Google Taketh iPhone iGoogle... but Giveth Gmail Tasks?

Still catching up on the Google news, and this one is more confusing to us then most. A while back we mentioned -- regretfully -- that Google had stopped offering their iPhone optimized version of iGoogle because, to be blunt, they wanted to offer every handset a similar experience and few other handsets could match the quality of the iPhone version.

Now, however, Google has announced that while they aren't bringing the iGoogle page back, they are adding an iPhone optimized version of their bare-bones Gmail Tasks WebApp:

starting today, you can manage your task list from your iPhone or Android device, and access it from any xhtml enabled phone. (Mine's always with me, in whichever jeans I'm wearing.) Just go to from your phone's browser and log in. If you already use the version of Tasks in Gmail Labs, you'll see the same task list that's always in sync. We focused on making it super easy and fast to update your Gmail task list -- you can add new tasks and check off completed ones, no matter where you are (like in a meeting or at the grocery store) even when you're in the bathroom.

Inconsistent but potentially appreciated. But will Tasks on the iPhone be the glory of Gmail email, or the fail of Gmail contacts? Anyone tried this out yet? Let us know how it works for you!

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Google Taketh iPhone iGoogle... but Giveth Gmail Tasks?


thanks to your post i actually just signed up for gmail tasks... i totally forgot about it lol...
Sigh... i wish this would be a more integrated function into the iPhone however... something about going out to the net to use an App just screams iPhone 2G... =/
They need to give us a built in tasks into the iPhones CALENDER App... give us options to sync it with third party outside sources as well....

I haven't tried it yet, and I guess didn't even know that there was a Google Tasks, but I already know that, similar to what iPhoneMilk says, its not going to be what I want. I want something that will actively tell me something at whatever time I need it to, and I want the ability to delay that accordingly if I can't do it at that moment.
For instance, I just moved and had an iCal task on my Mac to get blinds. I kept delaying it a day for several days, as other things were taking precedence.
The best I could do for my iPhone is to create a calendar entry and setup notifications accordingly, but once they're emailed or they pop up, that's it. I need the opportunity to continue prompting myself, and I wish they could just sync iCal tasks. Ideally, Google Tasks could sync w/iCal tasks, which could sync w/my phone, so I can create tasks anywhere, anytime. But for now I'd take just iCal tasks syncing to my phone, and the ability to delay my notifications.

Nice observation on the missing icons; but it appears they could just be on the other page.
I too, wish Google would create iPhone apps that would store information offline instead of having to connect to the web to look at my Google Calendar/Gmail Tasks. Connecting to the internet can sometimes be difficult and it adds that extra two clicks and slow response time that makes adding a quick task or event unbearable.
That's why I use Remember the Milk for my task list since they've been able to integrate their product into Gmail, Google Calendar, and in an offline/online mode within the iPhone. It's $25 a year, but because it works so well, I'm willing to pay for something that works rather than be inconvenienced by the mediocre product that Google is producing.
Also, to integrate Google Calendar into my iPhone, I have to go through two synchronizations (iPhone Outlook Google Calendar), and while it works, it is still inconvenient.
I know I am very disappointed in Google's work with the iPhone, considering I know they have the capability to create solid applications, but seem to be very hesitant to create them (and as a shareholder it makes me worry about the lack of diversification of work on various mobile platforms).

Wow, clearly something I said motivated Google to do something right. Google Sync works incredibly well and I couldn't ask for more (I take back all the mean things I said).
Although I'll still stick with Remember The Milk for tasks because Google hasn't quite figured that out (Google needs to go buy that company!).

its ok, but not near great. i like touchtodo a lot better. now it syncs time on the google calendar which i have pushed to my iphone. that way i get a reminder too. plus touchtodo has the active todos badge. it cost 3$, but its worth it.