New Gmail app gets the thumbs down

34 Comments

We’ve yet to get our hands on Gmail’s updated mobile offering. I suppose we’ve been a little too busy with “more important” reviews. Thankfully, Paul Kedrosky over at Seeking Alpha wasn’t spending his time in bean bag chairs, and he’s looked over the service that supposedly moves Gmail faster on a mobile device than ever before. The verdict? A thumbs down.

Here’s what Kedrosky notes as the downfalls of the new Gmail mobile interface.

- The new interface is faster when running, but it’s slower to launch.
- The new interface requires time-consuming mode switches. Specifically, in the old version I’m in my browser and I get to stay in my browser to do other things. In the new version I have to run a Java applet, kill it, start my browser, and only then navigate to a site of interest. That’s a pain, reminiscent of the dark days of running binary software on Wintel PCs.
- There are some goddawful strange interface quirks, like non-smart editing (quotes don’t get inserted the way they should), and you have to pull up the whole frickin address book any time you want to send an email.
- There is no one-key way to quit the app.
- It asks me if I want to stay connected so it can get data, but then a) it asks me again (and again), and b) it still doesn’t check my mail.
- Sometimes on sending emails it locks up so badly that I have to pull the battery from my phone and reboot.

He does, however, concede that the app itself looks fantastic. Well, it’s great if there’s silver lining, but it’s what the lining is… lining that matters. Have any of you had a chance to get your mitts on the new Gmail yet?

  • carwashi

    Hes running on a Treo and thats why hes having the “issues” that he is seeing. Here are my responses to all review comments (im on a 8700c).

    - The new interface is faster when running, but it’s slower to launch.
    * On the BB it launches just as fast as all of my other apps.

    - The new interface requires time-consuming mode switches. Specifically, in the old version I’m in my browser and I get to stay in my browser to do other things. In the new version I have to run a Java applet, kill it, start my browser, and only then navigate to a site of interest. That’s a pain, reminiscent of the dark days of running binary software on Wintel PCs.
    * This is because hes on a Treo and you can only run one app at a time. With the blackberry this isnt an issue. You can easily switch between gmail and your browser (or any other app). Also links in gmail can be clicked and you blackberry browser will be used.

    - There are some goddawful strange interface quirks, like non-smart editing (quotes don’t get inserted the way they should), and you have to pull up the whole frickin address book any time you want to send an email.
    * I’m not sure what hes talking about with the non-smart editing. I can say something about the address book though. I don’t have to bring the entire thing up on my blackberry. When i compose a new message i just start typing the name of the person I want to send to and its starts to display suggestions just like the full blown gmail.

    - There is no one-key way to quit the app.
    * True there is not a hot key to exit the app but on a blackberry you just need to hit the escape button or the end call button (just like all other bb apps).

    - It asks me if I want to stay connected so it can get data, but then a) it asks me again (and again), and b) it still doesn’t check my mail.
    * I don’t see this at all on my BB.

    - Sometimes on sending emails it locks up so badly that I have to pull the battery from my phone and reboot.
    * I dont see this problem either (maybe a treo problem)

  • carwashi

    Hes running on a Treo and thats why hes having the “issues” that he is seeing. Here are my responses to all review comments (im on a 8700c).

    - The new interface is faster when running, but it’s slower to launch.
    * On the BB it launches just as fast as all of my other apps.

    - The new interface requires time-consuming mode switches. Specifically, in the old version I’m in my browser and I get to stay in my browser to do other things. In the new version I have to run a Java applet, kill it, start my browser, and only then navigate to a site of interest. That’s a pain, reminiscent of the dark days of running binary software on Wintel PCs.
    * This is because hes on a Treo and you can only run one app at a time. With the blackberry this isnt an issue. You can easily switch between gmail and your browser (or any other app). Also links in gmail can be clicked and you blackberry browser will be used.

    - There are some goddawful strange interface quirks, like non-smart editing (quotes don’t get inserted the way they should), and you have to pull up the whole frickin address book any time you want to send an email.
    * I’m not sure what hes talking about with the non-smart editing. I can say something about the address book though. I don’t have to bring the entire thing up on my blackberry. When i compose a new message i just start typing the name of the person I want to send to and its starts to display suggestions just like the full blown gmail.

    - There is no one-key way to quit the app.
    * True there is not a hot key to exit the app but on a blackberry you just need to hit the escape button or the end call button (just like all other bb apps).

    - It asks me if I want to stay connected so it can get data, but then a) it asks me again (and again), and b) it still doesn’t check my mail.
    * I don’t see this at all on my BB.

    - Sometimes on sending emails it locks up so badly that I have to pull the battery from my phone and reboot.
    * I dont see this problem either (maybe a treo problem)

  • mjh40a

    I’ve had great luck with this new app on my Blackberry 8700c as well. I see no speed issues, and the interface is much nicer than using Gmail via the browser. I love the fact that I can leave the app at my inbox and then escape out. When I want to check my Gmail, I kick into the app and it’s already at my inbox.

