Google GMail Opens Up to POP
Google wants us to take it as email portability, but I think it as a surprise package that would lure back even the harshest critics of GMail. Google GMail yesterday added 2 new features in their beta mail service that includes the much-demanded POP support. Also available is the mail forwarding facility.
Now why would someone need POP support with such an excellent web-based interface? The main reason that comes to mind is of course offline access and backup. It might not be a problem with people who are online 24×7 but some people do need access to the mails on their computers not connected to net all the time. And webmail does not help with that. Downloading the mails only available on GMail website is now possible.
They have made some intelligent options available when you enabled pop support in GMail. You can chose to receive only the new mails to be available for pop download. So if you already have 100s of Megs of mails stored in GMail, you can avoid downloading them at all! GMail have pop-enabling tutorials available for many popular mail clients on their website. I personally tried GMail POP on Operaâ€™s excellent M2 Mail client and it worked flawlessly.
The other functionality is mail forwarding. Nothing special in this other than the fact that using GMail filters, only those mails that satisfy certain conditions could be set to be forwarded to another mail account. Pretty smartâ€¦
Now the catch is, since GMail is still in beta stage and Google does not clarify anything about itâ€¦ it is not sure if POP and mail forwarding would be available when it is publicly released. But if it isâ€¦ it can be real bad news for many paid for mail services out there.
Another thing worth noticing is that GMail mails sent through POP did not include any footer or advertisements (in my tests)! So, I can completely skip adsense! Makes no sense to meâ€¦ maybe Google would have some other plans for us in the future. On the other hand, maybe it is an indication that POP would not be free once the public release of GMail is out.
Sushubh Mittal is the Search Engine Journal Tech Columnist and Editor of TechWhack