OK, I have it enabled now. Free IMAP for GMail. But first for those who don’t know what IMAP is, go to this link . How is IMAP any different from POP3, or wait what I am talking about. I have this small FAQ for newbies.
Q. What is POP3/IMAP?
A. To simplify this, they are mail accessing protocols which are used by your Desktop E-mail Client.
Q. What is a protocol?
A. From wikipedia “A Protocol is a set of guidelines or rules that help in governing an operation on the internet and communications over it” . Simply put it’s a way to communicate over internet.
Q. What is a desktop e-mail client.
A. An e-mail client is a computer program used to manage e-mail. Few examples are
Linux : Mozilla Thunderbird, Evolution, KMail, Pine, Mutt (pine and mutt are console based)
Windows : Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express (not free), Microsoft Outlook (comes as a part of Windows), Windows Mail (comes in windows Vista)
PS : This is by no means the whole list of E-mail Client available. This is just the list of client I have used in the past, and in the order of my liking.
Q. What is an E-Mail?
A. Seriously man, stop reading this! 😛 Anyways. Read this for information about E-Mail
Ok, so now we are out of the viscious cycle of jargons, lets come to the point. GMail has added IMAP service to their currently 4.4GB E-mail inbox. How does this matter to you. Well if you have a E-mail account with services like Yahoo or Hotmail, I can say IMAP wins over almost every service they have to offer.
Q. How? ( You can say to me, you dumb ##$##@$, that BIG editor gave Yahoo a better score than GMail!)
A. How does IMAP change your life. Well in simple terms, you might never need to open the web browser for any of your emailing needs. Is that big? Well lets add this to the list, unlike POP3, you can use multiple E-Mail clients at the same time on the same account. It means you can receive the same e-mail on your PDA, Laptop, Desktop and if you mark it as read on one of them, it will be marked read in all of them, it keeps everything in sync. You will love this feature if you have a history of using POP3 and the mails once downloaded and read are again marked unread once you shift to some other computer.
Q. I still don’t get it, how does it makes GMail any better?
A. Well any standard IMAP client can be configured to
- Run in system tray, without take any place in the tasks list
- Check one or more, e-mail accounts simultaneously
- Check the accounts after a fixed interval, again and again and again, so that you don’t have to
- Notify in case you get a mail
Q. Still doesn’t makes any sense to me!
A. Using and e-mail service with IMAP access (like GMail) and a desktop client you can send/receive your e-mail (with attachments) from your desktop without using a browser, and you will be notified of new mails automatically.
Q. Why is your english so bad!
A. I am working on it
Q. So I what do I do now?
A. I’ll suggest create an account on GMail and see it working first hand.
This what IMAP changes for me and many other GMail users, although Google might have big plans with this offering !!!