Google’s GMail Resembling Desktop Mail Client
The more I use GMail and Google keeps on enhancing this webmail service, the more I look at it as a replacement to desktop mail clients. I have been using GMail for my personal mails and I cannot hide the fact that I am loving it. It is fast, it is accessible from any computer with a decent web browser, and it behaves better than desktop mail client on various factors.
One of the major issues with webmail is the slow response time. Take for example Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail. Opening various sections take so much time. And to add to the slow loading independent pages, there are so many big advertisements on the interface. GMail on the other hand works like a charm. First time loading is a bit slow, after that everything works fine. Composing and sending mail is fast and searching using Googleâ€™s own personal engine is excellent. The reason being the interface is made up of number of frames (independent sections) which are independently reloaded as per requirement and some other scarcely used web technologies like XMLHttpRequest object.
And the recent enhancement brings it even closer to desktop mail clients. The new contact tab in GMail interface fulfills one of the most common requests. Now composing a mail to multiple addresses is as easy as selecting the names from the address book. For convenience, there is a frequently mailed tab with the most popular mail addresses. Extremely thoughtful of Google. Another excellent feature added in GMail can be checked by clicking on a mail id in the contact list and GMail will show the complete detail along with recent conversations involving that contact! A feature that can come so handy at times and is available in many desktop clients like Opera M2 and Microsoft Outlook. I would love the readers to tell me if any other mail client or webmail does thisâ€¦
Overall, I can safely say I love the GMail functionality over any other mail client I have used until now. Apart from offline accessibility of mails that comes handy with desktop mail clients, there is little GMail cannot do. On the other hand, availability of all your mails anywhere is something that desktop mail clients fail to offer. IMAP is an intermediate solution for desktop mail client users, but still it does not come close to GMail. In addition, if rumors are to be believed, Google would be offering IMAP or POP mail support as a paid option when GMail is publicly released. That would let users to access GMail from their mail clients. Some third party applications are already available online, which does this for free.
Here I would like to clarify that this is based on my personal experiences. I would love to hear your stories about experiences using GMail and how do you find it compared to the normal desktop mail clients. And if GMail was to support free pop mail importing, would you replace your desktop mail client with GMail? I would personally love to have the capability to choose my senders mail ID and use it full time. I am currently forwarding mails from my pop mail addresses to GMail.
There is one shortcoming in GMail however. It cannot compete with my hard disk capacity on storing mails. I have already used 10% of my GMail space (and it is still in beta!) while I still have around 95 GBs left on my hard disk to store mails in a mail clientâ€¦
Sushubh Mittal is the Tech Columnist on Search Engine Journal and shares his ideas and reviews on TechWhack.