Gmail recently added a couple new features that I’m pretty stoked about, as reported by The Next Web. The first is an extended time window of 30 seconds for “Undo Send” — a feature that’s not available in the mobile version — and the second is push notifications for mobile Gmail.
That got me thinking of how the desktop version of Gmail has a lot of features that aren’t available in the mobile version. Though I like HTML5 Gmail enough to use it instead of the Mail app on both the iPhone and iPad, I would love to see some more desktop features migrate to mobile. Read on for a short list of what’s missing.
When activated in the nick of time, the aforementioned Undo Send works as advertised, allowing you to take back an e-mail and correct typos or add things you might’ve forgotten. Mobile Gmail kind of looks like it includes Undo Send — there’s a little “X” next to the pop-up that confirms your e-mail was sent — but that’s just to close the notification window. Alas, your mobile mistakes are permanent.
I would think that Android phones, with their file management systems, would be able to handle attachments. Nope, both the Android and iPhone versions of Gmail can send only text from new messages. On the bright side, you can forward attachments sent to you and e-mail attachments saved in draft mode from the desktop.
When I first heard that Google was testing multiple account sign-ins last month, I hoped that mobile devices would be included. My wife and I take turns on the iPad and it’d be nice to switch accounts without signing out and re-entering our user names and passwords. So far, no such luck. For now, the best workaround is the same as it used to be on the desktop — just keep each login on a different mobile browser.
Mobile Gmail is for the most part untweakable. You can’t change themes, set up a vacation auto-response or even manage your labels, not for any technological reason, but simply because Google won’t let you. Fortunately, you can alter some settings by switching to the desktop version of Gmail within your mobile browser.
Admittedly, I’ve got enough games on my phone already, but I miss playing Snake right on top of my e-mail. (To play Snake on the desktop, activate it in Gmail Labs, then activate keyboard shortcuts and press “&” from any section of Gmail.) At least Google Pac-Man works on mobile browsers.