The Iterative Webapp - Gmail for mobile Gets Mute

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | 1:46 PM

On April 7th, we announced a new version of Gmail for mobile for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Among the improvements was a complete redesign of the web application's underlying code which allows us to more rapidly develop and release new features that users have been asking for, as explained in our first post. We'd like to introduce The Iterative Webapp, a series where we will continue to release features for Gmail for mobile. Today: Mute. --Shyam Sheth, Product Manager, Google Mobile.

One of my favorite inbox triage techniques is Gmail's 'mute' feature. Once I've muted a message, follow-up emails to the conversation bypass the inbox, keeping it clutter free. With mute now available in Gmail for mobile on the iPhone and Android-powered devices, you can quickly manage your inbox while you're on the go. To access mute - select a message and from the drop-down options on the Floaty Bar, tap 'Mute'.

To try mute in Gmail for mobile, just go to in your iPhone or Android-powered device's browser. To make it easy to access your account, we recommend adding a home screen link. In the spirit of 'launch early and iterate', stay tuned for more announcements from the Gmail for mobile team.

Please note: The new Gmail for mobile supports iPhone/iPod Touch OS 2.2.1 or above as well as Android-powered devices. The new Gmail for mobile is available for English only.

Update 4/30/09, 11:19am - This feature is available for US English only.

Posted by Deng-Kai Chen, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Mobile

My Location now in Google Toolbar

Thursday, April 23, 2009 | 3:58 PM

Since its launch in Nov 2007, My Location has helped millions of people know where they are and get better local results on their mobile devices. We thought, wouldn't it be great if laptop and desktop users could also take advantage of My Location?

Today we're pleased to announce the launch of Google Toolbar with My Location, part of a new initiative called Toolbar Labs.

Imagine searching for pizza from your computer and seeing the closest pizza places without having to enter your location. No more entering zip codes or city names in your queries -- isn't that magical? Of course, you can already do this with your phone, and searches on the computer can sometimes use an IP address to determine the city that you're in. But now your location can be determined much more precisely on your computer (as long as you opt in) and you can get better search results.

How does this work? Google Toolbar with My Location uses information about surrounding Wi-Fi access points to estimate your location. Naturally, this means it won't work if you're on a computer that doesn't have Wi-Fi (or has Wi-Fi turned off).

Along with getting more locally relevant Google search results, we also have additional goodies. Entering "" in your browser takes you to Google Maps automatically centered around your current location. You are one step closer to finding what you want. There is also a Google Maps gadget that uses My Location, installed in the Toolbar by default.

We take user privacy very seriously, so we make it easy for you to disable or enable the "My Location" functionality in Toolbar with just the click of a button. If you would like to know more about our privacy policy, please refer to this link.

We are really excited about this launch and hope to hear from you what you think. Let us know!

Google Toolbar with My Location is currently available only for Internet Explorer and works only within the US. You can download it from here.

Written by Venkat Malladi and Tsuwei Chen, Software Engineers, Google Mobile

Google Product Search for Android and iPhone

| 8:03 AM

In my spare time, I like to build computer systems at home. So I often use Google Product Search on a desktop computer to look for video cards, memory, and peripherals. Google Product Search gives me information like prices, ratings, reviews, and product details from all over the web. I'm also able to sort my results in a number of different ways, like by price or seller rating. I use Product Search so much that I wanted to make it more accessible on my phone, as well. Today, I'm happy to introduce you to Google Product Search for mobile.

Say you're in a store and having a hard time deciding between two products. Instead of waiting to go home to check the internet for ratings and reviews, you can now get all of this information right there on the spot. Just take out your phone, go to in your browser, and try out Google Product Search for mobile. From, type in a query and then tap on the "shopping" link that appears in the search results. Or, tap on the "more" tab and then "shopping" to get to Product Search directly.

Google Product Search for mobile gives you the same product information that you would get at your computer. And when you click on products like electronics and video games, you'll see dedicated product pages that include ratings charts and technical specifications. Watch this video for a demo and to see how I can use Product Search for mobile while shopping at our company store and one of our "Hardware Depots."

The new Product Search results pages for mobile are available in the US and UK, and for iPhone and Android-powered devices. Learn more in our help center.

Which mobile ads are right for me?

Friday, April 17, 2009 | 6:51 PM

In December, we launched ads for iPhone and Android devices. This feature allows advertisers to target their standard AdWords text and image ads to the iPhone, Android devices, and other mobile devices with full (HTML) Internet browsers. Before that, advertisers who wanted to reach mobile users had to create mobile-specific text and image ads that would only show on phones with mobile Internet (WAP) browsers. Now that mobile ads can be targeted for both full HTML and WAP browsers, some of you advertisers may be wondering, "which mobile ads are right for me?"

Standard mobile ads show on mobile devices with WAP browsers and usually direct users to a mobile website -- most likely written in a mobile markup language such as XHTML, WML, or CHTML. Standard mobile ads also offer a click-to-call feature, which lets you direct users to a business phone number instead of a mobile website. If you have a mobile website or want to collect leads via phone, standard mobile ads may be right for you. You can learn how to create standard mobile ads here.

High-end mobile ads show on iPhone and Android devices and don’t require a mobile website. High-end mobile ads don't have a click-to-call option, but they do allow advertisers to direct users to various other properties such Google Maps, the iPhone App Store or Android Market, or YouTube. If you specifically want your ads to show on iPhone or Android devices, these ads might be right for you. They are also a good choice for new mobile advertisers because they are easy to enable through your campaign settings.

Of course, depending on your needs, you can also use both types of mobile ads. To summarize, here's a table with information on standard and high-end mobile ads.

Google Latitude FTW

Thursday, April 9, 2009 | 2:40 PM

Since the launch of Google Latitude in February, many of you have come up with fun and creative ways to use it. We'd like to highlight some of your bright ideas, then share our own idea for creating a message using the icons on the map.

First up, we were totally revved by the story of Garage 419's do-it-yourself race from Manhattan, NY, to Washington D.C., using a plane, a train, an automobile, and various mobile devices. These guys took advantage of Latitude to keep tabs on the race in progress and make adjustments in their strategy and speed. We won't spoil the results, since you can watch the video for yourself. We didn't have racing in mind when we built the app, but who are we to argue with high-tech games?

Next we stumbled on a safari hunt in Glasgow and London. Following clues from Twitter and Latitude, pub crawlers were invited to track down two red lions (the mascots of the Whyte and Mackay brand) that were roaming between various bars and pubs in the two cities.

The Blogger grapevine also brought us this tale of a San Francisco resident who accidentally left his Nokia E71 behind in a cab one night. After remembering that Latitude was switched on, he rushed to his computer, only to find that his phone had already made it to Boston. "Maybe this post will get picked up," he blogged, "go viral and find it's way to the person who has my phone." So far as we know that hasn't happened yet, but we'll echo Nick's plea: "[I]f you do read this, Mister Whoever-found-my-phone, do the right thing."

So what have we done lately? Well, if you need a creatively geeky way to send someone a message, we've got just the ticket. Spell it out with Google Latitude!

We've also made it easy for you to customize your own video, so try writing your own message and pass the video along to a friend. We're very excited by these creative ways of using Latitude, and we look forward to seeing more. If you come up with one yourself, be sure to let us know!

Robin Norvell, Consumer Operations

Gmail gets a new engine for iPhone and Android-powered devices

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 | 10:41 AM

Today, we're thrilled to tell you about the improvements we've made to Gmail for mobile, running in the iPhone and Android web browser. First, you'll notice that it's a lot faster when performing actions like opening an email, navigating, or searching. And if the data network drops out on you, rest assured that Gmail won't. You'll still be able to open recently read messages and to compose over a flaky, or non-existent, network connection.

All this is achieved with aggressive caching and by leveraging new browser technologies, like HTML5 and Gears. The full impact of this new architecture isn't visible yet, but it will enable us to significantly improve performance and quickly roll out new features in the near future. We're really excited about the potential impact this change can bring - so excited, in fact, that our VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, shared the news and demoed these new capabilities at the February 2009 GSMA Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona and last week at Web 2.0 in San Francisco.

The new Gmail for mobile will also help you tackle your inbox faster. Gone are the days when you had to archive multiple messages by selecting each one, then scrolling all the way up (or down) to reach the archive button. Our fingers were getting sore with all the scrolling and we're willing to bet yours were too. Now when you select a message, a floaty bar appears near the top of the screen with options to archive, delete, and more. In fact, the floaty bar stays with you as you scroll through your inbox, so you can easily archive, delete, or view more options no matter where you are.

Lastly, we improved the look and feel of messages. Labels are easier to read and are more in-line with the familiar Gmail labels you see on your desktop. We also moved the search menu up into the top header, making it more accessible.

Go to from your mobile browser to give it a try, and stay tuned for feature additions and improvements. For easy access to your Gmail, create a homescreen link. If you have any feedback or ideas, please let us know.

*Please note: The new Gmail for mobile only supports iPhone/iPod Touch OS 2.2.1 or above. If you have an older firmware version, you'll be directed to the previous Gmail for mobile. All Android-powered phones are supported. New Gmail for mobile is available for English only. The roll out will occur over the course of a day, so please check back later if you don't see the updated user interface right away

Check out the video below to see new Gmail for mobile in action:

If you are a Google Apps user, go to

Mobile Web Calendar for iPhone and Android, now with event management

| 10:41 AM

It's probably no news to all you parents out there, but as a new dad I only recently found out just how busy life gets with kids. So I was thrilled when I was able to view my Google Calendar on my phone. Being able to check the week's schedule is great. However, I've been missing a way to respond to invitations and change my attendance status on the go. And I haven't been the only one. The number one idea on Google Product Ideas was the ability to edit Google Calendar on mobile devices.

That just became possible with the new mobile web version of Google Calendar, available on iPhone and Android-powered devices. If you're like me, you'll quickly find just how useful it is to edit events from your phone. Just go to from your mobile browser to see your schedule. Select an event to change your attendance status, edit the details, and add or remove guests. One more bit of news - even if you're on a flaky network and your phone can't establish a connection, the new Calendar will still start up and show your last viewed events.

To make the web-based Calendar as easy to access as any other app on your Android-powered device or iPhone, I recommend adding it to your home screen shortcuts. The new Google Calendar for mobile supports iPhone OS 2.2.1 and up and all Android-powered phones. It's available in English only for now, but more languages will be supported soon. For Apps users please go to and click on Calendar.