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Andrei Iacob / GMail, Live Hotmail, Opera Mini
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GMail, Live Hotmail, Opera Mini

I wanted to make a comparison between GMail and Live Hotmaimail along with a clear black or white conclusion on which service is better, or the good sides, bad sides type, but there are so many out there, it’s scary.

I’ll better tell you my story. Since I bought my phone, I’m always using the mobile internet to check or answer my email, or any other stuff I have to do on the web, when I’m on the road. Actually, since I discovered Opera Mini, and I could browse non-wap pages.

The strategy was like this. I forward all my email to gmail (yes, conquering the world and what not..) and I manage it from my mobile phone.

The scenery is like this:

The interface is a little bit strange, isn’t it?

About two weeks ago, I started using a new mail account on Live Hotmail. A quite important email account. When I first logged in (and I saw the interface) I wanted to forward this account to Gmail. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it. It didn’t let me automatically forward email to an account that’s non-live or non-msn (you get the picture).

I was upset, just imagining how this interface would look on Opera Mini. To my surprise, it looks fine. Not only that, but I think it looks better than Gmail on the mobile phone. Because it’s not live.com, it’s mobile.live.com.

See for yourself:

Now, to make a comparison, you can see how the pages are rendered. Opera Mini is rendering the Gmail basic HTML view page like it can, to maximize the usability. In the case of mobile.live, Opera gets a basic web page that’s designed especially for mobile phones.

The answer from Google? Well, I think it came before this, and it’s called Gmail Mobile, but unfortunately, I really think it sucks. Along with Google Reader, I think this is one of the worst products (from a usability perspective) that Google ever released. (fanboys, please, keep it to yourselves)

One important thing I want to add is a comparison (finally) between Gmail, Live Hotmail, and Gmail Mobile from the network traffic they consume:

For checking the mail (and there’s no new mail, and I’ve set Opera not to display images)

  • Gmail (Opera Mini) - 6k
  • Live Hotmail (Opera Mini) - 1.6k
  • Gmail Mobile - it depends (I don’t know on what), but mostly it’s over 15k

When my mobile operator charges me 1 euro per megabyte of data transfer, I think I’ve just made my decision.

Or not? I forgot an important aspect. The browser.

Curious in nature, I wanted to try Opera Mini 4 (beta). When I saw that It displays the pages entirely (zoomed out), it has a cursor and it zooms the right area, I was blown away. So a Motorola v360 phone with a 176×220 pixels screen can display full landscape web pages (and the phone costs about 40$. So, “other” fanboys, keep it to yourselves too).

So, the conclusion is as follows: if I’m let’s say “careful with money” I might use Live Hotmail from my mobile phone but if I want to be cool holding my phone on the side surfing full-sized web pages in the tram and enjoying (visually) mobile web , I might use Gmail.

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