Working with Gmail on your Mac
Back in the days of my first connections to the Internet, first webmail services were something very useful. It was tough to get a POP mailbox, so connecting over very slow and expensive dialups was the only way to go. Nowadays I have 9 different POP e-mail accounts, but still use one on a webmail provider. Gmail is powerful and versatile, so I like having one of my non-business accounts in a place that I can access from everywhere. In the last year or so I have tested a couple of Gmail related "interfaces", including widgets and a notifier. Here is my perspective on the pros, cons and wishes... контейнерные перевозки
Although widgets can be very useful, I don't use them so often. This is mainly because I don't have a need for a specific widget I could get my hands on, and that I tend to forget that my Dashboard is a click of a mouse away. Four out of five software packages this article will cover are widgets.
Coras 1.4 (stephan.com/widgets/coras)
Coras is a Dashboard widget that provides an ambient monitor for your Gmail status. The software is also capable of the Apple Mail status. Coras adds a coin to the stack for each new email in your account, up to twenty. This is a primary eye-candy application that in my case proved to be very buggy. It took ages after clicking on it to give me the configuration settings, and while I got them I wasn't able to change anything. The widget just stood there frozen and clicking on it would just open PayPal donation web page and a sponsored Target.com listing. worth using version of picture editor
Gmail Checker 1.6 (scue.co.uk/widgets)
This is also a very simple widget that mimics a British stamp that changes color when your Gmail account receives new e-mail. Besides the change of colors, the widget says how many new e-mails reside in your inbox. Clicking on it will open Gmail in your default browser. Although Gmail checker doesn't provide configuration options, it will automatically check e-mail after Dashboard is opened.
This is a good-looking little widget that does the same thing as the previous one. It shows a number of unread e-mails residing in your Gmail inbox. The good thing with gotMailG is that it provides a number of configuration options as well as deploys security mechanisms. User can change the widget appearance, colors, mail check interval, as well as the action that will happen upon clicking the widget.
GotMailG uses SSL protocol whenever your password is transmitted. This means that the password is never sent in the clear text over the Internet. In addition, the password is encrypted when stored in the widget preferences to prevent local users from accessing it.
Gmail widget (google.com/macwidgets)
Developed directly by Google, this widget provides the best user experience. In a nice looking GUI window, Gmail widget shows your unread e-mail, with information on the sender, title and optionally a snippet from the e-mail. Clicking on any of the e-mails will open the full content of it inside a web browser.
I liked the option of tagging some of my labels, so Gmail widget would show just e-mails that are filtered in the specific category. Besides this, with a click of a mouse, you can compose a new e-mail or search your mailbox.
It is cool to see a snippet of the e-mail content, but in most cases you will see just a couple of words max. There is a simple workaround for this - you can stretch the widget over the whole screen, which will give you the possibility of reading a full sentence or even more.
I don't know if this is possible, but it would be very interesting that Google gives a possibility of composing or reading full e-mails within the widget. It comes a bit hectic to open new browser windows for every e-mail you want to read, or any function you would like to use.
Gmail notifier (mail.google.com/mail/help/notifier/)
This is the first non-widget application I am covering and from my experience it is the best one to use. Its first major pro over the widgets is that it is always open in the title bar. It automatically checks the e-mail and lets you know the number of new messages, their subjects and short snippets. Snippets open after placing the cursor over a specific e-mail. The software works just fine, I have been using a couple of versions so far and all of them were totally stable.
There is one thing I don't like. When you click to open an e-mail it generates a new Safari window. In that window if you want to get back to Inbox, it opens yet another window. Why? Why doesn't the first window refresh with the content of the Inbox? I usually have one or two Safari windows open, so with these "extras" it starts to be a little bit crowded. I know this "feature" is related to Gmail and not with this application, but I wanted to mention it.
Overall, Gmail Notifier is the way to go and I will carry on using it until Google generates my dream-Gmail widget in which I could write, read, delete etc. And yes - I know that this won't happen until they manage to put Google Adsense advertisements inside the widget...