Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Gmail is now the only email service I use. It’s fast, extremely simple, has a lot of great features, and it has everything I’m looking for from an email client. Google Labs alone makes Gmail worth giving a try if you haven’t used it before, and there are plenty of third party add-ons you can utilize as well. Just recently, in fact, I showed you TaskForce, which gives you an easy way to convert Gmail emails into tasks.
One of the things I’ve always liked about Gmail was that it was the first true cloud app I got used to accessing. Being completely browser based, it helped me transition from desktop apps to web-based ones, possibly because there simply weren’t any desktop email clients that could live up to what Gmail offered, at least for me, anyway.
That no long holds true now that I’ve found GeeMail. GeeMail is a standalone Gmail desktop client for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it’s a great answer for your offline needs.
What Is GeeMail?
GeeMail runs on Adobe AIR (cross-platform), and it looks and feels a lot like the Gmail that you’re used to. Since GeeMail supports the old UI of Gmail itself, things just work the way they do in Gmail, even the keyboard shortcuts.
With GeeMail, you can view all of your mail and even reply to messages while offline. When you do, your replies will be sent the next time the application detects that you are connected to the Internet.
Gmail tried to give users an offline solution using Gears, but GeeMail is a lot faster. It can grab hundreds of your most recent messages within minutes. It can do this because it only pulls in the bare essentials. Gmail’s labeling structure, for instance, won’t be pulled in by GeeMail unless you are online.
There is no configuration with GeeMail. The program has everything in place which is required to access your Gmail, meaning you don’t need to configure POP and IMAP settings like traditional email clients.
GeeMail also has a search feature, which I believe is newly added. You can search emails regularly, or click on Advanced Search to do things like search only messages from or to a specific person.
How Do I Use GeeMail?
To get started with GeeMail, just head over to their website and click the Free Download button. The client will install with Adobe Air and the first time you run it you will see a login screen that looks strikingly similar to Gmail’s online login page. Type in your credentials to log in and get your mail.
GeeMail will take a minute to connect to your Gmail account and load, but once it does you will have all of your email and labels in the app to begin viewing.
As with any email client, GeeMail takes a bit of getting used to, but once you have it where you feel comfortable, it’s quite useful for you. I will be sticking with the online version of Gmail, but this presents a nice offline solution for me if I ever need to read something important when my Internet connection goes down.
What do you think about Gmail desktop software or desktop email clients in general? Do you have a favorite app? Let us know what you think about this one and whether you see yourself using it, instead of the web-based Gmail.