It’s funny how more than one application can have the same exact name and still exist in perfect harmony without their respective owners suing each other, especially since the original Gmail Notifier was from Google themselves. Whatever be the reasons, it sure leave us with a handful of different options. Let’s take a look at some of these.
1. Google’s Gmail Notifier: The original Gmail Notifier is still one of the best notifiers for Gmail. The only disadvantage is it allows you to check messages from only one account. A small icon on the tray alerts you of new messages and shows you their subjects, senders and small snippets. Gmail Notifier is available for Windows and Mac and a Linux alternative is found at SourceForge.
2. Firefox addon Gmail Notifier: The Firefox addon supports multiple Gmail accounts as well as account hosted under Google Apps. Unfortunately, it’s utility ends there. Unlike the Google notifier, it doesn’t show message subjects or senders, just the number of unread messages. You can use it only if you want to be alerted of new message arrivals and nothing else.
3. Gmail Notifier: This is a much better Gmail Notifier. It supports checking of up to 5 Gmail accounts including those hosted under Google Apps. It uses IMAP to download message subject, header and sender address and you can mark messages read or delete them directly from the notifier. New messages are notified by either a blinking tray icon or sound alert or both.
4. Yahoo widget Gmail Notifier: There is a Yahoo widget Gmail Notifier too. This widget presents a summary of newly arrived email in a fading float-popup with an accompanying sound. The summary shows the sender, the subject, the label and a direct link to the particular mail on Gmail which is very useful. Like other notifiers it displays the total number of unread emails in your inbox. Disadvantage: it can check only one email account.
5. Google Desktop Gmail Gadget: This is a recently introduced gadget for the Google Desktop platform. This gadget is much more than a simple notifier. It lets you read, search and even send messages right from the gadget. Users can also star Gmail messages, can use Gmail keyboard shortcuts, and Gmail’s contact auto-complete feature in this desktop gadget. You can also run multiple instances of different Gmail accounts as standalone gadgets.
Verdict: So which one is right for you? That depends on your need. If you need only alerts you can choose any one of the first 3, but the third is definitely better. If you have only one account, the Google notifier will work equally well. The Firefox addon is pretty poor in features.
The Yahoo widget is a good one, but it requires you to keep running the widget engine which is an extra load on your computer. The Google desktop is the same but at least it brings the complete inbox to your desktop and makes it possible to receive and send mails without having to open the browser.
More Gmail Notifiers
Gmail Notifier Plus for Windows 7