Notify 2 Preview: A Miniature Email Client

As a precursor to this review, I’d like to mention that Vibealicious will soon be releasing version Notify version 2.0. Around half the features covered are those planned for inclusion in the updated version. I have been lucky enough to beta test the forthcoming app, which has a number of changes that make Notify far more than just a regular email notifier.

Notify does what it’s name says – it tells you when you have a new message in your inbox. Version 2.0 goes beyond that, from viewing messages on multiple accounts to quickly responding to messages. This review will run through what you can expect from the app at the moment, along with what’s coming in the next few months.

Setup

Getting Notify installed is quick and easy. Just head over to Vibealicious’s website and download the latest version, currently 1.0.5. Once download simply drag the application bundle into your Applications folder and launch it. Notify will now appear in your menu bar.

Downloading Notify

Downloading Notify

Go ahead and click “Sure”, and set up your Gmail accounts.

Launching Notify

Launching Notify

Adding Your Accounts

Adding Your Accounts

Once you have filled in your information, Notify will begin to read your latest messages from the Gmail account’s Atom feed. This will allow it to keep up to date with all the new messages you receive.

Using Notify

Notify is a very simple application. It allows you to have quick access to your Gmail accounts and provides you with a couple of options, found in the General tab inside Preferences. You have the ability to enable or disable Growl alerts and adjust the look of the menubar icon.

Options

Options

Unfortunately, in its current state, Notify does not support Google Apps or any other type of email accounts. Functionality is limited to, essentially, being notified about new messages.

Notify 2.0

The new version of Notify brings about a number of major changes. For instance, it has been completely rebuilt, and instead acts like an IMAP client for your Gmail, Google Apps, Rackspace, MobieMe or any other type of email account. This makes accessing and getting email updates even easier.

New Messages

New Messages

Notify also added the ability to read, reply and write new messages right from within the application. In addition to this, you are given the ability to mark messages as read, or delete them, right from within the menu bar app.

Create a New Message

Create a New Message

The top menu bar inside the application also allows you to manually refresh for new messages, go directly to your Gmail inbox or view all of a selected email. Version 2.0 also boasts a more impressive set of preferences and, in my opinion, better account management.

Accounts Management

Accounts Management

The new version of 2.0 is about to enter a beta period, and when released will be made available through free and Pro editions. The free edition will be similar to the original Notify 1.0, having just the ability to view messages from Google, Rackspace and MobileMe accounts, sans the generic IMAP accounts. The reply and new message features will be made available in the Pro version only. The price is going to be set at $10, which I think would be perfect for someone who isn’t already using Mail.app for their email client. If you stuck with using a web app, it is definitely worth the price.

Conclusion

Right now Notify is a good application. It looks beautiful and fits right into the OS X experience. Version 2.0 seems set to push it from good, to great. With the forthcoming IMAP support, and the added ability to create, reply and view messages, it goes above and beyond a simple “notification” tool. It’s another desktop interface to your email, albeit one with a very minimal and simplistic interface.

Let me know what you think about Notify, and whether there are any other applications you use for staying on top of endless new emails. Are you a desktop app user, or are you happy with accessing email via a web interface?