What would you do if you (a) had multiple Gmail accounts; (b) only used Gmail’s web interface to read and send emails; (c) needed a way to be notified of new mail and; (d) didn’t want to set up a desktop mail client? To be totally honest, there aren’t many solutions for a problem like this one.
Personally, I would advise you to set up your Mail application or use Thunderbird. But if you depend heavily on Gmail’s interface and frequently check your email from many different locations, then a notifier would be a saner choice.
Notifiers are basically apps that (usually) sit in your menubar and display alerts whenever new mail hit your inbox. There are several great notifiers available, like the native Gmail Notifier from Google which also includes reminders for Google Calendar; and also, from an independent developer: Gmail Notifr. However, I opted for the road less travelled and chose to go with Notify.
Why? Because it does what it does — elegantly.
Any software developer can simply code an app to check your email but Vibealicious managed to achieve this with style. From start to finish, download to installation, using Notify is a joy. After downloading the app, unzip it into your Applications folder and launch it.
Notify will detect that you haven’t set up any accounts yet, naturally. Clicking on ‘Sure‘ will take you to its Preferences where you can add up to 4 Gmail accounts. If you have a Google Apps account, you’ll be happy to know that it will be supported in version 1.1 (which will be released any moment now). In fact, Notify v1.1 will support any email account that has IMAP access!
Click on the plus sign to add an account then fill in your credentials. When you’re done, click on the General tab to change the update interval. You got it, the application is that simple. No frills, just pure clever simplicity.
Clicking elsewhere on your screen will make Notify’s window disappear. Then it sits quietly until you receive a new mail, triggering it to spring into action with a Growl notification that displays part of the message. The menubar icon will also refresh to indicate the number of unread emails.
Ironically, while testing out Notify, I did not receive a single email. Not one! Instead of sitting around waiting for the impossible to happen, I decided to send an email to myself. New mail is placed in its window, along with a small preview – clicking it launches your default browser and brings you straight to the inbox. This was when I realized that Notify’s user interface is amazingly gorgeous and so pleasant to use.
Any read emails will disappear from the window, freeing up space and reducing unnecessary clutter. The app boils everything down to the bare essentials — you see what you need to see, the rest is history. If I am allowed one complaint, I have to admit that I prefer push capability over a preset update interval.
Nevertheless, Notify goes into my book of must-have apps. If you are looking for a Gmail notifier for Mac, look no further – this is the one.
What do you use to check for new mail? A desktop mail client? A notifier? Or perhaps you have ESP for incoming new mail? Share with us in the comments.
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