Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Google Businesses The Internet

Google Releases Gmail Notifier 445

Philipp Lenssen writes "After several unofficial, screen-scraping Gmail utilities, Google now released the official Gmail Notifier (Beta) for Windows. It will sit in the Windows tray, alerting you of new emails in your account (if you are lucky enough to have one already). Additionally, the Gmail Notifier can connect 'mailto:'-links in web pages to Gmail."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Releases Gmail Notifier

Comments Filter:
  • this is awesome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m2bord ( 781676 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:41AM (#10022104) Homepage Journal
    this is just one of the tools i've been waiting for. now if only gmail could have a "save as draft" feature...i can switch from my current webmail provider to gmail.
    • save a draft (Score:4, Informative)

      by sirshannon ( 616247 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:06AM (#10022433) Homepage Journal
      • Re:save a draft (Score:3, Informative)

        by AKAImBatman ( 238306 )
        For those of you who don't have a GMail account (and therefore can't see the above link), it simply says:

        Features and more
        What's on your webmail wish list? (1,000 MB? Check.)

        done! - Address book import
        we'll try - Opera support
        we'll try - Ability to send messages with HTML formatting
        we'll try - POP3 access
        working on it - Plain HTML version of Gmail
        working on it - Ability to save a draft
        working on it - More robust contacts list
        working on it - Automatic message forwarding

    • If you click on a mailto hyperlink, while it brings you to the gmail site and creates the appropriate template, it doesn't log you in automatically (and since the toolbar has your uid and password, it should). Definately want to be able to save local too.
  • by cwebb1977 ( 650175 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:41AM (#10022106) Homepage
    When will it learn to say "You got mail!" ?
  • by ack154 ( 591432 ) * on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:41AM (#10022108)
    From the FAQ [], it also says that it can play a sound when new mail arrives. And that sound is actually just the Windows New Mail Notification sound in the Control Panel.

    And it's been mentioned before, but I still think the Gmail Loader [] is still a handy utility. I'm migrating a lot of my mail and accounts in to Gmail and this thing was a huge help.
    • And it's been mentioned before, but I still think the Gmail Loader is still a handy utility.

      Does the Gmail Loader still have the limitation that the date that appears on any uploaded e-mail in Gmail is the date of its upload, not the date of its original sending? If not (and I don't see how it could, as that problem must lie on the Gmail side), then it's hardly worth using. What's the point of uploading twelve years of e-mail to Gmail if you can't tell it "Show me all mail from March of 1996" and get the
      • by ack154 ( 591432 ) * on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:56AM (#10022312)
        Yes, it does still have that limitation. And yes, it does seem to be on the Gmail side and I'm pretty sure there isn't much that can be done about it (short of Gmail making an import mail utility to function correctly).

        But ya, it does kind of suck. But when I imported my stuff, I'm just importing old mail and I really don't care what the date is (for searching or not) - because if I want to refer to any of it, I'll just be searching by it's content.
      • This screenshot [] seems to show that it will show the appropriate date on the messages.
        • I should have been more specific. Gmail does show the correct Date: header when you look at the message, but when you look at an index like Inbox, the dates listed there are the upload date, not the Date: of the message. The date by which Gmail "knows" the message is the date of arrival, not the date given in the Date: header.
      • Well, see, you can search your email. Using Google. And we all know that Google r0x0rz. So even if the SMTP timestamp is wrong, you can enter "march 1996" in your search, and pull up any messages that include that were sent then.

        The system is a bit goofy, in that, when viewing a message/label index, you see the date you resent the message to gmail. But when you view the message, and message headers, they are as they were when originally received.

      • Can anyone explain to me what the point is of moving all your personal email into someone else's free service? I could have gotten a Gmail account by now, but I don't need it. Domain names are cheap, web hosting+email is cheap, hard disk space is cheap, my email archives are irreplacable. I have my own email domain, and I can store hundreds of gigs of email if I really have to. If I need to get to my archives from somewhere else, I can always SSH into my network. Maybe Google lets you search easily, but a
        • I like the idea of having all my mail - ever - indexed, searchable, available through the Internet, without having to manage the infrastructure myself. I have a setup similar to what you describe. I ssh into my site. Redirect an IMAP and SMTP port, and voila - I can read my mail from anywhere. I'm experimenting with the idea of Google Mail as an alternative that I don't have to manage myself.

