Kiwi for Gmail

Take Gmail out of your web browser with this fast and friendly email app

Mac Format - - RATED - Devel­oper Zive, ki­wiforgmail.com A Gmail ac­count, OS X 10.8 or higher It’s Gmail with­out the browser Third-party plug-ins “com­ing soon”

If Gmail is your email ser­vice, you have prob­a­bly en­coun­tered a fa­mil­iar prob­lem: the ser­vice was de­signed to be used in a browser, and us­ing a desk­top email client to ac­cess it means los­ing some of its power. Kiwi is de­signed to change that by de­liv­er­ing the full Gmail ex­pe­ri­ence in a ded­i­cated desk­top app that’s less de­mand­ing than a browser, but as pow­er­ful as you want Gmail to be.

There are two ver­sions of Kiwi: a stripped-down Lite ver­sion for sin­gle ac­counts, and a paid-for ver­sion, which sup­ports up to six ac­counts, key­board short­cuts, ac­count themes and the abil­ity to re­strict no­ti­fi­ca­tions to mes­sages flagged as im­por­tant. The lat­ter will also sup­port third-party plug-ins, although it doesn’t cur­rently do so.

The first thing you’ll no­tice is that Kiwi re­ally looks like Gmail, and that’s the point: you don’t need to change how you do things. There are some dif­fer­ences, though. An icon in OS X’s menu bar en­ables you to see your un­read mes­sage count and com­pose a new email. In the paid ver­sion, that cov­ers all your ac­counts.

In ad­di­tion to Gmail it­self, Kiwi also sup­ports Google Apps (so it works with cor­po­rate and ed­u­ca­tional Gmail ac­counts) and in­te­grates Google Drive and Chat. The paid ver­sion also has a use­ful ‘zen but­ton’ that turns off email no­ti­fi­ca­tions un­til the fol­low­ing day with­out af­fect­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions from other apps in OS X.

If you’re happy us­ing third-party email clients, Ap­ple Mail or a pinned Sa­fari tab to ac­cess Gmail then this might not be for you, but if you want the full browser-based Gmail ex­pe­ri­ence with­out the browser bit, we think you’ll like Kiwi a lot. Gary Mar­shall Of­ten I’ll have a desk­top Mac and my MacBook Pro next to each other, with things like Twit­ter, news sites and email on the MacBook while I do work on the larger screen. How­ever, I don’t want to have to reach for the MacBook to con­trol it. That’s where Tele­port (free, abyssoft.com) is help­ful.

Af­ter in­stalling it on two Macs, you spec­ify their phys­i­cal ar­range­ment, much like you would for mul­ti­ple dis­plays in Sys­tem Pref­er­ences. You can then move the pointer from the Mac whose in­put de­vices you’re us­ing to the other one – or at least it seems that way; Tele­port is ac­tu­ally trans­mit­ting your in­put to the other Mac over your net­work.

You can spec­ify a mod­i­fier key to hold down to pre­vent the pointer ac­ci­den­tally be­ing moved be­tween Macs, or sim­ply ad­just the de­lay be­fore the pointer is al­lowed to make the leap. Tele­port also en­ables you to drag files from one Mac to another (which I use in place of OS X’s File Shar­ing fea­ture), and it can sync the Clip­board’s con­tents, too.

Tele­port is even able to trans­mit key­board in­put to another Mac – which­ever the pointer is on – and its pref­er­ences in­clude an op­tion to en­crypt what is sent in case you’re us­ing a shared net­work. Con­sid­er­ing it’s free, Tele­port is a de­light­fully ef­fec­tive way to com­fort­ably use two Macs side by side if you can’t jus­tify the cost of, or desk space for, a KVM switch.

Kiwi is fast, friendly, frees Gmail from the browser, and makes mul­ti­ple ac­counts much eas­ier to man­age.

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