Turn-By-Turn GPS, Offline Gmail at Mobile World Congress

Even though Apple isn’t taking part in Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona, the iPhone is present in a big way. While their competitors offered their criticism of the device and it’s business model, developers showed off their latest iPhone software, including offline GMail from google and a turn-by-turn GPS navigation client.

The iPhone was one of the topics that came up during a panel discussion this week, prompting criticism from many of Apple’s competitors, including Microsoft. Steve Ballmer said the following:

“I agree that no single company can create all the hardware and software,” he said. “Openness is central because it’s the foundation of choice.”

When an audience member asked why they were so worried about the iPhone when it has only a tiny percent of the market, AT&T’s De La Vega summed up the answer in a single statement: “Because the other 99.5 percent of the industry is trying to copy the iPhone.”

Meanwhile, software company Sygic demoed a full-featured turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone. They plan to submit the app to the App Store, despite SDK restrictions.

Also, a little-known web service company by the name of Google unveiled their latest creation: a version of Offline Gmail for mobile devices. Offline Gmail, as explained in the video below, is a Google Labs project that lets you keep using Gmail in your web browser when not connected to the internet. The mobile version will let users continue to browse and edit email on their iPhone even when it’s in Airplane mode using HTML5.

[via cnet, The iPhone Blog, iPhone Buzz]

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