Maybe not a major release, but the announcement by Google that it has upgraded the interface for its Gmail app on iPad will be welcome to those annoyed at the original interface that split the screen in two vertically and made navigation somewhat difficult.
According to the Google mobile blog, the new interface for Gmail app has been completely redesigned so that the compose interface, instead of having the screen split in two between the inbox and the compose view, users will be offered a big full screen compose window.
The blog posting also announced that it had fixed some of the more annoying bugs that accompanied the April release of the iPad App, in particular the one that prevented users from scrolling down to view long emails.
Based on feedback from iPad Gmail users, the only drawback so far is that it is only available to US English users, although the company has said that it will remedy this in coming months.
Google introduced the Gmail App for iPad in April just before Apple released the iPad. Using what was described at the time as an experimental user interface, it was built on the HTML 5 version of Gmail.
At the time of its launch, Google had said that the App would give users faster and better access to email on iPad as well as better navigation and search.
And while most users appeared happy with the new App, the biggest bone of contention was the interface, which was split down the middle with messages on the right hand side of the screen and conversations on the left.
The reasoning behind it was that this would cause users no great difficulties as the screen is larger than conventional smartphones and could easily be divided in two. Clearly the majority of users didn’t agree with the result that the upgrade was released on Monday.
If Google is basing its future developments on the iPad around comments posted from users on its blog, then we should be seeing further changes soon.
While the reaction to the new interface has not been negative, many users point to other issues that they would like to see resolved, in particular issues around Google Docs and Google Reader — Google Docs users are unable to edit Google Docs from the browser of the iPad.
With Apple estimated to be selling 1.2 million units per month and rising, it is unlikely that Google will be dragging their feet with this one.