January 13th, 2006

Mobile Google – It works, but will I use it?

When I saw Google’s announcement about the personalized home page, I was intrigued. I didn’t know they had personalized web pages – even online. I use gmail so it was easy to set up.

My first impression is: “Wow, this is really easy to set up.” Given that I have a gmail account, it was easy to create a personalized web page by dragging and dropping the windows. Looks a bit still like a beta, but it functions.

Then, I used my Verizon LG 9xxx phone with a QWERTY keyboard to see how it looks on my phone. Second impression: “Wow, that works, too. And it was really easy to find.” Doesn’t look as good as some of the content designed for a small screen, but it functioned. I could open my email, click on links to stories, etc. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get gmail to work on other mobile handsets that I have and have failed on all attempts. This worked. I was also automatically logged in the second and third time I visited the site on my phone.

One disappointment – the “rolling eyeballs” application didn’t work on my phone.

I think the bigger question I ask myself is “Will I use it?” I am hesitant to pay for the airtime as I don’t use WAP very often. I like that the content is customized. For general categories, there are applications like Glu’s Fox Sports Mobile that provide a great experience for sports. I like having the option of getting access to my Gmail without a dedicated monthly subscription – that’s probably what I like the best. It’s not the awesome email experience yet that a Blackberry provides, but given that I don’t use it (access Gmail away from my computer) often – it hits the spot.

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