          My e-mail, too, is irreplaceable. I regard it as among the most precious of my data. I would never trust Gmail to be
        • Privacy vs. tech (Score:3, Informative)

          by scrm ( 185355 )
          I just don't understand why someone would move 12 years of their life into the data warehouse of someone you don't control.

          You're right. Re-read Brad Templeton's privacy concerns over Gmail [] and the prospect of storing the "12 years of your life into the data warehouse of someone you don't control" becomes rather dubious.

          However, from a purely technical standpoint there are some real advantages to chucking your mail archives into Gmail. The search feature is second to none (who even needs labels?), the in
    • Does anyone else think that a text-to-speech program would be useful and straightforward extension for a mail notifier, in the context of reading out mail subjects?

      I know that existing notifiers can just print the subject text and sender in a little box in the corner of the screen but I'm thinking it would be more suited to when you're not at the computer - you don't want to be dragged back to the desk after hearing the little ding just to read some spam or FW!FW!FW! crap.

      It'd be like having Stephen Hawki
    • > it can play a sound when new mail arrives.

      Does it play a sound when Gmail is actually released to end users?
  • How long.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by avalys ( 221114 ) * on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:42AM (#10022111)
    How long until someone reverse-engineers this API and makes an OS X and Linux client available?
  • by tliet ( 167733 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:42AM (#10022112)
    I mean, come on, Win32 only?
  • No point? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:42AM (#10022117) Homepage Journal

    I keep my browser open all the time (including a tab to gmail) and it refreshes automatically. I don't see the benefit, unless having Yet More processes running is a good thing.
    • Re:No point? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slungsolow ( 722380 )
      I would rather have a process running in the background that takes up less memory than a browser window. There are always instances when I need to keep my memory management in mind, and a tool like this makes it easier to do that.
    • It's to show your aversion to cut down versions of Windows that can only run 3 processes.
    • Re:No point? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The mailto: handler alone makes it worthwhile.
    • "I keep my browser open all the time (including a tab to gmail) and it refreshes automatically. I don't see the benefit, unless having Yet More processes running is a good thing." Because having an extra tab open in your browser that refreshes automatically dosen't use any more machine processes right?
  • by Aceto3for5 ( 806224 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:43AM (#10022125)
    Now I will have an up to the minute report of exactly how MUCH spam im getting. And with a Gig of email space, I can learn about Coeds who want to show me thier cams, and low cost Ci@lis, maybe even learn how to start a buisness-- all without having to clear my inbox every two days.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I've been using gmail for a few months now, and as of this writing, I've gotten 1 piece of spam delievered to that mail box.

      Maybe no one knows about it.
  • GTRAY (Score:5, Informative)

    by Yo Grark ( 465041 ) * on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:43AM (#10022128)
    Gtray has been working FABULOUSLY for me.

    Don't need to switch unless there are more options that google can provide; which from the website there isn't any.

    Yo Grark
  • FireFox extension (Score:5, Informative)

    by GizmoToy ( 450886 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:43AM (#10022130) Homepage
    I've been using something similar as an extension to FireFox. It works pretty darn well, but you obviously have to keep your web browser open for it to work. This program might be pretty cool, I'll have to give it a shot.

    For those interested, the Firefox extension can be found here:
    Gmail Notifier []
    • Re:FireFox extension (Score:4, Informative)

      by Shelrem ( 34273 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:48AM (#10022194)
      Heh, beat me to it!

      In addition to this, add on WebmailCompose [] (previously GmailCompose []) and you've got pretty much the full functionality of this gmail toolbar, plus it's cross-platform, for those of you who use several platforms and want a more unified computing experience.

      For the record, i've been terribly happy with this combination for a while. Together with the great featureset of Gmail, it makes Webmail actually pleasant to use!
  • by silverbyte ( 213973 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:44AM (#10022138)
    This is obviously the first step by google towards integration of search and the personal interaction space.
    How long before our contact lists in gmail are moved to orkut and into a messenger?
  • percentage (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kc0re ( 739168 )
    I wonder if Google collects statistics on how many and what type of operating systems hit google a day... I am betting a large percentage of people that use Gmail don't use Windows. I reserve the right to be wrong.
    • Re:percentage (Score:3, Informative)

      This was covered recently [] here on Slashdot. Google does keep stats, but they're not for any real analysis. That doesn't stop people from trying to use them for real analysis.

