iPhone Web App: Google Releases Gmail Tasks for the iPhone

BY Jason

Published 2 Feb 2009

In December 2008, Gmail Labs had released Gmail Tasks, the
lightweight to-do list manager which had turned out to be quite

Google has just released an optimized version of Gmail Tasks for the iPhone and other mobile devices.

Michael Bolin, Tasks engineer at Google explains the reason for developing the mobile version of Tasks:

"When we set out to build Tasks (now in Gmail Labs), one of our goals was to improve upon paper. With the version of Tasks in Gmail, we focused on making editing very fast and simple — as close to paper as we could. But despite dual-core CPUs, 30" monitors, and high speed internet connections, many Googlers still found themselves using paper to track their tasks.

We did some competitive analysis and here is what we found.

Paper has a number of popular features:

    * Easy editing. Cross out with pen and write something new.
    * Works offline. You can read paper even when your PC is not connected to the internet.
    * Mobile. Fold paper and stick in pocket.
    * Instant boot up. Just pull paper out of pocket — don't have to wait for it to load.

However, paper does have some limitations:

    * Limited availability. You don't always have a pad of paper with you to write new things.
    * Not ubiquitous. If you leave a piece of paper in one pair of jeans, you can't access it from the other jeans you're currently wearing.
    * Difficult to organize. Eventually turns into a giant mess on your desk.

We set out to fix this by making Tasks available from your phone with a version optimized for the small screen."

You can now manage your Gmail Task lists from the iPhone by pointing your iPhone's Safari browser to http://gmail.com/tasks.

You can view, add, edit, or complete your tasks in the iPhone version. The user interface is simple and intuitive and surprisingly fast for a web app. As you would expect, any changes are immediately synced to your Gmail account.

You can watch the video demo of Gmail Tasks below:

In my opinion, one of the killer features of the desktop version of Gmail Tasks is the ability to add a Gmail message to your task list by clicking on More Actions drop-down and choosing "Add to Tasks". Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the iPhone version of Gmail.

I think with features like Gmail Tasks, it is high time Google releases a native client (iPhone app) for Gmail on the App Store.

Michael tells us that thanks to this new mobile UI many Googlers have finally scrapped the paper task management that they never really liked but couldn't ever beat.

How about you? Will you be scrapping the paper task management with the iPhone version of Gmail Tasks? Let us know in the comments.

[via Gmail blog]