I saw a few weeks ago the announcement that Gmail now offers IMAP support. For those who don’t know what IMAP is, it is a protocol that allows E-mail applications such as Outlook, Thunderbird or Eudora to store copies of E-mail on the server. IMAP existed before webmail and was the ideal way to manage E-mail if you had to access it from multiple computers.
Two years ago Google offered hosting E-mail for specific domains, meaning I could use Gmail for mandato.com. I quickly saw two advantages to moving my E-mail to Gmail. It allowed me to remove a resource from my web server and gave me superb SPAM filtering. I signed up as soon as I found out about the service and have been a very happy Gmail for your domain customer since.
With the recent addition of IMAP support, I can now return to using an E-mail application on my desktop. This allows me to compose messages without having to rely on the web browser.
I’ve been closely watching the next version of Eudora, code named Penelope. They recently released a beta version of Penelope/Eudora 8. The new Eudora is based on Thunderbird. All of the add-ons available to Thunderbird are available to this new version of Eudora. So if you like the clean Eudora interface and the reliability of and options available in Thunderbird, you will feel right at home with this new Eudora.
One of the coolest features of the new Google imap feature is the imap idle support. Your client has to support this too, which Thunderbird/Eudora does! Basically it turns imap into a push email technology. It leaves an idle connection open with the server so you’ll receive emails within seconds of them arrive on your email server. The Google imap server works pretty well with the idle command, typical of what you would expect with any push email service. If only Windows Mobile would support imap idle. 🙁
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