12/18/07
11:52 am

MacMost Now 13: Google iPhone Apps

Gary Rosenzweig takes a look at using Google iPhone apps such as gMail, Picasa, Google Reader, Google Calendar, Notebook and local search.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi! This is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now. It's been about six months now since the iPhone came out. We're still a few months away from getting real iPhone apps, but some of the web apps are pretty good.
As a matter of fact, Google has been improving their iPhone apps almost every month, and there are some pretty good services now. Let's take a look at the current offering of Google web apps.
Here's my Google homepage. I go to google.com/m/products. This is different than google.com/m, which seems to have apps suited for many mobile phones. This one seems to be very suited for the iPhone.
So, I go here and list these apps. For instance, if I go to 'gMail,' I get a version of gMail that's very suited for the iPhone. Not only does it show my mail on iPhone format, nice for the screen, but also I find that you can use a lot of the functions like an archive and different things to do with your mail. That's a lot better than the mobile versions, and it's a lot easier to use than the full version on your small iPhone screen.
Another thing here is Calendar, which is also formatted by a display of what's going on today and allows you to quickly add events. Of course, the good thing about everything here is that it's shared between your computer and your iPhone. So, you basically add a meeting here; of course it's on your Google calendar, so you can see it on your computer. If it's a shared calendar, other people can see it as well.
One of the best apps here is the Google Reader. This is an RSS reader that I've pre-populated on my computer with RSS feeds that I like, and I can look at all the top news on all my RSS feeds, look at individual feeds, and such. This is the quickest way, definitely, to catch up with the news on your iPhone.
Also, you've got a Google Notebook here which syncs with the Notes function on your Google account on your computer, so you can add notes on your computer or on your iPhone and see them in either place. For instance, I can create a shopping list and quickly get to it.
If we go back, we can look at the fullest of apps here, and, of course, the Google search, which is really handy because you can go ahead and search for something locally very quickly: for instance, finding some Tai food. Then, searching locally for it, my Google account knows that I'm in Denver, so it gives me the appropriate results.
Another thing I like here is the Photos, which is basically a link to Picasa. I've uploaded some photos, and I can view them on my iPhone. I can, of course, share them across computers and do all the things you can do in these online albums. So, you can see there's a lot of things you can do here. It's almost like a complete set of apps for the iPhone.
And that's really just scratching the surface. It looks like Google's very dedicated to creating apps for the iPhone. So, I keep the Google apps page bookmarked and then look through there and look to see what's new every time.
This is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.