Wednesday, October 24, 2007

IMAP on GMail

A couple of years ago, I dumped my desktop email client and moved to GMail; this was mainly because of the huge number of spam emails that I was getting: I would wake up to 50+ emails, at least 50% of which were spam; now I wake up to about half of that, none of which are spam (unless one counts all of your comments which, dear readers, I would not).

All of the various email identities that I had were therefore forwarded to my GMail account and that has been the situation now for some time. Owing to a project that I am involved in, I then had to reconfigure my desktop email client and whilst doing this, I found that GMail had implemented POP; this means that I can receive my email on my desktop client (and resume my various email identities) and still take advantage of GMail's spam filtering for my main address.

Apple's Mail is not at all bad and being able to filter all of my email addresses into different accounts is going to be very useful. However, the emails are still marked as unread on my GMail account, which is something of a pain—especially when dialling in remotely.

But now, via Daring Fireball, I see that GMail is also implementing IMAP.
When we checked Gmail Help database this evening, Gmail had said that they support POP, but not IMAP. Then a few minutes later, that doc was gone, and a stack of IMAP related help docs were up. The new pages explain how to integrate the new mail feature. It's as easy as setting up POP, but with huge benefits.

Why is IMAP integration a good thing for Gmail? POP was a stepping stone, but IMAP pushes Gmails benefits over the top. With IMAP, users can now access their email via a desktop application like Outlook or Thunderbird, read emails, make changes, delete, and have the changes made across platforms. So if you now log into your Gmail account, the message which you read in Thunderbird, will now be marked accordingly. No more wasting time trying to sift through emails that had already been answered.

Alas, I am not one of the lucky account holders as yet, but as soon as I do have the IMAP option, I shall be a happy Devil.

Not least because, although one could access one's GMail account through a web browser, the iPhone's Mail client works using IMAP. So, should I decide to buy one of these lovely devices, I shall be able to use the Mail client natively, rather than having to do so through the browser.

Oh, and Apple's new Leopard operating system is released on Friday and it looks to be pretty fucking amazing. I am very, very excited.

DISCLAIMER: I own Apple shares. Current price: $181.82, although they hit over $187 yesterday owing to Apple's record-breaking Quarter Profits. They have sold over 2.2 million Macs in the last three months.

It has occurred to me that I feel immense loyalty to Apple. Some people support football teams; I don't. I do support Apple with the same fervour though.


Mark Wadsworth said...

I am sick and tired of Windows. What sort of Apple should I buy for occasional Word and Excel and a smidge of blogging, with Realplayer running in the background? I have all my stuff on an external hard drive. I need lots of USB's.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Depends if you want a desktop or a laptop. If you have a desktop and screen, mouse and keyboard, you could go for the lowest end Mac Mini (it's small too: about 6.5" to a side).

Otherwise, the iMacs are simply beautiful and have more than enough power than you will need for the next ten years, probably.

Otherwise, laptop-wise, I would go with the MacBooks, as they are pretty good value. Again, they would do you for a minimum of five years, I would have thought.

Note that MS Office does not come as standard (although I think that there is a 30 day trial preinstalled) but I find that NeoOffice has very good compatibility and does everything that I need. And it's free.


Unknown said...

"It has occurred to me that I feel immense loyalty to Apple."

Peculiar isn't it? A chap analyses the logic of his position and, in spite of all those idiosyncrasies (his and Apple's) he still comes out rooting for the Mac and its progeny.

The irony is that the boy Jobs has the temperament to be more of a jackheeled monopolist than Microsoft could ever be.

Unknown said...

Ah. I should say, in the interests of clarity: the 'chap' in question is me.

James Higham said...

Sadly, DK, I bought the 2007 version, heavily discounted [only dual core and 2.3GB] but the 17" screen and amazing speed makes up for it. The Adobe CS3 package [takes enormous space though - about 5GB] and Airport round it out nicely. I'm still in the learning process but already it is so much faster and I'm still in dial up! Waiting for the cable to be installed any day now.

And no, I couldn't go back to PC, posting from the loo.

Anonymous said...

"you could go for the lowest end Mac Mini"

If you want a Mac Mini, then hurry. They're going end-of-line very soon. I do hope Apple replaces them with something equivalent, because I have converted a number of friends+relatives to Mac world with Mac Minis.

I'm no Mac fanboy: I've used Windows since 3.0 in 1990, and I only moved to Mac World in 2005. But the stuff just works, and you can't underestimate the importance of that.

"The irony is that the boy Jobs has the temperament to be more of a jackheeled monopolist than Microsoft could ever be."

Oh yes. He's an utter bastard. Ask Wozniak.

Shug Niggurath said...

My workplace is in the process of converting FROM mac to PC would you believe?

The installation and upgrade costing you see. Even on an Intel platform Macs are a huge drain compared to say a load of bog-standard Dells.

This is happening all through the industry I work in - the growth in Macs is, I think, much to do with the ubiquitious iPod - there is room in the market for a slightly more expensive product if it looks good. And Macs look good.

So I am now using XP again for the first time in YEARS. And it's shit.

Still using a Mac at home on top of the PC

Devil's Kitchen said...


Am I surprised? Have you ever heard of a Mac sysadmin? No, because they don't exist.

As soon as a company becomes big enough, they hire "IT Guys" who have only ever worked with Windows (and mabne Linux) and so, of course, they recommend switching to Windows.

And they stay with Windows because otherwise they would lose their jobs.


KG said...

I came from Windows to a Mac mini and it's the best computing move I ever made.
It just works!
Not good news about the Mini reaching the end of the line though--any whispers about what will replace it?

knirirr said...

The Mac Minis are indeed good.
Make sure that you get the faster Core2 Duo one with the full 2GB of RAM, though. They are greedier for RAM than the G4s.

Henry North London 2.0 said...

Apple a day keeps the melting motherboard away...

Mark Wadsworth said...

Duly fired up, I marched up the road to the Apple shop just now, and was told that I might as well come back next week, they are re-releasing everything with a new operatin system.

Does a Mac Mini have a CD/DVD drive? It's pretty useless without it, surely?

knirirr said...

The cheaper Mini has a DVD-R/CD-RW drive and the more expensive one a DVD-RW.

Mark Wadsworth said...

k, thanks, that was probably a supremely daft question, so thanks for humouring me. I just couldn;t see a drive on the pretty pictures.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Yes, the new OS is released on Friday night and so it's definitely worth waiting.

Yes, the Mac Mini has a CD/DVD drive: if you look at the picture of it, it is that wee slot on the front.


Anonymous said...

As I think I've posted before, I use both systems regularly, almost daily. Happy with both, totally agnostic. There's an item about Apple in today's Grauniad by the mighty Jack Schofield, here:


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