Google Offers Java-based Mobile Gmail

Google began offering a mobile-application based version of its Gmail product for mobile phones capable of running Java applications on Thursday. The company says the new product offers much faster access to e-mail than its WAP-based offering.

"We realize the role mobile phones play as a key driver for balancing online and offline worlds, and we're committed to developing products that help people stay connected when they're away from their computers," Google product management director Deep Nishar said.

Comparing it with other mobile based solutions, Gmail for mobile devices offers up to five times faster access of e-mail, less clicks and scrolling, fewer keystrokes for reading, composing and searching, and attachment support.

Those interested in using the application can download it from gmail.com/app directly from their mobile phone. In addition, Sprint announced separately that it would make the application available from its Vision and Power Vision homepages.

Some analysts believe that Google's focus on mobile e-mail may help it cut into the large leads both Microsoft's Hotmail and Yahoo Mail enjoy over the Mountain View, Calif. based company's service.

"By offering a better mobile experience, the company might, and I say might, be able to lure Hotmail and Yahoo users to the Gmail platform," noted Internet pundit Om Malik said. "Google had started offering access to Gmail via a wap page, but it lacked the sizzle of the real thing."

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