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Google Introduces iOS-styled Gmail to Mobile Web Version, Not Android Client

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In December of last year, Google introduced a brand new version of Gmail to iOS that was simply put, beautifully designed. We talked at the time about how much more appealing this version was than the newest version for Android that had been released the day prior. This iOS version matched the design of the web interface, utilized a slideout menu bar, and in away, follows Android design guidelines more closely than the actual Android version. Thankfully, as of today, we can get a taste of this new design through our  mobile browsers. 

The Gmail team announced through Google+ that the mobile web version has been updated to match the iOS design because so many of you “like the redesigned UI, along with new features such as improved search and integration with Google Calendar.” It doesn’t quite have the same visual appeal in the side menu for switching accounts per se, but the functionality is much the same. You’ll also find the bright colors, compose email window, better search, calendar support and more.

I personally hate to see the Android versions of official Google apps lag behind those on other platforms, so hopefully this means we have a major update on the horizon.

Via:  +Gmail | The Next Web

  • e_droid

    “I personally hate to see the Android versions of official Google apps lag behind those on other platforms, so hopefully this means we have a major update on the horizon.”

  • dandar

    I don’t get what you guys are complaining about. The gmail app for android looks just as good, has just as much info and actually has less wasted space.

    No one has actually written here just what exactly is making the web/ios app look better. In android app I can go from email to email by just swiping, I can effortlessly mark multiple emails as read, spam etc. All these are much more cumbersome on the web app. If IOS is anything like that, thanks but I’d rather be using the android app.

  • blakjakdavy

    All I want out of klp is for Google to apply this design language to all the things.

  • Having an iPhone 5 for a few more days, I have to disagree. I much prefer the Android Gmail client. True, the iOS version is “prettier,” but the Android version is much more useful and consistent. For example, in the message list, you check a box and the action buttons (delete, archive, etc) are at the bottom. In the message view, the action buttons are at the top and harder to reach.

    Also, while the iOS version has swipeable emails in the message list, you only have the option to archive. In Android, you can choose whether it archives or deletes.

    • regkilla

      The iPhone 5 is just too much for you.

      • That must be it. I bought a Droid DNA for myself, and traded the iPhone 5 for a Note 2 for my wife. It’s nice to have a phone with functioning multitasking and the ability for apps to easily call other apps through intents again.

  • hatboysam

    Hopefully this will come to the offline gmail chrome extension, which currently uses a fork of the old mobile UI. I love offline Gmail in my browser but I hate the interface.

  • Tim242

    I like the Android version just fine. I just want them to fix the “sending” stuck in outbox bug that has plagued it from day one.

    • PhoenixPath

      God this….this bug…it makes me want to kill things.

      • Tim242

        I laughed out loud so hard…because iit is so true.

        • PhoenixPath

          There really should be a support group.

  • cizzlen

    First Maps now this? Thanks Google.

  • mustbepbs

    The Gmail app for Android is garbage. I really don’t understand why Google puts more effort into web based and even iOS versions of their apps while the Android version is severely lacking. Just look at Chrome for Android and compare it to iOS.

    What the ****, Google?

    • Joe

      I was thinking the same thing. The GMail Android app is just pathetic.

    • Apple have standard. You just can’t throw a app together and expect apple to accept it as for android there’s no requirement so they just give y’all a half baked app and tell y’all to deal with it…

      • angermeans

        I disagree the gmail app before the latest update (the one kellen is talking about) was awful all around and most google apps on iOS have been somewhat a joke. I think when apple pulled maps out from under google they had to do something drastic and put a lot of muscle behind coding for their iOS apps as they absolutely need to remain relevant on the iOS platform. Google doesn’t make money on android (outside of the nexus brand and ad dollars) so to them there is no standard they need to make apps great on both platforms and iOS has a huge install base. I agree with one thing you said though is that the android equivalents are in desperate need of an update as I far prefer the iOS apps over the android apps of the same. They look and run much better.

  • Ray

    I wish I had an extra $900 dollars to throw away. I would love to attend Google’s I/O. I cannot wait to see what they have in store for my Nexus 4.

  • I feel like every time kellex gets all wound up about how the g+/gmail/gtalk/etc. is updated on iOS and not android there’s an update in the Play store within 12 hours. Might need to learn to take a few deep breaths

  • trwb

    I hope FireFox OS turns into something.

    • Tim242

      Hope in one hand, $hit in the other.

      • trwb

        If it had widgets and some more decent apps, B2G would be pretty cool. I have been playing with the FireFox OS simulator in my browser for a while. I like Android, but there are always privacy issues, it seems like FireFox OS would be better with privacy.

    • I doubt it will. Even such a proponent of html apps as Google is not pushing Chrome OS for mobile.

  • When I swapped from my razr max back to my iphone 4, I was shocked that the gmail ios app far surpassed the one on android. Utterly sad. Shouldn’t android version always be better at least slightly, or at least ahead of the curve in updates?

    • Tim242

      Hiding options and making it less intuitive, just for simple iOS function, does not make it better.

  • elliot323

    Don’t want the iOS version, it sucks

  • I’d simply like to use GMail on Android to compose a message to a group. Seriously.

