I saw this today and thought is was another fun example of Analog meet Digital. Published in Yanko Design about Google Envelopes, students from Syracuse University came up with this concept of automating your email to work with the main mail system in Envelopes that are actually maps that have the route of how the actual Envelop will travel. We forget about 20 years ago we were sending letters to our friends instead of the real-time messaging of them. Just in one generation we have shifted from an analog experience to a digital one. Going back to the analog one could be quite nostalgic for more meaningful delivery of messages in all the clutter of a crowded digital mailbox.
What I find interesting and challenging for Google as they attempt to enter the social media space is about spread of the social graph amongst users that are looking for choice. Even though Google has 176M users of Gmail, Facebook is ~400M strong as a user base, with many of them using Gmail as a subset to their Facebook accounts. I thought with the release of Wave, Google was positioning itself out of the box from its own services to have an agnostic service that could eventually spread to all users. What makes Facebook so powerful ( in my mind) is that it can exist with many other products as a connector. Once you build something into an existing product, I find it pigeon-holes you into the users of that service and in many ways you can fall victim to your own boundaries. This has been a very complicated position for many years when I was at Nokia. Even when many services were launched, they were mainly only for Nokia devices and it was a challenge for those services to also work across other devices to create that brand awareness that this existed. This is my opinion, but I feel Social communication services should be agnostic to all services and devices and work as a form of connector of services. How will Buzz work within a Google defined structure of Gmail vs. Facebook that is agnostic and a service that stands alone on its own right that now is getting positioned across all mobile operators and something complementary to your email, IM, etc… In other words, I would say it would probably make more strategic sense for Facebook to incorporate the email service of your choice as opposed to try to create your own email service that again artificially creates a boundary of usage when users are comfortable with their own email service and email address to begin with.
I do believe that Google will find a very strong way to make Buzz a success, but being positioned in Gmail was something that might be limiting. Any other thoughts out there? Here is also a great presentation by Facebook Mobile at #MWC this past week.
TechTree India writies about the new release of Googles Gmail for Android and iPhones below.
I am excited to see that even with all the GaGa only about iPhone Apps ( understandably so, but) that there are new announcements every day on some of the most practical usage cases of mobile linked to web development and the mobile browser.
As it does make sense to have an application based strategy, there is still a lot to be said about the browsing experience off of the
OpenSource Webkit ( Safari) browser that is used on Android/iPhones/Nokia devices and many more. As the browser is equivalent to web browsing we experience on PC’s, having a mobile experience that lends itself to the smaller screen size and the user interface of a mobile device is a very smart approach for scaling your existing web/publishing digital strategy to mobile.
I am a very active user of Gmail on both my PC and Device and find that the hardware does not matter anymore. What matters is my seemless ability to connect to the services that I use frequently and email is something that is extemely important for me to have virtually on all the time and extendable in a very usable form from either my PC or my Nokia E71. I did find it strange that Google has only launched this for iPhone and for Android, when it would make sense to have this for all devices that support webkit from the starting point. I am sure we will see the announcement for Nokia support in the near future.
Gmail has announced a new web interface for iPhone and Android platform based mobile web browsers. Built over a new engine, this Gmail Mobile interface closely resembles the Gmail Desktop version. The whole mail browsing, reading and composing experience has become faster, even over weak network connections.
The user interface has been optimized for snazzier inbox, a new ‘floaty bar’ and offline Gmail support. The new floaty bar allows archiving, deleting or more options for the email like Mark as Unread, Add star or Report as Spam. This floaty bar follows as one scrolls down further to select more emails. Navigation and display of threaded email conversations has been simplified and made faster.
Searching specific mails quickly is possible by poking the Magnifier button representing search. More messages can be viewed by hitting ‘Show more messages’ and the page hardly takes half a second to load more emails.
The new Gmail for Mobile is available on Apple iPhone and iPod Touch devices with firmware 2.2.1 or higher. All Android-powered phones are supported.
The iPhone OS 3.0 brings landscape keyboard support in the Mail application but it still takes a while to load messages. Scrolling between the messages often results in sore fingers. Also, search emails and labels are still difficult to use. However, the Gmail team has made many Gmail fans happy with the new desktop-like mobile web interface iPhone and Android platform.