Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Google improves user experience for iPhone Users

Google announced new improvements to its Grand Prix integrated iPhone software suite on iPhone. The previous version, launched just over a month ago, brought together our suite of web applications including Search, Gmail, Calendar, Reader, and more into one easy-to-use interface. Apple has improved the interface even further, making the applications faster and improving their usability.

Some of the improvements announced today include:

- Improved UI: The applications look and feel slicker, and they are easier to activate, navigate and use via a touch-screen.

- Customization of default tabs: Now Google users can have easy access to their favorite applications by customizing the applications that appear on the Google.com menu bar. Users simply choose their favorite Google applications to bring them to the front menu, ensuring that they'll be close at hand whenever they're needed. Switching between applications is effortless, as users only need to sign in onceto access their Gmail, Calendar, Reader, Docs, and Picasa accounts.

- Speedier Gmail: New emails will automatically show up so there's no need to manually refresh in boxes. And the new auto-complete feature forcontacts makes composing emails faster than ever.
- Speedier Calendar: With the new month view, users can glance at an entire month of appointments.

- iGoogle: Now Google users can access their iGoogle gadgets on theiPhone. Everything they've customized on their iGoogle homepage including weather, stocks, and news feeds now appear on their iPhones. To go to iGoogle, simply click on the iGoogle link on the Home tab. You can customize your iGoogle page on your computer at http://www.igoogle.com/.

These new features provide iPhone users with a desktop-like Google web application experience in terms of ease-of-use, speed, and feature richness but optimized for the iPhone.

According to a New York Times article published today, traffic to Google from iPhones surged on Christmas, surpassing incoming traffic from rival mobile devices despite representing just 2 percent of the global smartphone population.

iPhone has certainly taken out the frustration of mobile browsing and thanks to Google, I m sure browsing on mobile internet is much better. With the iPhone's SDK launched possibly next month, it will surely open up a world of opportunity for more services to be integrated with iPhone. Sometimes i wonder why the other more established mobile manufacturers are not getting it the way Apple does...

With only 2 percent of the global smartphone market share, Google and others are scrambling to recognise the cult iPhone has created. Phones powered by Symbian make up 63 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, while those powered by Microsoft’s Windows Mobile have 11 percent and those running the BlackBerry system have 10 percent, dont these established players deserve the equal iconic status of Apple. I guess not, afterall beside creating a sexy iPhone, Steve Jobs and the team at Apple has definitely changed the mobile business landscape. Gone were the days where Operators drive the business their way, its now consumer driven and if the Operators do not play according to these new rules, they will lose out. Long Live the Consumers.

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