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notify

A while ago, when I got my first Mac, I began using Mail for keeping up with my email. It was a very good app and I enjoyed using it, but I didn’t know how I felt about having all of my emails (both important and useless) stored in one app, accessible to anyone who accessed my computer. This wasn’t exactly a problem, until that computer got stolen, and as it wasn’t password-protected, whoever stole it or bought it now had access to a good number of my emails, and I couldn’t really do anything about it but but keep him from receiving my new emails.

A few days later, when I replaced my Macbook, I thought twice about using Mail.app again after that first panic attack. I stuck with Gmail’s web app until I found a great and very complete app called Notify. Notify was cheap, it sat on my menu bar and it even used Growl to alert me when I got new messages. It was very simple and pretty, too. It allowed me to quickly check on emails without having to leave what I was doing, and even quickly reply to them or delete them and do marvelous things with them. It synced wonderfully with Gmail. It was a dream come true.

But it didn’t last very long. After I installed Lion, I noticed it started acting weird. It still alerted me when I got new mail and it let me access its menu bar interface, but if I tried to read or reply to any of them, the app would become useless, in many ways. I thought it would get updated soon, but as time went by I got anxious. One day I looked up the app and found a blog where the developers said they weren’t going to keep developing it, and that they had just stopped selling it. I understood, but I also needed to replace the luxury life that Notify had gotten me used to. And so began my search…

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One of the best things about your Mac is that it comes pre-loaded with tons of software goodness, right out of the box. Apps like Mail, Preview, iCal, and the iLife suite are all very functional, but sometimes they lack a little piece of extra functionality that more in-depth users need. That’s where more “pro” apps like Aperture, Adobe Reader and Photoshop come in.

Mail.app is not excluded from this situation, as it has had it’s reported share of problems and limitations. Even though most are not very significant, over time they can become annoying and sometimes switching to another application is the best solution. If you’ve had any problems with Mail.app, or if you have just grown tired of it, you should check out our eight alternatives below!

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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.

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