Mailplane: Better Gmail for Your Mac

  Matt Cone       July 30, 2007      Tutorials Mac Email Apps

When we discussed Google applications a couple weeks ago, we mentioned several applications that allowed you to check your Gmail account from your Mac’s Desktop. But these are only good insofar as you can see that you have new email messages waiting to be read. To actually read the email messages, you still have to open up a web browser and long into Gmail.

We’ve also discussed how to use Gmail with Apple’s Mail, which works great if you only use your Gmail account on your Mac. But if you work away from home a lot, or if you redirect your other POP3 accounts to your Gmail account, you’re going to want to use something else.

The Mac Mailplane icon

If you’re dissatisfied with all of those options, you’ll want to take Mailplane for a spin. This shareware Mac application (currently free while in Beta testing) brings Gmail to your Mac with a user-friendly interface. We’ll show you around this great application!

What’s It Good For?

We can already hear the skeptics: “Isn’t this thing just a glorified web browser?” Well, yes and no. It’s true that Mailplane simply loads the Gmail webpage. But there’s so much more! First, it’s really nice to have Gmail in a dedicated application all by itself - especially one that can automatically log into Gmail.

The Mailplane application for Mac

Check out these other features:

Mailplane might not be to everyone’s tastes, but it is to ours. We dig the clean interface and the balance between Gmail and this new Mac application.

Installing and Using Mailplane

Mailplane is a very Mac-like application. Everything from the installation to the set up feels very natural, and it’s all over in a matter of minutes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. When you first start the application, Mailplane will ask you if you want to it as the default mail application, install the iPhoto plugin, and automatically check for updates.

    The Mailplane application for Mac

  2. Next, you’ll be asked to enter your Gmail account information. Make sure to select the secure connection checkbox!

    The Mailplane application for Mac

  3. And finally, Mailplane will ask you to turn your Keyboard Shortcuts on, if you haven’t already. Just follow the directions and you’ll be good to go!

    The Mailplane application for Mac

That’s it! You’ve now taken Gmail to the next level thanks to Mailplane.

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