Google shrinks Gmail map links on iPhone and Android-powered devices

iPhone,iPod | Wednesday July 29 2009 6:59 PM | Comments Off on Google shrinks Gmail map links on iPhone and Android-powered devices Tags: , , , , , , ,

Google shrinks Gmail map links on iPhone and Android-powered devices

Gmail’s Google Maps link to CBSi's address on the iPhone via Smart Links’s translation. Instead of the lengthy URL, you now have the actual address with the link embedded to it.

(Credit: Dong Ngo/CNET)

Chances are you have experienced extremely long links when you receive an e-mail that contains a Google Maps address or driving instructions. This gets annoying, especially on mobile devices, as the links don’t just take up a lot of space but also make it hard to find out the important information, such as the address, hidden within it.

Now that has just changed for Gmail users who use the iPhone or Android-powered devices to read e-mails.

GoogleMobile announced Tuesday the Smart Links feature, a mechanism that automatically shortens a raw link and converts it into a meaningful phrase with the link embedded. Click on the phrase and the link will open just like with the original raw link.

For example, when you receive a Google Maps link of CBSi’s address via Gmail, using the iPhone ‘s browser, instead of seeing a long string of characters, you will see the actual like this 235 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94105. The address is hyper-linked and when licked on will launch Google Maps showing the location of our HQ office.

Smart Links is part of GoogleMobile’s Interative Webapp series that focus on developing and enhancing Gmail features specifically for the iPhone and Android-powered devices.

Currently, Smart Links supports four types of links including: Google Maps address queries, Google Maps directional queries (with one destination), Google Sites Web pages and links to YouTube videos. It’s available only in English and, for now, only works with e-mails composed in plain text format.

In the future, GoogleMobile says that Smart Links will also work with more link types, such as Google Docs.

There’s nothing you have to do to use this feature other than checking your Gmail account via the Web browser on an iPhone /iPod Touch (running OS 2.2.1 or above) or a Android-powered device.

Note that you need to use the mobile browser to take advantage of this feature, other mail clients, such as Mail of the iPhone , don’t support it.

I tried the new feature with on my iPhone 3GS, and it worked very well. I wish it also supported e-mails formatted in rich text or HTML formats. That’d make it more useful as most e-mails are sent using these formats, rather than plain text.

Google shrinks Gmail map links on iPhone and Android-powered devices

Without Smart Link, this is how the original link looks.

(Credit: Dong Ngo/CNET)

Originally posted at Crave

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