  • mjh40a

    I’ve had great luck with this new app on my Blackberry 8700c as well. I see no speed issues, and the interface is much nicer than using Gmail via the browser. I love the fact that I can leave the app at my inbox and then escape out. When I want to check my Gmail, I kick into the app and it’s already at my inbox.

  • Dave

    I installed all the new GMobile apps the 2nd day they were out. Within 2 hours I uninstalled all but GMaps. A few days ago I tried the GMail Mobile App again (on a BB 7130e) and later that day uninstalled it again.

    It does look rather nice and has some neat features, but I saw nothing wrong with either the mobile web version… or even setting up my Gmail account directly on the BB!

  • Dave

    I installed all the new GMobile apps the 2nd day they were out. Within 2 hours I uninstalled all but GMaps. A few days ago I tried the GMail Mobile App again (on a BB 7130e) and later that day uninstalled it again.

    It does look rather nice and has some neat features, but I saw nothing wrong with either the mobile web version… or even setting up my Gmail account directly on the BB!

  • KeNNethX

    I think folks are confusing the GMail “app” that is part of the GMobile download and the standalone GMail app that does not launch a web browser, but it a true standalone app. The first one sucked and I deleted it in less than an hour. The second is pretty good…needs a little work but is great for 1.0 beta release. It can be found at:

    http://gmail.com/app

  • KeNNethX

    I think folks are confusing the GMail “app” that is part of the GMobile download and the standalone GMail app that does not launch a web browser, but it a true standalone app. The first one sucked and I deleted it in less than an hour. The second is pretty good…needs a little work but is great for 1.0 beta release. It can be found at:

    http://gmail.com/app

  • http://www.kradest.com/ Krad

    This guy is a jackass! He should or you should have put that this review was on a Treo. Why would his review apply to Blackberrycool?

    The app opens instantly on my 8100. It takes 1 second to connect and bring down the messages. The messages show graphics and are formated perfectly for my 8100.

    I even installed google mobile apps, so it will automatically let me know when there is an update.

    I use gmail on the side, and for side use, this app is perfect!

    then only way it could get better is if it had realtime push like google talk for blackberry.

  • http://www.kradest.com/ Krad

    This guy is a jackass! He should or you should have put that this review was on a Treo. Why would his review apply to Blackberrycool?

    The app opens instantly on my 8100. It takes 1 second to connect and bring down the messages. The messages show graphics and are formated perfectly for my 8100.

    I even installed google mobile apps, so it will automatically let me know when there is an update.

    I use gmail on the side, and for side use, this app is perfect!

    then only way it could get better is if it had realtime push like google talk for blackberry.

  • http://www.kradest.com/ Krad

    This guy is a jackass! He should or you should have put that this review was on a Treo. Why would his review apply to Blackberrycool?

    The app opens instantly on my 8100. It takes 1 second to connect and bring down the messages. The messages show graphics and are formated perfectly for my 8100.

    I even installed google mobile apps, so it will automatically let me know when there is an update.

    I use gmail on the side, and for side use, this app is perfect!

    then only way it could get better is if it had realtime push like google talk for blackberry.

  • http://www.kradest.com/ Krad

    This guy is a jackass! He should or you should have put that this review was on a Treo. Why would his review apply to Blackberrycool?

    The app opens instantly on my 8100. It takes 1 second to connect and bring down the messages. The messages show graphics and are formated perfectly for my 8100.

    I even installed google mobile apps, so it will automatically let me know when there is an update.

    I use gmail on the side, and for side use, this app is perfect!

    then only way it could get better is if it had realtime push like google talk for blackberry.

  • http://www.kradest.com/ Krad

    This guy is a jackass! He should or you should have put that this review was on a Treo. Why would his review apply to Blackberrycool?

    The app opens instantly on my 8100. It takes 1 second to connect and bring down the messages. The messages show graphics and are formated perfectly for my 8100.

    I even installed google mobile apps, so it will automatically let me know when there is an update.

    I use gmail on the side, and for side use, this app is perfect!

    then only way it could get better is if it had realtime push like google talk for blackberry.

  • http://www.kradest.com Krad

    This guy is a jackass! He should or you should have put that this review was on a Treo. Why would his review apply to Blackberrycool?

    The app opens instantly on my 8100. It takes 1 second to connect and bring down the messages. The messages show graphics and are formated perfectly for my 8100.

    I even installed google mobile apps, so it will automatically let me know when there is an update.

    I use gmail on the side, and for side use, this app is perfect!

    then only way it could get better is if it had realtime push like google talk for blackberry.

  • http://www.optimuscrime.com/ optimuscrime

    I think it’s a great BB application for three reasons: Search, archiving and sharing. I put up a review here.

  • http://www.optimuscrime.com optimuscrime

    I think it’s a great BB application for three reasons: Search, archiving and sharing. I put up a review here.

