? The big advantage of the iPhone is to be able to browse the internet without having to have a mobile version. Also, for older users the ability to resize the window in the desktop version meant that I could use it without my reading glasses.

Marcus said...

If you're outside of the US and Google keeps forwarding you to a local version, visiting the usual google.com/ncr address to switch seems to do the trick.

Shanti said...

Thanks for all the new iPhone goodness! I noticed however that my Google News doesn't look like your screens shots - I don't have the nice tabs at the top of the screen. All the stories are just in one long list which isn't nearly as convenient.

I'm in San Francisco and have updated to the latest iPhone OS version if that makes any difference.

El Jefe said...

This all seems like great work, but I can't be sure b/c I do not own an iPhone. I'd love to see this featureset available for users of Blackberry, Palm, Windows Mobile, etc.

Is Google about to buy Apple or something b/c it seems to be "All iPhone, All The Time" from Google Mobile lately.

rs said...

this new interface is UN-USABLY slow on EDGE.

please put it back.

Rodney said...

Iphone, Calendar need appt input on google.com/m#calendar , great to have day and month viewer but without ability to add appointments on the go it defeats the purpose. Need to do list with simple add and ranking 1-3 with cross out, print potential from computer would be nice. Must keep it quick though on iphone. (Notebook is not good for to do list on iphone, requires to much effort and no delete or cross out on iphone).

Google, you're on the right track and thank you so much for what you have done thus far. Please add these quickly especially the Calendar appointment entry on Google.com/m#calendar on iphone.
Best regards,
Rodney

Benjamin said...

Doesn't seem to work properly (for me) with Google Apps for Your Domain. The bar appears at the top, but with just a question mark in the center.

Ben

Shinn Photography said...

Very nice interface enhancements. I bought an iPhone yesterday, only to find out that GCal lacks two critical functions:

1) The ability to view multiple calendars and
2) The ability to add/edit appointments.

The lack of these two functions is a deal-breaker for me. I'll have to use GCalDaemon or something until the mobile interface has these two features.

Thanks again for all your hard work!

DogMash said...

Yes, Google needs to support https with the new interface. Given the number of "open" access points that seem to be fishing for information, https is a necessity when using a public wireless point of unknown security.

Craig said...

I have to agree with most that Google is doing a great job and I appreciate their work. However, the new Google Calendar mentioned in this post is almost completely useless to me since it only shows a single calendar and doesn't allow for adding. Fortunately, I can now add web shortcuts to my home page on my iPhone. So, I will use the new GMail but continue to use the old Google Calendar.

Fredro said...

What about us pocketpc users?
When do we get to see such integration with the OS?

Petr Nachtmann said...

Is it possible to test the iPhone version of Gmail using an ordinary desktop browser?

Richard said...

The new interface is nice, and works fine on my iPod Touch for the "normal" gmail account, but my Apps for Domain account is missing the menu accross the top - a "?" shows up as if the graphics are missing. They are fine on the "gmail" interface, but not for apps...

BulkHedd said...

I think it looks great but when I use the new iPhone Google pages the spinning wheel at the top of Safari keeps spinning and spinning and never stops. It may be pre-loading pages but this could kill the battery.
Also when I use Reader and scroll to the bottom and click "more..." the next page lands at the BOTTOM of the page. I want to start reading the next page from the top.

Kreblog said...

Where is the Nokia N800/N810 love? Couldn't the same iPhone web interfaces be useful on the Nokia tablets as well?

Patrick said...

The latest updates have rendered Google Reader almost unusable on my iPhone. Two big problems:

1) When I touch a new item to read it, the post comes up and automatically scrolls to the BOTTOM of the page. Yes, I can touch the top bar to go back up but this is just stupid.

2) More important, if I click in a new item to read the original post, or touch any other link, I cannot get back to the original item. Safari takes me to the new items list, and the item I was just reading is gone because it is now marked Read. As far as I can tell, there is no way to get back to it from within Google Mobile.

Hopefully these are bugs and will be fixed soon. If not I'm going to check out other reader programs for the iPhone.

ruth said...

I wanted a mail account I could use with my iPhone. Oh yes Google Mail will do that, but I want to be able to free up space on my phone and still keep the messages. I set up the account through the phone (so it set up a POP account), and that was fine - messages downloaded and stayed on the server. Then I made the mistake of synching the phone... it switched to IMAP and now when I delete messages on the phone it also deletes them from the server. Which is not what I wanted at all. Is there any way of stopping this happening?

dj said...

GREAT LOVING IT GUYS !!

DJ WILLIE
WWW.MYSPACE.COM/DJWILLIENYC

raulr said...

I like the new interface but it is much slower to load over EDGE, it sometimes times out. As others have pointed out, clicking more on reader starts you off at the bottom of the next page. Very annoying. It automatically deletes read links which is okay in general, but so annoying if you want to go back to it again.

by-design said...

Ok - so I cheated and didn't read all 78 comments before me...so please excuse the repeat. Is this new interface just through the browser? Are you or Apple working on applying this new interface with the mail system that is already on the iPhone?

Thanks,

Greg said...

Has anyone noticed that the new google calendar interface for the iphone has reverted back to the old style in the last few days? I am no longer seeing the day/monthly views...

Michael said...

hey i got some feedback:

I access google from thailand using ipod touch. All pages google, google mobile and blogger shows squares instead of letters. Unfortunately there is no option to swich to english.

Only one way to go around is to type adress of google mobile directly. But this doesn't work on all of your sites.

30dash2 said...

Where is "Quick Add"? It's great to see the calendar, but adding events on the fly is essential. Who wants to try to remember the event until you can make it back to a computer!

