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RealTime IT News

Gmail Gone Mobile

Google wants you to get your Gmail without fail, even when you're away from your laptop or PC.

So today, the Internet giant is enabling Gmail users to access their messages from mobile devices.

The service is free to users in the United States, although Google offered this caveat: Check your wireless carrier contract for details about Web access or data transfer fees.

Gmail Mobile is designed to work seamlessly with users' phones and Gmail accounts. It sizes photos and documents for small screens; allows users to reply-by-call to people whose phone number is stored in their Gmail accounts; and automatically synchronizes between Gmail Mobile and Gmail accounts.

Today's launch is the latest move by Google to enhance its webmail. It also recently added customizable Web clips and feeds to the Gmail in-box page, vacation auto-responder features and the option to create contact groups, among other improvements.

The competition for webmail users is keen and mobile access appears to be the next carrot that ISPs and portal players are dangling before users. Yahoo and Microsoft (MSN Hotmail) already have mobile versions of their products.

Previously, Google and its rivals have rolled out added storage, spam filters and antivirus protection among other features to keep users or attract new ones. Besides building brand loyalty, webmail can serve as an important way to deliver ads and launch new products to a large number of people.