Google made it easier to use its free e-mail service on mobile devices on Thursday in an effort to become a more intrinsic part of people's on-the-move lifestyles.
The Mountain View, California, Internet search powerhouse also hoped to bolster use of Gmail, which vies with e-mail services provided by rivals Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online.
Gmail and other web-based e-mail services have been accessible on mobile devices with Internet browsers by navigating to the Web sites, a tedious multi-step process.
The Google application made available for free download on Thursday was tailored to connect mobile devices quickly with Gmail and provide e-mail features and functions akin to being at a desktop computer.
Google said it had sped up the retrieval of messages fivefold, reduced the amount of clicking and scrolling, and resized attached pictures and files for improved viewing on small mobile-device screens.
On the go
"Google's mobile products are designed to enable people to quickly and easily get the information they want on the go," Google product manager Deep Nishar said.
"We realize the role mobile phones play as a key driver for balancing online and offline worlds," he said.
The Java software application is compatible with several hundred mobile telephone models.