Mobile GMail Takes on More 'App-like' Capabilities

The Google Mobile blog writes about a new "swipe to archive" feature for the iPhone optimized version of GMail. You run your hand across the email entry and a red "archive" button appears at the right (see image). This is not unlike how the mail app on the iPhone works in quickly deleting an email. It's a useful new feature.

But what it signifies more importantly and broadly is the way that Google is increasingly trying to make its mobile sites more like native smartphone applications rather than developing a bunch of specialized apps across multiple platforms. 

As we previously wrote:

This notion -- building more functionality into the browser experience as opposed to building more apps for more platforms -- is the strategic direction that Google is going with its mobile products. It's also reflective of how Google is seeking to bridge between PC and mobile to strengthen usage of the product overall.