Ever since Gmail Labs introduced “add a gadget by its URL” to the Gmail sidebar, we’ve seen lots of possibilities emerge for Gmail. Gone are the days when Gmail was just a simple email service. Now we’ve got video chat, to-do lists, and just yesterday, it was announced that Gmail was re-releasing their SMS service for US cellphones (just open up a chat window for one of your contacts and go to the options).
But while I was browsing Lifehacker, I came across TwitterGadget which is an iGoogle gadget which you can also add to Gmail. By entering http://www.twittergadget.com/gadget_gmail.xml into the “add a gadget by its URL” section of the Gmail settings, you can have a little blue Twitter box in Gmail sidebar.
As you can see, it’s a pretty simple box but that’s OK because you don’t want too many bells and whistles when you are trying to load your email inbox. All it does is send your Tweets and updates you with your followers’ Tweets every 3, 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes (whatever you configure it to). Or you can configure it so that you manually refresh it yourself to receive new Tweets.
As you can see from the screenshot, there are various tabs, where you can see your replies (R), your direct messages (D), your favourites (F), all Tweets (A) and H takes you to the Tweets on the Twitter home page. Basically, it lets you use Twitter from gmail. Maybe not as comprehensive as Twitter, but still worth a try.
There are also three tabs of emoticons which you can access by clicking the little down arrow in the white box (just above the H & R tabs). But on my Gmail, most of the emoticons are gibberish and don’t seem to be working. I’d be interested to hear from you if yours are the same or if all of yours seem to be working OK.
All in all, this is a neat little gadget that updated my Twitter feed in seconds. I sent a test Tweet and I immediately went to the Twitter website and there it was right away. So it works as advertised!
No way will this replace Tweetdeck for me but if I am out and about using other people’s computers and I don’t have access to Tweetdeck then TwitterGadget is a handy little gadget to have in my Gmail if I want to fire off a quick Tweet.