      I'm betting that a large percentage of people that use Gmail are using Windows. Everyone I know that has an account - including nearly two hundred people at my friend's company - is on a Windows box.
      • I suspect that there would be a lot of people like myself who are Linux (or which ever OS you prefer) users by choice at home but Windows users by necessity (i.e. it's what's there) at work. Until we get more work places onto Linux, Windows will always dominate stats. I'm pretty sure that if you looked at the logs for /. you'd see a lot of Windows hits, same for the websites of any of the big Linux vendors even. Where I work it is actually impossible to access the web from a non-Windows machine as the pr

    • Re:percentage (Score:2, Interesting)

      Oh God, are you wrong. And that's certainly your right.

      The breakdown of people using Gmail will be close to the same breakdown of the fools using their blogs or regular folks using their search engine.

      Here's [] your small percentage of Linux users.

  • For Mac users (Score:5, Informative)

    by jdwest ( 760759 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:45AM (#10022154)
    Mac users have this us/ [] as a freeware option.
  • by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:45AM (#10022156) Journal
    I bet this has caused some confusion in /. readers minds.



    Windows only Google app...does not compute!

  • Am I alone (Score:2, Funny)

    by RLiegh ( 247921 ) *
    in the fact that I've just been sitting on my gmail accounts and not actually using them?
  • by vi (editor) ( 791442 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:45AM (#10022159)
    I wonder if someone here has the same problem as me: I get constantly swamped with GMail invites. Far too much people are sending me these stupid invites and it's really getting on my nerves.
    Well, it was fun for the first 20 or so, but now it's really annoying. Even people I just remotely know are sending me this stuff.
    I usually sign them up with bogus data just to stop this madness but it doesn't really work.
    Does anyone know when Google is stopping its beta test ? I hope soon otherwise I see a nervous breakdown coming.
  • Gmail Notifier (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stypen ( 720346 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:46AM (#10022163)
    This is something that has been in the fires for a while for Firefox users. Doron Rosenberg authored an extension that allows the same functionality. You can find it here [].
  • skins (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Texodore ( 56174 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:46AM (#10022170)
    Why don't they just skin Windows? They have the toolbar, mail checker client thing, searcher bar that can sit in the task bar. I mean, just have google be a part of every single app on the desktop.
  • What about Linux? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jbash ( 784046 )
    I wonder what operating systems the users of this will be usuing. Maybe a larger-than-average percentage of people who use Gmail are on Linux instead of Windows. What then?
  • And for autohiders? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by judmarc ( 649183 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:51AM (#10022237)

    I mean those of us who autohide the taskbar. It's not clear whether the notifier will pop up or not (and we may not want it to - the possibility for distraction is obvious).

    You can get it to play a sound, but the FAQ says it may notify in error up to two minutes after all new mail's been cleared. Beep! Beep! BEEP! Urrgh....

  • by six11 ( 579 ) * <johnsogg&cmu,edu> on Friday August 20, 2004 @09:52AM (#10022246) Homepage
    This is great! I know people who have been holding back on using GMail because of the notification thing. I sometimes still get email at my Yahoo account, and I am notified when I receive them. Every time the Yahoo notification thing pops up I am reminded of how almost-but-not-quite perfect GMail is. This little icon in the tray will end up being a bigger deal than it looks.

    I've installed it and it works great. It uses the same slide-up text bubble idiom that AIM and Yahoo and Thunderbird use. But the bubble not only tells you that you have mail but also who it is from and if there is room, the first part of the text of the email. If you missed it, you can right click and select 'Tell me again...' and it will scroll through all your unread emails, so you can get a quick overview of what's going on in your Inbox right now without having to use your browser. Much nicer.
  • I don't understand why we are jumping through hoops to have auto refresing JavaScript-full convoluted html webmail that interacts with some little utility in your tray. I mean, I understand the convenience of webmail, but I think that installing this is whre I would draw the line between simple & easy and flakey & klunky.

