Mac OS X only: Freeware Mail.app plug-in Mail.appetizer notifies you of incoming messages by displaying a preview of their contents. Growl users may wonder why you’d choose Mail.appetizer instead of the GrowlMail plug-in, which offers the same functionality. Well, GrowlMail has a buggy history, especially with Leopard. (In fact, I suspect it’s the reason why Growl’s currently broken for me). The Mail.appetizer plug-in is freeware, Mac OS X only. The current version is a beta, so be prepared to run into a few bugs. Mail.appetizer [via Cool OSX Apps]
Apple guy John Gruber uncovers an undocumented feature in Leopard: the ability to link any Mail.app email message from any other Mac application using the message: protocol. This feature is perfect for referencing a message in a to-do, or in your notes, and it’s available in the new version of Gmail, too. When you open any message in the new Gmail, its unique URL shows up in the address bar. Just copy and paste it to any document or other webapp and you’ve got a permalink to an email for quick reference later.‘message:’ URLs in Leopard Mail [Daring Fireball via Ars Technica]
Mac OS X only: Process all of your email from the comfort of your keyboard with free, open source Mail.app plugin Mail Act-On. If you’re new to Mail Act-On, just install the plug-in and then read the documentation for how to create rules for filing emails with your oft-used actions. When all’s said and done, Mail Act-On is similar to the Gmail Macros script but with less focus on navigation and much more potential for creating powerful rules for dealing with email. We’ve mentioned this plug-in
Leopard’s new and improved iChat boasts two features that are sure to enhance both workplace productivity and friends and family tech support: screen sharing and document sharing. In a nutshell, iChat now makes it dead simple to review documents with one or multiple chat partners in what it calls iChat theatre (pictured) or share screens—either your screen or the screen of the person you’re chatting with—VNC-style. That means that not only can you see what’s going on with the other person’s screen; you can also control it.
Virtual desktops have been popular amongst geeks for years, but they’re just starting to catch on with the consumer desktop crowd; in Leopard, Spaces be thy name. Previously Mac users had an incredible virtual desktop application called Virtue Desktops as their desktop management option, but with the announcement of Spaces, development on Virtue Desktops was dropped. I’m a huge fan of Virtue Desktops, so in my eyes, Spaces has some pretty big shoes to fill. So how does Spaces stand up?
One thing that Windows and Outlook have always had up on the Mac’s default email and calendar apps, Mail and iCal, is Outlook’s integrated to-do manager. Today the game changes. Leopard’s new Mail and iCal applications introduce their own take on the email- and calendar-integrated to-do list. So now the question is: Is it any good? The answer: Yes. And no. But probably yes. The To Do manager, at the moment, is a bit of a mishmash of some very good and a few bad—or at least unrealized—features.
The Mail.app To Do feature resides in the Reminders panel of the Mail sidebar below Notes. Mail to-dos can be organized by due date, priority (high, medium, low, or none), title, and calendar (that’s right, they also integrate with iCal). You can create a new to-do in a couple of ways.
First, click the To Do button in the toolbar. You’ll jump straight to the To Do window, where you can enter the details of a new item. Alternately, you can create your to-dos from Notes (another new feature in Mail). Once you’ve written a note, you can convert any line of the note or the entire note into one or several to-dos. The strange-yet-interesting thing about to-do notes is that the new to-do will appear in the To Do screen as well as the note, and you can check it off in either place. In fact, you can check off to-dos in a third place as well: iCal.
iCal’s organisation of to-dos is much more convenient than Mail’s To Do view, if only for its more prominent focus on due dates and priorities and its sidebar display (so you can view to-dos along with application content). To get a look at your to-do list within iCal, just click the thumb tack button on the bottom right of iCal. From there, you can check off your to-dos, re-prioritise, or change other information by double-clicking the item.
My biggest gripe about Mail’s implementation of to-dos is that you can’t create a new to-do from an email (or anything else, for that matter) via drag and drop. Also, the Notes integration is completely bizzare since Apple dropped the ball on supporting iPhone-to-Mail syncing of notes. As is, it comes off like a pointless appendage to Mail.app.
Another little bug I ran into: I couldn’t change the due date of a to-do from Mail when iCal was open. Instead, I had to change the date inside iCal—though I would assume this will be fixed with an update.
In the end, to-do lovers have a promising addition to Apple’s email and calendar apps, but considering the breadth of full-featured alternative to-do list managers that have popped up in the absence of one from Apple (including ones that integrate with iCal in one way or another), it’s tough to say whether Leopard’s To Do feature will catch on for the hardcore list keeper.
If you’ve set up Gmail IMAP using Google’s instructions, you may have noticed a couple of snags—namely that your Sent Mail, Drafts, and Deleted Mail aren’t necessarily matching up as you’d expect between your email client and Gmail. To remedy this, you’ll have to tweak a few advanced configuration settings in your client, and weblog 5ThirtyOne has the details. On the iPhone, for example: Open ‘Settings’ > ‘Mail’ > [Your Gmail IMAP account]> ‘Advanced’ Select ‘Drafts Mailbox’ > ‘On the Server’ > ‘[Gmail]Drafts’. Return to the ‘Advanced’ view. Select ‘Sent Mailbox’ > ‘On the Server’ > ‘[Gmail]Sent Mail’. Return to the ‘Advanced’ view. Select ‘Deleted Mailbox’ > ‘On the Server’ > ‘[Gmail]Trash’. Return to the ‘Advanced’ view.
If you prefer your deleted email client messages to archive in Gmail rather than go to the trash (which seems like a more Gmail-like solution), there’s one change.
Rather than mapping your Trash folder to Gmail’s Trash, you’ll want to select the “All Mail” mailbox—effectively removing the email from your inbox but not deleting it from your Gmail account altogether.
Also, in order to apply multiple labels to a message from your email client, you’ll need to copy the message to every folder corresponding to the Gmail label you want. The post details the improved methods for setting up Gmail IMAP on both Mail.app and the iPhone, but these same basic steps should work with any desktop email client of your choosing. That said, Google still hasn’t enabled our IMAP access, so if you give this a try, let us know how it works for you in the comments.How-to: Proper Gmail IMAP for iPhone & Apple Mail [5ThirtyOne]
As reported late last night, some Gmail users are seeing IMAP support appear in the settings area of their account. This morning Google confirmed: IMAP just launched, and if you’re not seeing it yet (like we’re not, boo-hoo!) you will soon, as they are “rolling it out to everyone in the next few days.” What does IMAP mean and what’s the implication for you iPhone users? Image by News Blog.
Mac OS X Only: Freeware Mail.app add-on Mail.appetizer lets you read and delete email on the fly without having to open Mail’s main window every time a message arrives. What makes Mail.appetizer stand out from other notifiers is the customisation—you tell it whether to show headers, icons, quoted reply text and determine its size. Mail.appetizer is freeware, available in a seemingly bug-free beta for OS X 10.4 Leopard and a stable version for 10.3 Tiger. Thanks, dcharti!Mail.appetizer [Bronson Beta]