First, why would you skin a cat? Second, what kind of cat? Who bothered to track and count the number of ways? You get the idea, right? Sometimes you can do something just because you can, not because you need to or should. So it is with email notifications. How many ways do you need to be notified of something you don’t like in the first place.
Ding! Look At Me!
Most Mac users have a love hate relationship with email and that means OS X’s built-in app, Mail, isn’t on anyone’s favorite app list. Email is disliked that much. Mail comes with multiple ways to notify you of incoming, and unread messages.
The little red badge with a number in Mail’s Dock icon tells you how many unread messages are available to be read, but doesn’t tell you which email accounts; just the total of unread email. Enter Mail Mini, a minimalist email inbox notifier which, more or less, brings the Mail Dock badge count to the Mac’s Menubar.
The Menubar email icon features a badge number of unread messages from your email accounts. Unlike the Dock, Mail Mini has the option to display the actual number of messages in each account. Just click the Menubar icon to reveal the pop down and badge numbers for each account.
That makes Mail Mini a very minimalist ultra-mini email app that is so devoid of features it doesn’t even display the email message. All you get is the account and the number of messages. However, the app handles multiple email accounts with ease (you choose which ones you need to view), both visual and audible notifications, and standard IMAP email servers.
Mac users can choose from other apps that extend email notification functionality; one is free, one is not. DockStar actually extends the Mail’s badge icon in the Dock to display unread messages for specific accounts. Herald is more like a mini email app which floats on the Mac’s screen and gives you options to reply, mark as read, even send email (it’s free).
These days there are no shortages of ways to be notified from apps. Maybe one day we’ll have an app that monitors and manages the notifications because we’re entering a clutter zone for alerts, alarms, and notices on Mac, iPhone, and iPad (not to mention Watch).