Email is the killer application. It kills my time more than any other application.
I use Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple’s Mail. For web mail, it’s .Mac mail, Google’s Gmail, Yahoo mail, and many others. Which is best?
Between you and me, email is becoming a major pain to manage. It’s not just spam, it’s, well, email is everywhere I want to be when I don’t want email.
I run Linux, Mac and Windows at work. At home I have Linux, Mac, and a Windows PC. There’s email on each.
I have half a dozen email accounts to check at work, one from my ISP, a few others from organizations here and there, and Mac360.
When I’m on the road, I can stop anywhere there’s an internet connection and check my email.
There’s also my Gmail account from Google, Yahoo Mail from Yahoo, and my less than trusty .Mac account from Apple.
If it’s not on my laptop, or my desktop, email is available from every browser anywhere on earth. Email is friggin’ everywhere.
Focus, Jeffrey. Web mail. Web mail. Breathe deeply. See? Stress is going down. Relax.
There’s too many friggin’ email accounts!! Sorry. Among browser-based web email accounts, my favorite is Gmail, from Google.
I’ve also had a Yahoo Mail account for about 10 years.
It’s so old I don’t have numbers in my email address.
Yahoo Mail has improved steadily, especially their spam protection, though every now and then a huge flurry of spam flows through.
Web mail interfaces are about the same, and there’s little or no standardization for look and feel and tool and button locations.
Apple’s .Mac web mail is quite good and mirrors the look and feel of Mac OS X’s Mail application.
Google’s Gmail has hidden bells and whistles and a few new ones.
I’ve always hated that Gmail could not figure out that we need reply at top and bottom and now we don’t—it’s at top and bottom (a nice touch for those long email messages).
Do you wonder why it took Google so long to figure out a way to implement Forward All as a Gmail option. Maybe it’s really just GeeeeMail.
How many ways are the to do online chat these days? Google now adds a way to chat with your Googlized friends even when they’re not online.
Google caches your message so your friend will see it when they go back online to chat again. That’s handy, but I don’t have one friend who uses Google’s chat.
The new Gmail feature that gets the most applause from me is a new notification:
Embarassment-reducing new message notifications
Ever replied to a message only to find out that someone sent a better, smarter reply right before you? Now, if someone sends a reply while you’re in the middle of reading a conversation (or replying to it), you’ll get a notification that a new message has arrived. Click “update conversation” to see what you’ve missed.
Handy, huh? I’ve embarrassed myself a few times on email. I’d like a notification that scans the context of my message for tone.
There’s mobile phone Gmail, too. The interface looks like Gmail and stays synchronized with your Gmail account whether on phone or computer.
It’s obvious that Google is late to the email party, a full decade behind Yahoo and Hotmail and others. The list of tasty feature goodies continues to grow, though the sparse Google look stays.
Yahoo Mail is more intuitive, and user friendly, though not as Web 2.0 as Gmail. I finally dropped my Hotmail account. Too many problems, too much spam.
If I had to choose between Gmail and Yahoo, it would be a tough choice, though I’m leaning toward Google’s current and future offerings.
My major concern with all these new ways to communicate is standardization. Web pages are nearly standard. Most email messages get through intact.
Everything else in between—all the ways to chat, all the ways to video and audio chat—need some kind of standard.
The same holds true with application interfaces. They’re more consistent on the Mac than on Windows, but the problem persists even on web-based applications such as Gmail.
For example, Log out is Sign out, and they’re never in the same locations, as they are with a desktop application. I always hunt and have to remember which application I’m using (but forget where the buttons are anyway).
How about you? Do you use web mail? Which web mail do you use the most? Why did you choose it? How often do you need to use web mail?
For me, the best looking and easiest web mail to use is Apple’s .Mac mail. The fastest is Yahoo’s Mail. The most Geeewhiz features is Gmail.