    • cphilano

      I’ve been holding my breath for this for a year now. This seriously needs to be done without having to get an extra app.

  • This article makes googles devs sound like douche bags. Because its true. The IOS version is better. The devs followed the guide lines. I am Android and google all the way. But this kind of crap is unacceptable Make the app for the platform that you work for equal or better than an app for your competitor. Make them want to switch, not stay. And come on don’t give fan boys unneeded ammo.

    • I’m waiting for Google I/O. Hopefully they update all of the interfaces that need to be updated,

    • angermeans

      Maybe iOS just has a better design language and APOs. I’ve been learning to code in java for a little over a year now and won’t learn objective C until next semester, but ave been looking into both. They both seem about on par however iOS has a lot more tools. I’m interested in seeing why because iOS clearly has the better looking and running apps. So maybe just maybe they have more tools at their disposal.

      • Justin Swanson

        I have heard that the Devkit for iOS is pretty well put together and might contribute to this. However Google controls Android. If an API is limited then it needs to be changed/improved upon in the next iteration.

        I understand the give and take that is cross platform, and I also understand they need to keep iOS users using their apps but it would be nice if Google could make a statement that said, “hey all these neat features iOS got, yeah, you’re mind is about to be blown in a few weeks ;)” or some tease.

        I just hope I/O brings us some freakin’ unicorns.

        • angermeans

          Oh I totally agree. There really is no excuse that Google would keep their own apps needing while they polish up their iOS offerings. I just thought I would offer up some kind of response because honestly I am just as confused as everyone else. I can see offering great iOS apps, but they should always offer better Android apps and the Android offerings should always be a version or two ahead. That hasn’t been the case as I’ve seen the opposite. Lately apps like Google+, Gmail, and even Google Maps have been getting updates on iOS a few days to even a few weeks faster than Android has. It’s blown my mind. I get a great update for my iPhone 5 and then I’m sure my Nexus 7 and GS3 will be soon to follow, but nope they don’t show or they do and still don’t look as polished (IMHO so please don’t flame me to death). It makes no sense at all.

          • Justin Swanson

            Let’s keep hoping for something from I/O. Maybe even a major update to all the apps across the board to surpass the iOS apps?

            Nah, I wouldn’t bet on it.

      • ceejw

        I agree that it looks better but have you used the iOS Gmail app? It’s still pretty bad. There are too many screens where it’s still just a HTML5 web wrapper and scrolling and loading are really bad as a result.

        • angermeans

          Yeah I have. There is never the perfect app (well, there is pretty close at least in my opinion such as the Mailbox app for iOS, Fantastical, and Clear to name a few, but they are few and far between and usually come from 3rd party app developers), but the iOS Gmail app is leaps and bounds better than it’s first version they released on iOS. When the update was announced I was pretty slow to update (I went back to iOS Mail app), but I was blown away by the complete overhaul. I still think feature for feature the Android Gmail app is a little better, but when you take overall look, feel, and fluidity (this probably has more to do with the whole iOS vs Android thing anyway, but it is something I really look into when using my tech) into consideration then I think the iOS Gmail app is better at least for me.

  • Who the hell actually uses the mobile web version of Gmail???

    • mgamerz

      I do for work. All devices that want to use the client have to be authenticated to a server to verify that they are work phones, and you can’t do BYOD. You can access email via the web one which I do on my phone quite a bit.

    • I sure as hell do … its a lot better then the “mail” app

  • Worry not, compadres, I/O will be our salvation.

    • side note: not even sure “compadres” is an applicable term in this context. I honestly don’t remember what it means but, it felt right.

      • carlisimo

        Technically it means that you are your friend’s child’s godfather and he is your kid’s godfather in turn. But some people just use it to mean good friends, especially in Mexico and Chile.

        • Ray


        • JolleyMan

          I learn all kinds of stuff on DL.

      • Seth Schorr

        Dammit man. Use Google Translator to find out. That’s what the Google God’s invented it for. /s

      • JRomeo

        it means compatriot

    • nightscout13

      As Android adopters, we should not be receiving this AFTER iOS users. Slap in the face!

      • Justin Swanson

        Couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately I think Google has two different teams of developers (one for iOS and one for Android)

        • michael arazan

          Why is this not an option in Gmail now, instead it is part of the mobile chrome browser? Do they want people not using the gmail app? What’s next Gmail app Beta? Like the 2 chrome browsers

          • Justin Swanson

            Probably not. I think they have Chrome Beta because Google is trying to unify the experience across platforms. Example: I use Chrome Beta in my desktop, i want Chrome Beta on my phone (to experience newish features?)

            I think Gmail is much more solid and doesn’t change as frequently. That’s not to say it shouldn’t change as frequently. I would love to see a more frequently updated Gmail app, but I don’t know that its going to happen.

  • Nex__

    This is getting really annoying, they better include a few “extras” for android version.

    • Tirionfive

      Don’t worry, we will get the updated Maps “Holo” UI in KLP this July.

  • Thomas

    Where is our beloved Tim today ?

    • LionStone

      Packing his bags for New York perhaps!? 🙂