How to Use Gmail’s iPad Interface in Your Desktop?

Originally posted 2010-04-06 11:29:00.

Google just rolled out a nice two-pane Gmail interface for the Apple iPad and other tablet devices like NotionInk ADAM.

If you have been wondering if you could try it out in your desktop without selling an arm and a leg for an Apple iPad, you are in luck.

It’s the age-old switching user agent trick at play here.

Every browser has an user-agent associated with it – kinda like a browser signature – that websites use to sniff out and display different interfaces for different devices.

We have tried out iPhone interfaces here using the same trick. We just need to tell the website we are from the iPad browser with a modified user-agent.

image

Switching Firefox User-Agent

  • Install User Agent Switcher extension and add a new User-agent – iPad
  • Fill in the following fields
    Description: iPad
    User Agent: Mozilla/5.0(iPad; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B314 Safari/531.21.10
    App Code Name: iPad
    App Name: Mobile Safari
    App Version: 5.0 (Macintosh; en-US)
  • Change the user-agent to iPad and browse to Gmail

Switching Google Chrome User

  • Right click on your Google Chrome desktop icon and go to Properties
  • Append this to the ‘Target’ field
    -user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0(iPad; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B314 Safari/531.21.10”
  • Even if it looks like it didn’t fit the field, just save by clicking on OK
  • Launch Google Chrome and go to Gmail

Gmail for mobile is optimized for mobile and tablet devices and do not have the desktop features such as keyboard shortcuts. But, Gmail for Mobile is built for webkit based browsers such as Safari and Google Chrome and hence will perform really well.

Although it was nice to try out the iPad interface, I am a power Gmail user with ton of Gmail Greasemonkey scripts and Gmail sidebar widgets, keyboard shortcuts, etc. I felt handicapped in the iPad interface in my desktop. So, back to the web version for me.

[via Lifehacker & Google Mobile Blog]

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