The most exciting aspect of this announcements isn't these usability improvements, but the fact that Google appears to be offering the ability to access Gmail even when there's no network access. It says, "All this is achieved with aggressive caching and by leveraging new browser technologies, like HTML5 and Gears. The full impact of this new architecture isn't visible yet, but it will enable us to significantly improve performance and quickly roll out new features in the near future."
Google recently demonstrated some of these features at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.
Other improvements come in how email is archived. It explains, "Now when you select a message, a floaty bar appears near the top of the screen with options to archive, delete, and more. In fact, the floaty bar stays with you as you scroll through your inbox, so you can easily archive, delete, or view more options no matter where you are."
Last up, Google says it has refreshed the user interface to better match the desktop version of Gmail.
On the Google Calendar side of things, Google has given iPhone and Android the ability to interact with their calendars when out and about. Before today's new features were announced, users could only view their calendars, not write to them. That's all changed.
Google says that Calendar users can now, "Select an event to change your attendance status, edit the details, and add or remove guests... Even if you're on a flaky network and your phone can't establish a connection, the new Calendar will still start up and show your last viewed events."
According to Google, these new features work with iPhone 2.2.1 and up, and all Android handsets.