I am always mystified about why people would want to do this but there is now a way for you to read your Gmail email in a RSS reader.
Previously, it was very difficult, bordering on impossible. Gmail has a RSS feed which is called an “authenticated feed” which basically means you need to enter your username and password in order to access it. A lot of web-based RSS services, including Google Reader ironically enough, don’t support authenticated feeds. In fact, they still don’t. So what FreeMyFeed does is act as the middle man, taking your feed and swapping it for a proxy that the RSS service WILL accept.
Of course this means that you have to trust FreeMyFeed with your Gmail username and password. I tested the service with a dummy account and fake emails but I would never use this service with my main accounts. With over 10,000 emails, I would have too much to lose if the service was ever compromised. So you need to decide if you are willing to take the risk and trust the service with your Gmail user details. Maybe it’s just me and my paranoia at work. I don’t know.
So first I set up a new Gmail account and I sent myself a couple of fake emails to get the account going :
Then I took the RSS feed for the account – https://mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom – and entered it along with the username and the password into the main page of FreeMyFeed. You then just need to click that funky little “Free Your Feed” logo at the bottom :
You will then be asked what feed reader you want to use. I selected Google Reader but you are given quite a nice wide selection. So after clicking on Google Reader, up come my emails :
Although your emails are now in the RSS reader, the originals are still sitting unread in your email inbox. These are only copies. So I guess you can call this a POP version of an inbox.
What I find a bit pointless about the whole thing is that you can’t send out emails from your RSS reader, nor can you respond to emails from there. You can only read them.
But as I said before, there ARE people out there that really like this sort of thing, who find it immensely useful, so as the radio DJ’s like to say on the romantic hour, “guys and girls, this one’s for you!“