In a move that will again turn up the heat on rival
, search giant
announced Thursday that it has souped up a mobile version of its popular Gmail, its highly searchable and distinct email service.
While Gmail users can already access their accounts through the browser on mobile devices, this new rendition will allow users much of the unique functionality that has made Gmail distinct from more traditional offerings like that of Yahoo!'s and
Users will now be able to search archives, view threads of email exchange, and automatically synchronize their mobile devices. The new offering will be simpler and faster than what is currently offered and will introduce some new functionality, such as automatically resizing attachments to the user's phone.
The move will make Google that much more competitive with rival Yahoo!, which has already made a big push into mobile through its Yahoo Go service. Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel told investors that making advances in the rapidly growing mobile space was a top priority for Yahoo! in a conference call after the company reported third-quarter earnings in October.
Yahoo!, meanwhile, is hoping to close the gap in the amount of money it makes in the search category.
On Oct. 24, Google announced a service that allows users to customize the search function on their Web sites. The move redoubled Google's efforts in the social search space, another emerging arena where it will face stiff competition from Yahoo!.