Google and Yahoo have both updated their email offerings this week so that they look a little nicer on the iPad. The new designs are full of HTML5 and CSS3 goodness, and offer a few tweaks that should keep users happy.
Released in the wake of Yahoo’s redesigns for the iPhone, iPod touch, and Android devices, the iPad version uses the ever-familiar two-column layout in both portrait and landscape to display your inbox in addition to the currently selected message.
The company has enabled full search capabilities, Smart Folders, and optimized viewing of photos and attachments. Previews of emailed photos will appear directly in the message, with an option to enlarge to their original size. And if you need to check an old message outside of Wi-Fi or 3G range, local caching allows users to view and search messages offline.
Current Yahoo users can try this new webmail app by going over to http://mail.yahoo.com on their iPad. The company’s actively asking for suggestions for future versions, so if you feel like sending some feedback their way, go for it.
The Google Mobile Team announced on Wednesday the implementation of a new “stacked cards” interface to make managing multiple messages easier.
Previously, the Gmail interface had two separate (yet similar) toolbars: one on the bottom left (for currently selected message threads) and another top right (for the currently open conversation). That made even simple tasks like deleting a message frustrating. “Sound confusing? It was,” a member of Google’s team admitted in Wednesday’s blog post.
Now, thanks to the use of CSS3 transitions and transforms, Gmail’s iPad web interface more closely resembles that of Apple’s Mail app. Selected messages stack on top of one another; a single menu for controlling them now sits exclusively in the top right corner of the screen.
You can play around with the updated Gmail interface by going to http://www.gmail.com in Safari on your iPad. If you’re interested in the technology underlying the new interface, there’s an intriguing post on Google’s Code blog that explains it all.