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Gmail for iPhone, Android gets message muting

On Wednesday, Google bestows the 'mute' feature to messages accessed from iPhone and Android-powered devices.

Gmail 'mute' on iPhone, Android
Mobile 'muting' is on. CNET/Jessica Dolcourt

Earlier this month, Google ingratiated itself with mobile users by refurbishing for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android devices. On Wednesday, Google followed up its initial redo with a small new feature that helps trim fat--or rather, keep it from accumulating in the in-box in the first place.

The capability to "mute" a conversation has now been added to the drop-down options under 'More,' the same place you find it when reading a Gmail message in the browser. Muting a message excuses you from seeing further messages in the thread, for instance, an entire guest list's worth of comments for a party you can't attend.

It's a great incidental feature online, but it could become more valuable in the mobile sphere where preserving space and maintenance time is everything. However, using it is a little less convenient. Mute for mobile Gmail is only available at this time from, not from a native Gmail-reader, which, for now, defeats the purpose of Android's Gmail in-box, and of the iPhone's, if you have your mail streaming into it by default. Those who intend to use the feature regularly should affix a browser bookmark to their home screen.

Gmail mute is just one of the many features Google plans to toss over one at a time during the process that Shyam Sheth, a Google Mobile product manager, calls "The Iterative Webapp." In some ways, an application by a thousand updates is an exciting way to witness the development process. In others, I fear readers may bludgeon me with their iPhones and G1s if new releases trickle out every day.