Noticed this via Evan William’s Blog – Gmail now apparently has enabled the much-awaited-by-mobile-device-users basic HTML interface. Here’s the scoop, straight from their help pages:
In case you don’t have access to a fully supported browser, we still want you to have access to Gmail – that’s why we’ve developed a basic HTML view of our service that is compatible with almost any browser. If you sign in to Gmail using a browser that isn’t fully supported, you’ll automatically be directed to the basic HTML view.
The basic HTML view is a little different than what you’re used to because the following features aren’t available:
- Filter creation
- Settings (Including Forwarding and POP)
- Spell checker
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Address auto-complete
I tried it out on my Dell Axim x50v Pocket PC, and on my Blackberry 7100t, with mixed results.
Sadly, on my Axim, all I ever got after logging in was a blank page with a red bar containing the word “Loading…” at the top. Tried many refreshes, but no dice. I think maybe because Pocket Internet Explorer identifies itself as a version of IE, Gmail’s trying to load the “standard view”, which doesn’t work. Google, can you please sniff the user agent strings more carefully to identify Windows CE/Pocket PC devices?
On the Blackberry, after a few long redirects, I was presented with a warning that the page contains frames, and prompted for which frame I wanted to view (main or js). The Blackberry browser doesn’t support frames. When I select the “main” frame, I get a page with “Loading…” that goes nowhere. If I choose the “js” frame, I get a “Page could not be loaded – it is too large for the device.”.
I guess the feature could not be implemented yet, and we just stumbled upon some pre-release documentation in their help system. Can anyone else report their results on other mobile devices, like the Treo or a Symbian device?
Google, we’d love it if you made a mobile device accessible view for Gmail. But you need to make sure it works on the most popular mobile devices (Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones, PalmOS, Symbian, BlackBerry, etc.).