Google preps mobile app for Gmail

Google will introduce on Thursday a mobile application for accessing its Gmail Web mail service.

Google plans to improve access to Gmail via cell phones with an application that enhances its performance and interface in mobile devices.

On Thursday, Google plans to launch a new downloadable application for Java-enabled mobile devices that acts as a client for Gmail, letting users read, create, delete, search, send and receive e-mail messages.

People have been able to tap into their Gmail accounts from mobile browsers for months, but this new application will provide faster access to messages and a more intuitive and feature-rich user interface, Google officials said.

The move is the latest by a major provider of online services to enhance its offerings in mobile devices, considered one of the next big Internet frontiers. With improvements in handset technology and mobile data access, companies like Google are trying to move fast to replicate the popularity of their desktop-based services in cell phones and other similar devices.

The Gmail application will also allow users to open attached files like photos and documents in a way that is properly formatted for the mobile display.

All actions users take in the mobile application are synchronized with the server, so that when users access Gmail via a PC, the changes are reflected.

Unlike the PC Gmail version, this application displays no ads along with the messages and isn't integrated with the Google Talk instant messaging service.

For now, the application is available in English for the U.S. market, but there are plans to launch it abroad soon. To download the free application from a mobile browser, users can go to this page.

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