Google (s GOOG) seems to be taking a page out of Apple’s UI playbook with the latest change to Gmail. After adding the floaty barto Gmail’s web client for iPhone (s AAPL) and Android back in April, it decided to speed up the commonly used Archive function. Now you can simply swipe a message to have an Archive button pop up, similar to Apple’s Delete button in the iPhone’s native mail client.
Is it a huge deal? For some, no, while others will appreciate the speediness that swipe and archive brings. The bigger deal is how Google continues to iterate on a regular basis by rolling out little bits of functionality to mobile devices.
Although Google says the new function is for iPhone only, I had to try it on my Palm Pre (s PALM) since it, too, uses the popular WebKit browser. That user agent string must be a dead giveaway, since swiping doesn’t do anything more than smudge my screen. Then again, there is a dedicated Archive button at the top left, so I could choose multiple emails and archive them that way.