Redesigned Mobile Gmail for iPhone and Android Is Faster, Appier, AwesomerS

Google's redesigned mobile Gmail site for iPhone and Android is live and it seems better than the original in every way: It's faster, more app-like, and has an improved user interface. We like.

It moves a lot faster between pages that don't require fresh data because it uses database storage on the iPhone and Android's built-in Google Gears implementation, which supposedly makes it work better on a slow connection besides giving it some offline powers. Search and loading emails from the main screen isn't necessarily quicker, but picking contacts and opening particular messages within a thread—yes, threaded conversations work just like real Gmail now—is definitely quicker. You can also get to other Google apps (like your calendar, which is improved now too) in a snap.

It feels more like an app with the sunburst style progress spinner anytime you need to load stuff, and a button for "load more messages" at the bottom that responds nearly instantly, rather than having to load a whole new web page. Search is no longer shoved at the bottom of the window, there's an actual button for it on top (which is great since the reason I fired up the Gmail site was for search). There's a "floaty bar" that follows you down as you scroll with functions like delete, archive and report spam. The new UI feels a bit more finger friendly, and it uses Gmail's newer color scheme, with a grayer blue and more subtle colors that makes it more readable, too.

If you don't like it, you can always go back to the old site, too. [Gmail Blog]