    Isn't 100% easier and more smooth to interact with POP3 and your favorite email software? Maybe it's just me. I've been using a hosting service for my website and email and I guess having that much control over the set up and delivery methods has made me skeptical of free webmail in general.

    • by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:09AM (#10022479) Homepage
      Isn't 100% easier and more smooth to interact with POP3 and your favorite email software?

      I think the idea is your favorite email software isn't available everywhere. If you're ever using a computer other than your home desktop, and you want to read your email, you don't have the option of launching up whatever email client you like-- because the computer won't have it. Probably there will just be just Outlook Express, and you'll have to set up a user and configure your servers or whatnot. Not fun. It's much easier to have the option of just going to a website and checking your email, and once you start using this option you'll tend to want to use this website even when you get home-- even though at home you are actually free to run whatever your favorite email program-- because it's pleasant to have a single consistent interface every single time that you check your email, whereever in the world you are.

      Of course, I don't use GMail, but the above logic is why even at home on my mac, I pretty much always check my email by sshing into a remote shell and using this command line mail program I sort of like. Ssh is pretty much available everywhere, and unlike webpages all ssh clients are actually compliant with one another...
    • I don't understand why we are jumping through hoops to have auto refresing JavaScript-full convoluted html webmail that interacts with some little utility in your tray. I mean, I understand the convenience of webmail, but I think that installing this is whre I would draw the line between simple & easy and flakey & klunky.

      Because it works. I use GMail at home, at work, wherever, and it just works. Works in Mozilla or IE. I didn't have to set up my own IMAP server or anything crazy like that.


      • PuTTY. No need to install cygwin for SSH. And since you just download the executable and run it, no install needed, only the most locked down machines will prevent its use.
  • I wonder if Google, but virtue of leaving certain portions of their systems open and accessible in a variety of ways, is really creating a large legion of creative and technical individuals who, without maybe even realizing, are working for Google for free, creating software like GMail notifier.

    Even if Google cannot directly adopt somebody else's work, they certainly get a pile of high-quality ideas from 'the Lazy Web', which they can then use to direct their internal development.

    Google is really playing
  • by Kuad ( 529006 ) <demento.fuckyou@co@uk> on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:01AM (#10022375)
    Generally, I'm not logged into the net at home on a 24 hour basis - I disconnect my DSL whenever I don't need it. Paranoia can have its advantages.

    Anyways, I need this tool at work. And some of us are still stuck with NT4 at work until the end of the year (when support dies and they finally upgrade us). This tool doesn't work with NT4, and I gather it doesn't work with 95/98/ME from the installer's error message. Just a heads-up for everyone.

    Personally, GTray [] works fine for me.
  • The iTunes model (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:02AM (#10022379) Homepage
    What I find increasingly interesting is how Microsoft's competitors-- now that it's been made clear that united states antitrust law is not going to be enforced-- are trying to get around the Microsoft OS monopoly with what amounts to shareware. Microsoft has the power to create the default configuration for the vast majority of PCs, and since traditionally few users have stepped away from the default configuration this means Microsoft has the ability to dictate many things, from what formats will gain popularity to what web standards succeed or fail. If Microsoft desires, it can install a piece of software on every new copy of Windows in the world. Those companies that are not Microsoft do not have this luxury. Some of them now appear to be circumventing this by just trying to create random pieces of "must-have" software for free and bundling the service or format that they are actually making their money from with it.

    For example, iTunes. Apple needs people to have support for Quicktime; however, they have no way of making Windows users want to install Quicktime. Webpages that require Quicktime will, of course, force you to download it, but such pages would seem likely to become scarce as webmasters realize that every computer has WMP already and using WMP instead of Quicktime will not require their users to download a plugin. Apple's solution is to create a music player program for Windows that is considered by many to be the best there is, which everybody then wants to download and try out. As a process of doing this, these people inadvertently wind up installing Quicktime. End result: every computer has Quicktime already.

