Gears is a powerful browser plug-in that aims to make web applications feel like their desktop counterparts. Early this month, Google announced it was bringing Gears to mobile and today we see their first release for Android. Mobile Gmail and Calendar have been updated to include Gears support for both iPhone and Android.
How is this going to affect Android users? First off, you now have access to new features that are not available in the native Gmail application. The most notable being a new “floaty bar” that allows you to perform mass actions on email. This was a feature I asked for in my 7 Complaints About Android Gmail article and I’m glad to see they included it. I’m not actually taking credit for that, but Google does read your email listen to their customers. (this is why all you lurkers should start leaving comments and joining the discussion. c’mon, there are 6k readers who have visisted 10+ times)
I can already hear people complaining, “Why is this on iPhone? Where is the update for the app?”. Even though mobile is the future of Google, they have only begun porting some of their applications to the Android platform. Now that every Googler has an Android phone, we should expect an increasing number of Android upgrades. Everything you see in this new mobile version will work its way into an Android app. I can’t wait for the day, when I have Analytics, Reader, Adsense, and more all installed to my phone and not running in the browser.
So it is nice to see Google release these apps for mobile browsers, we really can’t wait for the new Android apps. I know they are doing this to target all cell phone users. We only make up 5% of the smartphones, so they got to serve the larger customer first. One day soon, we will be at the head of the table.
The following is a quick video demonstration from Google.
Here is the video earlier this month when Gears came to mobile.