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More significant than the interface, however, is the underlying technology that enables it. Google took advantage of features of the browsers running on both platforms to create a Web application that looks and feels like one that has been downloaded onto the device. Representatives from Google claim that this is just the beginning. The company hopes that the new mobile Gmail will kick-start a trend in mobile Web apps with developers using the Internet to build and deploy more powerful applications.
According to some analysts, this approach to mobile development could have large implications for the way that developers distribute their software and the way that people buy it. It's even possible that more-powerful mobile Web apps could undercut some of the business of Apple's App Store, says Chetan Sharma, an analyst who runs his own consulting firm in Issaquah, WA.