ShawnRC said...

The Google Calendar on my phone is either taking way too long to sync with the one online, or its not syncing at all. Stuff that I entered today, some 5 hours ago, hasn't shown on the mobile version or calendar.

Is anyone else having this problem?

Kevin said...

The new Google iPhone Calendar App doesn't work. If I load up the generic mobile Calendar app I see all of my events just exactly the way I would want to see them... color coded and everything... but when I click the Calendar button in the new iPhone interface I get nothing... it doesn't display any of my events. I noticed last week that Google reverted the version of Calendar in the new interface to use the generic mobile Calendar app and that was great but when they switched back to the new iPhone version it doesn't work at all... no events... ever... very frustrating to have an all in one that works for everything but Calendar. Of course I can always go to the generic mobile Calendar app but that sucks when it is all supposed to be integrated.

Scott Jones said...

How about a better home screen icon?

shane said...

Google if your gunna do this at least show us how many results there are for our search

Mitch said...

i would really like to have the ability to edit/delete events straight from my iphone. also, a native calendar app for offline viewing would be nice when the sdk for the iphone comes out :-)

Asif said...

When are we going to be able to label and search using the iphone gmail interface? Unless its already there and I just can't find it.

Native.Code said...

I live in Hong Kong and I do not read/write Chinese. When I visit google.com on my iPhone (yes i have it!), it always sends me to Chinese version with no option to switch to English like on PC.

Have you guys messed up somewhere or have assumed that everyone who lives in Hong Kong is Chinese? Come on.. it is global world now, people from everywhere live everywhere these days.

elviin said...

I would appreciate the same integrated google application set for symbian.

Jill said...

I dislike how mobile gmail shows just the sender's name and not their email address.

ilv-blog said...

The iPhone landing page for google doesn't work at all. The stupid page just loops though a script and is completely unresponsive. The page can only be disnissed to get rid of it.

ilv-blog said...

Why can't any of these iPhone apps be tested in a virtual iPhone environment before wrecking a real iPhone?

Linda said...

Oh, it is really great. I was just disappointed with the iphone-embedded Gmail client that all my email/contacts have to be used those of the iPhone. Now, I found this...and it's great. Handy with same experience i used on the PC. I am feeling so happy now.

Jim Recht said...

I access our Google Apps Calendar from my iPhone via this URL: www.google.com/m/a/obotc.net (our domain name is obotc.net).

The Day View works fine. But the month view shows only the month calendar. It does not display the selected day's details underneath. In its place, there is a perpetual "in process" icon - that infamous little dotted circle.

Has anyone else noted this problem?

Steve said...

Hi there, wonder if anyone can help with this problem. I work in Tokyo and have been using google apps on my itouch. Google translate works really well. Yesterday i bought a Japanese iphone but google translate appears in Japanese and I can't seem to get it to display in English. I have tried all the usual logging into igoogle with my login credentials then going to translate but I still get the Japanese version. I guess it is picking up a Japanese ip address but not sure how to change this. Any help greatfully appreciated

likhary said...

Great, I really Love it, Kisssss my Google iphone. Thanks Google.
I am going to buy it. is it available for Pakistani People?

Stephen said...

So many comments, I couldn't read them all.

Did anyone mention that syncing the Calendar with the iPhone's inbuilt calendar would have the huge advantage of being alerted to appointments by a "pop-up", rather than having to check the calendar manually?

Great mobile web interface, but manually checking the calendar will drive corporate users crazy. Therefore, Microsoft Exchange wins once again.

Florian said...

please add the "quick add" capabilty in Calendar again

Sou Pei said...

it is sad to note that the new interface is not available in malaysia.

.:.impossible. said...

I had Mail.app retrieving my gmail up until today. Until Apple allows unique signatures for each address being managed by Mail.app...

Is there any way to add a notifier that gmail has received a message, similar to the red circle in the top right corner of other app buttons?

.:.

Berke said...

This new Google for iPhone looks very muchly Awesome!! But I'm an iPhone user from Turkey, so I was kind of disappointed to realize it's only available for US at the moment.

My plea is that I want to be able to use it in English language, My default google pages are all in English anyway, so why can I not access the new iPhone Google page?
Simply changing the language doesn't do it. I'm on the verge of begging... pls.

Pam said...

I love Google calendar.....and having it on my iphone is great...but the two most important improvements are not there....
1.allow for deleting
2.and allow for some sort of capture or offline viewing.....iphone plans have unlimited online access with the plans...but sometimes you don't have service and you need to see your calendar.

is this because the Google phone will have this and the i phone won't ...

that is the only reason I can imagine these highly desirable functions are being withheld.....

Pam Morris

Dougieha said...

As of this morning (1/15/09), the iPhone-customized iGoogle homepage is suddenly redirecting to the generic mobile iGoogle homepage (at http://www.google.com/m/ig). Please bring back the original iPhone-customized version (or, stop redirecting iPhone users)!!

Charlene said...

This is HORRIBLE!

I used iGoogle on my iPod Touch for everything: feed reader, documents, bookmarks, etc.

Now I get redirected to a plain WAP version of iGoogle that has the gmail section repeated five times and that's it. Plus, it's in Spanish. I can't stand it!

Apparently I can't get the new version because I live in Puerto Rico. But can't you guys at least let us use the OLD version of iGoogle for iPhone/iPod Touch we had until the time comes when you release the new version outside of the USA?

Amiel said...

What about tabs for Google Apps users? I like that feature, but they don't show up when I login using http://mail.google.com/a/sweetleaftea.com