Last month I decided to really kick the Gmail tires and see what it could do for me as a more enterprise like email client. I was able to easily make changes in the settings to make it appear as though I was sending mail from my regular PSU account and not from gmail … it was also really simple to have my PSU email forwarded into gmail. I used several of the Google Labs features to make the environment work even better for me — the ability to easily integrate Docs and Tasks has been the real winner and has changed my workflow. On top of it, the whole notion of Labels and Stars you can turn your inbox into a very powerful solution. The other thing I absolutely loved was the easy integration with google talk. I very rarely open an IM client but did find it really useful within the gmail context.
This could be another one of my failed experiments and I’ll be back to my Apple Mail.app before too long.
With all that said, I think I am heading back to Apple Mail on my laptop and on my iPhone. Why the change of heart? This weekend I traveled to visit my sister in Easton, PA and my parents in Bloomsburg, PA and decided not to take my laptop along, instead relying solely on my iPhone. I can honestly say I didn’t think I could get it done with just the iPhone, but for 95% of what I needed to do the iPhone was terrific. Its that last 5% of my work life where it falls down.
For the first time in close to a month I found myself missing the client like feel of Mail app as I struggled with sending and receiving from the mobile gmail site. I do have my gmail coming into the iPhone Mail app, but when you do that you miss out on some of hte easy things the web client gives you and it doesn’t handle the return address correctly. I also found that the web client was flaky at critical times and the controls are a little close together. Just this morning I typed a long email in the web client on the iPhone and thought I tapped send, only to notice I tapped another link that pushed me out to the other google services. I just can’t afford those kinds of mistakes.
So, at the end of the day I’ll be heading back to the client based life in Mail app and will probably not be using gmail for work any time soon.