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Google Makes My Life Harder

I like my new iPhone a great deal.  I especially like good apps.  For instance, the Yelp app rocks; it uses the “current location” feature of the iPhone to show me stuff nearby (such as restaurants).  And it’s Yelp, which I already use a lot, so it includes user-contributed reviews and info.  The Yelp app takes something I love and use from the Web and makes it available and awesome on the iPhone. Easy, specialized, familiar, fast, localized, all things I like in a mobile application.  Why can’t Google do the same?

Google’s iPhone versions of Gmail and Google Calendar are awful.  I used both on my Blackberry, and I have new issues.  First, they are not standalone applications.  I have to go through Safari to get to them.  That means I don’t have a little “new Gmail” icon.  I have to manually check my mail to see if there’s anything there (or use the built in Mail app which I already mentioned I don’t like).  Gmail on the iPhone doesn’t have a way for me to label messages.  Sure, I can archive them to get them out of my inbox, but then they’re lost in the “All Mail” ether.  I couldn’t label them through the Blackberry Gmail app either, so this isn’t new, but it’s still annoying.

Google Calendar for the iPhone lacks a rather important feature as well – Edit.  Seriously?  Google, you didn’t think I’d want to edit calendar entries on my phone?  It’s not clear how I can view the “Standard” versions of either Gmail or Google Calendar.  Google checks, finds that I’m on an iPhone, and serves up these “apps” that make my life harder.  Maybe that’s not fair.  Maybe they just fail to make my life easier.  I want to use my mobile device for mobile email and mobile calendar, and Google is making it hard for me to do that.

I’m hoping that there are features of Gmail and Google Calendar for the iPhone that I just haven’t found or enabled properly.  I don’t want to go through iCal and syncing to get my calendar or through the very un-Gmail-like Mail app.  Please help!


5 Comments

  • Noor |

    I have one solution to one of your problems. You can add any web page to the main menu. In safari, browse to the page and then click the + button, then select add to homescreen. I get my gmail through the iPhone mail app. Not sure if that will solve your problem.

  • libbyh |

    I’ve managed to get my Gmail page into the little iPhone doc, but I still wish I could add labels and have it pull mail for me. I think for now I’ll give in and use the iPhone Mail app too. Sigh.

  • Adam Wilkinson |

    You probably know this by now, but Google licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft, and you can now set up your Google Calendar and Contacts on the iPhone as an Exchange account. (Use the regular GMail setup for email.) I did this last week and it’s working well. The caveat is that doing this will blow away any calendar and contacts data on the iPhone, so you should back those up first, just to be safe. So Calendar edits are now done in the iPhone proper.

  • suangearssur |

    “You can add any web page to the main menu. In safari, browse to the page and then click the + button, then select add to homescreen. I get my gmail through the iPhone mail app. Not sure if that will solve your problem.”
    Are you sure that this is so?

So, what do you think ?

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