    Google here is just another example. Google appears to be anticipating that at some point Microsoft will start using its space within the desktop to promote some engine of its own and dissuade the use of Google. Google is reacting to this by trying to get a toehold into the desktop of their own, using things such as the Google Toolbar and now, the GMail notifier. Both of these things will be installed by users for purposes largely irrelivant to Google's search-- the former for popup blocking, the latter for mail-- yet doing this means that Google builds up inertia with everyone who "just has" to download their Google tools after every system upgrade. This means that when the system update comes where Microsoft decides that every time you accidentally control-click on a word displayed on the screen it will open up Internet Explorer and search for it in MSN Search, Google can use their toehold in the desktop to undo this change and replace it with something (1) useful and (2) involving google search.

    This approach hits Microsoft hard where it hurts; Microsoft is excellent at creating software. However, historically they have by and large failed at creating good software. Microsoft's strategy of destroying competitors by bundling their own special brand of mediocre with roughly equivilent functionality for "free" with the OS doesn't work anymore once people start to wind up downloading the software of Microsoft's competitors free just because it's better.
  • by manavendra ( 688020 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:03AM (#10022384) Homepage Journal
    Isnt this kind of notifier common with other email service providers (yahoo and hotmail)?! So what makes it so special?

    And with other email service providers beefing up the storage space, one would have thought this pre-occupation with a gigabyte email-storage would be over!
  • 5 invites (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Capt_Troy ( 60831 )
    I have 5 invites if anyone wants one. email me at tfandango_@_gmail_._com (remove the _s).

  • This looks like a nice addition and all, but for the seemingly few of us that don't have Gmail (it's still not available for general signup), do we have any idea of when Google will finally open this up?
  • Another TSR. What's one more when you have 30 I guess...
  • When you run the installer on a Windows 98 PC, it pops up a message that reads: Gmail Notifier requires Windows 2000, XP, 2003 or newer.

    I guess I won't be using this on my work box...

  • by Randolpho ( 628485 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:13AM (#10022542) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so I started with this huge happy giggle when I saw this... exactly what I've been waiting for to fully switch to gmail. I love Gmail, but currently stick to Yahoo since Y!IM will let me know when I have new mail, and that's a feature I desperately need. I considered some of the third-party equivalants, like Pop Goes the Gmail [], but they rely on hacking through the website and all it takes is a change from GMail to break them.

    But then I noticed that it was for Win2k/XP/2k3 only. WTF? That's great for home, but at work (where I spend most of my time), I'm stuck on Windows ME!! So now this sucks as much as it rocks. I'm sad.

    Personally, I wish Google had taken my suggestion to heart: password-protected RSS feeds of your email subjects. Then anybody could write a 3rd party notifier.
  • by Duke Machesne ( 453316 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:17AM (#10022574)
    I've been enjoying both of those key functionalities on every platform I use, by way of two excellent firefox extensions: Gmail Notifier [] and Gmail Compose [].
  • by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:18AM (#10022592) Homepage
  • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @10:28AM (#10022739) Homepage
    What I'd like to see is a little app to sit in the system tray and let me know when I'll get a GMail account.
  • I don't get it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HeyLaughingBoy ( 182206 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @11:58AM (#10023884)
    OK, somebody explain to me what the big deal with a GMail account is. As far as I can tell it's just free webmail with 1Gb storage. Yet people are so excited about it. Why?

    I mean, free webmail is everywhere. I have untold gigs of storage on my HD and unused old HDs in the closet and I have never come close to more than a meg or so of saved email (if people send me pictures I want to keep, I just detach the file and save it somewhere else).

    So am I missing something here?
  • I can send you an invite for [puts pinky to mouth] one Million Dollars!
  • mailto handler (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hiroshi912681 ( 589840 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @12:52PM (#10024583)
    That mailto handler is a pretty cool idea, I don't think I've seen that before. Is there a mailto handler for any other web based email service like Yahoo? That would be handy for my mom, who doesn't understand the whole mailto thing.

    On a slightly related/unrelated note, some people here are mentioning webmail to pop conversion programs like yahoo pops and pop goes the gmail. Does anyone know if there's such a program available for webmail users?
  • by jbarr ( 2233 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @12:55PM (#10024617) Homepage
    While Gmail Notifier DOES open a new compose window, be aware that unless you check the "keep me logged in for two weeks" checkbox on the login screen, you will have to log in every time, even if you are already logged into Gmail in another browser window.

    While it's a bit cumbersom, at least it's still more secure...

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling