Google Adds Buzz to Mobile Gmail, Sort of

Google is integrating its social networking service Buzz into the Web-based version of Gmail for the iPhone and Android phones, but there's no word on an official dedicated Buzz app for either of the popular mobile platforms.

If you are one of the few that use the Web-based version of Gmail through your iPhone or Android smartphone's browser, then you're in luck. Google replicated the full-fledged Buzz interface found in Gmail and added it to the mobile Gmail version of the service. If you use the dedicated e-mail client in either phone, as most people do, you're out of luck, however.

To use the new features, all you have to do is log in to Gmail from your iPhone or Android browser. Depending on your inbox integration settings in Gmail, notifications may appear in your inbox when someone sends you an @reply, comments, or likes something you posted.

However, if Google wants to turn Buzz into a major social network, more is needed from the service. So far, there is no official iPhone or Android app for Buzz, and this could affect the adoption rate of the service.

A few weeks ago, Google introduced a Buzz widget for Android phones, which lets you post directly from the home screen and attach pictures you have taken. On the iPhone, your primary options are several paid and free apps that basically reuse the Web interface. Out of the bunch, Buzzie [iTunes link] is the most usable.

Perhaps Google has ceased making native iPhone apps after the whole debacle with its Google Voice app. The app was rejected from the Apple App Store and the FTC got involved. The entire situation is still unresolved. Meanwhile, Google and Apple are getting even more competitive in the mobile arena, and soon in mobile advertising as well.

But for Buzz to become a success story, now that Google has ironed out some of the privacy issues affecting the service, iPhone and Android users need some dedicated apps, which Google is yet to introduce. Too few users actually use the web-based version of Gmail/Buzz, especially as most use some sort of email app.

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