Dec 19 AT 6:02 PM Taylor Wimberly 7 Comments

Gmail for mobile devices now 2-3x faster

We continue to debate if mobile apps are here to stay and Google continues to improve their mobile services. Over the past couple of months, the Gmail team has been able to speed up their mobile site 2-3x.

They shared a lot of interesting information in relation to web apps on Android.

So yes, HTML5 and the mobile web are clearly up to the task of building rich and powerful apps. But speed is arguably the most important feature of any application. And we’ve remained unsatisfied with Gmail’s performance on the mobile web. Until now.

As of today, and thanks to numerous optimizations, I’m happy to report that Gmail for mobile loads 2-3x faster than it did in April (see chart below). In fact on newer iPhone and Android devices, the app now loads in under 3 seconds. So yes, the mobile web can deliver really responsive applications.

Looking ahead, it’s also worth noting that as a worldwide mobile team, we’ll continue to build native apps where it makes sense. But we’re incredibly optimistic about the future of the mobile web — both for developers and for the users we serve.Alex NicolaouGoogle Engineering Manager

Phones will continue to get faster in 2010 along with the carrier networks that power them. We are weeks away from T-Mobile flipping the switch on HSPA 7.2 which promises lower latency. The combination of faster processors and lower network response times will make web apps more enjoyable, but it is nice to hear Google say they will “build native apps where it makes sense”.

Speaking of native apps, I really hope the Gmail gets a major update in Android 2.1.

Gmail performance continues to increase.

Gmail performance continues to increase.

Source: Official Google Mobile Blog

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Kevin

    Thats pretty nice, but my GMail app, still loads my mail up faster than that. But it is nice to know that the mobile web is speeding up.

  • Will S

    Seems like Gmail loading has been more a problem as they try to add more flair. Is it all worth it on a mobile device? I’d prefer speed.

  • http://Website tk

    I think web apps are great for most situations because devs can reach a wider audience without having to build multiple versions…. but there are some cases that I don’t myself using them…. like Gmail. My biggest use of Gmail is to read emails I get, and the native app gives me notifications. If I only had the web app to rely on, i’d have to constantly be checking the site to see if there are any new emails.

    Now if there’s some way a web app could enable notifications, then that’s a different story.

  • http://Website B-Rose

    DYING for an update to the Gmail app. For an open source thing, you’d think there would be many more options, and many more ways to customize it or set your preferences.

    And while we’re at it, can we get better Copy/Paste, please? It’s crazy that we can only copy from text input fields. I’m always wanting to pull a quote out of an email or webpage.

    • http://Website tk

      I don’t know if you have one of the touchscreen only phones, but on ones with a physical keyboard, you can do so by holding the Capitalize key (up arrow) and then either using your finger to select the text, or use scroll ball to select the start point, then press in on the scroll ball to start selecting, then go to the end point and press in again. It’ll be copied to the clipboard, where you can paste it wherever you want.

  • Rick Anderson

    Agree with you Taylor on the need for a Gmail app update – one of the things thats’s either missing or I just haven’t figured out is how to e-mail to groups. I have a whole bunch of group addresses for various organizations, family, and work related notifications and I can only do that from the web version.

    Oh, and one more request for that Gmail app update – multiple accounts – I have gmail, I have google apps under my domain name. I use the phone with google apps and I have to go to the web version for gmail.

    Speaking of the web version, it’s slow, it’s slow, and it’s still slow – so what if you’ve made it faster – it went from watching grass grow to watching paint dry speeds.

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