  • Gregg

    I dont agree with this poster. I love the new gmail app. Here’s my wish list for it:

    * Delete mail just by hitting the delete key
    * auto refresh

  • Gregg

    I dont agree with this poster. I love the new gmail app. Here’s my wish list for it:

    * Delete mail just by hitting the delete key
    * auto refresh

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Steve St. Pierre

    Yes, gents, the review was done using a Treo, as it seems, but a couple of the downfalls work either way, or perhaps BlackBerry users could relate to some of the issues at hand. Thank you all so much for your personal reviews. Be sure to check the site in the next week or so as we hope to finally check it out on our own.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Steve St. Pierre

    Yes, gents, the review was done using a Treo, as it seems, but a couple of the downfalls work either way, or perhaps BlackBerry users could relate to some of the issues at hand. Thank you all so much for your personal reviews. Be sure to check the site in the next week or so as we hope to finally check it out on our own.

  • http://blog.larixconsulting.com/ Tris Hussey

    I installed it on my 7103e the first day as well. While I love it, I think it is sucking my battery dry. I could go a couple days before recharging now, one day is all I get. I know batteries wear out, but this started happening right after I loaded it. Maybe if I exit it instead of switching that will help. Looking forward to the next version.

  • http://blog.larixconsulting.com/ Tris Hussey

    I installed it on my 7103e the first day as well. While I love it, I think it is sucking my battery dry. I could go a couple days before recharging now, one day is all I get. I know batteries wear out, but this started happening right after I loaded it. Maybe if I exit it instead of switching that will help. Looking forward to the next version.

  • http://www.allblackberry.com/ Mike

    We’ve just posted a review of Gmail for BlackBerry at AllBlackBerry.com.

  • http://www.allblackberry.com Mike

    We’ve just posted a review of Gmail for BlackBerry at AllBlackBerry.com.

  • http://www.thepond.com/ john

    The gmail app certainly lacks the polish that the buildin blackberry mail has, but overall, it is definitely one of the nicer J2ME apps out there — most complelely drop all blackberry feel, and the GMail app does a decent job of maintaining a sensible look and feel while in a java app.

    The one thing I wish it had would be the ability to send emai from the other addresses on my gmail account (i.e. my work address, etc).

    I pretty much have the blackberry to do email on the phone, and that, of course, is much easier and faster than the gmail app, but for non-BBy phones, this may be a great way to bring email to normal handsets.

  • http://www.thepond.com john

    The gmail app certainly lacks the polish that the buildin blackberry mail has, but overall, it is definitely one of the nicer J2ME apps out there — most complelely drop all blackberry feel, and the GMail app does a decent job of maintaining a sensible look and feel while in a java app.

    The one thing I wish it had would be the ability to send emai from the other addresses on my gmail account (i.e. my work address, etc).

    I pretty much have the blackberry to do email on the phone, and that, of course, is much easier and faster than the gmail app, but for non-BBy phones, this may be a great way to bring email to normal handsets.

  • adam

    I have a question regarding the Pearl and the GMail app. For some reason, I keep getting an error message, telling me:

    “The program is unable to connect to the server. This is likely a temporary problem. Please wait one minute and then try again.”

    I installed the program twice since yesterday (when I first recieved my phone,) and have been unsuccessful logging into gmail for over 24 hours.

    Any advice?

    Adam.

  • adam

    I have a question regarding the Pearl and the GMail app. For some reason, I keep getting an error message, telling me:

    “The program is unable to connect to the server. This is likely a temporary problem. Please wait one minute and then try again.”

    I installed the program twice since yesterday (when I first recieved my phone,) and have been unsuccessful logging into gmail for over 24 hours.

    Any advice?

    Adam.

  • yuji

    Can anyone tell me how to “force quit” gmail on BB8700? I tried to send a message from gmail on my BB and it got stuck with a message saying “Sending message..”

  • yuji

    Can anyone tell me how to “force quit” gmail on BB8700? I tried to send a message from gmail on my BB and it got stuck with a message saying “Sending message..”

  • Teddy Pig

    Pull the battery on the frozen screen.

    This app has bugs.

  • Teddy Pig

    Pull the battery on the frozen screen.

    This app has bugs.

  • MJ

    Does anyone else feel like the gmail app sucks the battery life of the blackberry dry? I have an 8830 and I’ve installed the application as a standalone twice now only to uninstall it because my battery loss is so extreme compared to normal (I usually get several days of standby but with little to no use, while gmail is installed, I get less than a full 24 hours!).

    I really love the gmail app’s interface and it can be much easier to read than the forwarded version to my blackberry account so I wish I could make it work but did anyone else have this battery problem?

  • MJ

    Does anyone else feel like the gmail app sucks the battery life of the blackberry dry? I have an 8830 and I’ve installed the application as a standalone twice now only to uninstall it because my battery loss is so extreme compared to normal (I usually get several days of standby but with little to no use, while gmail is installed, I get less than a full 24 hours!).

    I really love the gmail app’s interface and it can be much easier to read than the forwarded version to my blackberry account so I wish I could make it work but did anyone else have this battery problem?