Understanding Gmail Mobile

There are two basic ways to access Gmail from your phone. Either you can use the Gmail app, or you can use the phone's web browser to access Gmail from the Web. When you use your web browser, by default you'll see a mobile version of Gmail that is trimmed down and simpler to use on phones.

The Gmail app on Android uses push e-mail. That means that you don't need to keep checking a web site. Your e-mail is always on and ready to receive new messages. This is just like keeping your desktop e-mail client on in the background when you use your laptop. It's the big advantage of the Android Gmail app over your phone's web browser, though the browser does have a few features missing in the Gmail app.

When new messages arrive, by default you'll see a notice in the status bar. You can drag down the status bar and click the notification to launch the Gmail app.

This chapter has covered quite a few web-based features, but there was an important reason to get to know them first. Most of these features cannot be changed from the Gmail app in Android, nor can they be changed from the mobile version of Gmail on the Web.

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