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  • ciparis - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    I've been using it for a couple of weeks now -- finally, something I like better than GMail's ajax client. Thumbs-up. Reply
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  • EnzoFX - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Recently just switched to this too, great minimalistic client. I did miss Mail's RSS capability, but now using Reeder for Mac, they are both simple and very functional. Reply
  • CSMR - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    IMAP is obsolete, lacking even the features free email accounts have had for years. Reply
  • Griswold - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    Bullshit Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    Do you know what IMAP is? Reply
  • CSMR - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    An obsolete protocol for synchronizing email between clients and servers. One that does not does not integrate with contacts and calendaring, as is standard in modern email services including free services (gmail, hotmail, etc. using various protocols), and does not support push email, or integrate task management and delegation, meeting requests including room booking, presence, corporate directories, unified communications, etc., as the main professional service Microsoft exchange does.

    10 years ago, when it's main competition was POP, one could be more positive.
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    It's not designed to do that.

    I still find web mail clients painfully poor. Searching is god awful slow, response times can be slow, the need to wait for attachments to download (vs all preloaded locally), poor filtering rules, there is no support for quickly and easily editing From headers (as a per email type change), no easy and quick way to send messages out to hundreds of addresses at a go.

    It also leaves you vulnerable to losing your data in case the provider shuts. More of a issue with the smaller ones, but it still has to be considered.

    I could go on. But you get the idea.
  • CSMR - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - link

    Yes free web email is not perfect, and a synchronized method is preferable for performance. You can get this even with free services (activesync, outlook connector, etc.).

    The main thing for people who care about quality is that professional services are not that expensive. A hosted exchange account costs $7/month at 1&1 for example.

    But maybe this is still too expensive, and harder to set up than hotmail/gmail, so not many people do this; maybe Microsoft needs to produce a limited version of exchange to cater to the "prosumer" market.
  • CSMR - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - link

    Looks like Office 365 will provide a cheaper professional email service as one of the options, which may be suitable for individuals also. Reply
  • PubFiction - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    A random IMAP client?

    Sorry this smells of payoffs or extreme bias an advertisement disguised as an article. If you are going to break precedent why would you do it on some niche use product like this. Also I agree with others in the day and age of everyone pushing for the cloud email clients make far less sense especially ones that are focused around a single free mail service.
  • kylewat - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    I agree. In a way this reminds me of niche audiophile review articles I read. They are always positive because of the inherent conflict of interest of niche product publications (they need things to review, the manufacturer needs a place to advertise). Basically, the reviewer either likes or loves the product. And it is very hard to tell which!

    Anandtech consistently puts out the best reviews for hardware of all types. They are thorough, informed, and most important of all lack bias. I trust every word that is printed on this website.

    This review, however much I like the idea of reviewing software, lacks any critique. I understand the purpose, to share a product you find useful. That is what people write about in blogs though, not what I consider a serious hardware review journalistic organization.

    I think the program sounds cool though and i'll check it out.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    Think of it less as a biased advertisement and more as an experiment, and keep in mind that not all experiments turn out as well as you'd like them to. :-)

    Anand and I have talked a bit about the kind of writing he'd like me to do for the site, and there's an interest in putting up material that branches out a bit from AT's typical in-depth hardware reviews in subject matter - software pieces and shorter, newsier posts - without sacrificing the site's perspective or the value it adds to stories that other sites just copy-and-paste.

    I'll admit that this article didn't turn out quite like I had wanted it to, but new things and beginnings can be difficult, and sometimes the best way to learn what works and what doesn't is just to try it out. Critical and constructive feedback is a key part of that process. What sort of software would you rather read about? What sort of things are you looking for in a software review?
  • softdrinkviking - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    i thought about your question for a bit, and here is my reaction:

    typically, people go to a specific website to learn about and discuss software.
    for example, i use a lot of audio editing programs, so i would naturally go to an audio forum or other related site to read about features and usability.

    it is true what Pub & Kyle said about the conflicts of interest. a lot of the time you will read a review of something that is like reading one of those advert-spec sheets they hand out at a store; it's obviously trying to sell you something.

    one would think that free programs would have a more honest picture to paint, but what ends up happening (IMHO) is that people are so happy to get a free program that they are extremely generous with praise.

    so, back to your question; what can you offer in terms of software reviews...

    personally, i would like to see software comparisons.
    i think comparisons are a good idea because they inherently bring out criticisms of the products.

    the types of stuff i would be interested in reading about are probably not the same as what the next guy wants, so it may be immaterial, but here goes anyway...

    sound editing, film editing, multimedia apps for specific purposes like AV file management (transcoding, compression, ect.) or even something like online radio station aggregaters.

    of course, the problem with all that is that people traditionally go to specific sites to find info on their little specific interests in an environment that "reassures" them that they are in the company of others who care or something like that.
    so you would have to overcome that somehow; you would have to give people a reason to take your word over a site that specifically caters to the kind of software you are writing about.

    back to what Pub & Kyle were saying, you could try to be the "anti-conflict of interest" reviewer.
    you could collect info on several different approaches to the same kind of software, like "five popular transcoding programs," for example, and write a serious comparison of them.
    the trick would be to show each one's strengths and, more importantly, weaknesses, so that people can choose which one they prefer.
    many people like to choose things, even if they will never look at it again.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    One thing I always liked about AT as a reader was that the articles didn't just say "here's a thing, and here's what I think about it," but "here's a thing, here's absolutely everything we know about what makes it tick, and here's what I think about it." Bringing that mentality to a software review is something I really want to work on. Trying to provide as many hard facts as possible goes a long way toward removing potential bias.

    My worry about reviewing more "niche" software is that each article would appeal to only a small subsection of the readership. It might be best, at least for now, to target software that appeals to more people, or that has a function more directly related to the hardware we write about.

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions! If nothing else, this has been a good learning experience for me. :-)
  • ioannis - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    I agree with 'softdrinkviking'. Comparisons are much more useful than simple reviews. Also, being AnandTech, I would also expect testing software from a different angle, that of performance and resource usage. in this case, which client uses less resources, how fast does it do a task and maybe (since we are talking about software and many things are subjective), how fast is it for the user to achieve given tasks (via careful thinking of the UI design). On that line of thought, it might be worth creating a new benchmark suite/metric(s) for usability.

    these are my two cents
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, April 07, 2011 - link

    ...I thought Apple's default configuration in their mail client already handled Gmail okay? At least on my iPod, if I configure it using Apple's settings (instead of Google's) it behaves more or less like I'd expect-like delete a message, it's actually deleted, not just un-labled.

    I'd thought Apple's OS X client would be the same?

    Does look like this comes closer to replicating the web interface though, which might be nice. If I had a Mac I'd definitely give it a shot.
  • jb510 - Friday, April 08, 2011 - link

    Measuring hardware is inherently objective. Sure there are some subjective aspects in terms of design but for the most part it's objective testing and reporting. AT excells at this like none other.

    Software doesn't lend itself to objective testing... For the most part its impossible to measure differences between software. I'm not sure where I where I want AT involved in software reviews. I suppose finding two software products that address the same problem or need and then comparing them might work but there isn't a lot of software like that... Compare openoffice vs. Office (been done too many times)... Compare Photoshop vs. GIMP (been done too many times)... I just am not sure where AT has anything unique to add to software reviews. In depth reviews of high end products (final cut, lightroom, logic) might be the only place but even then I'm doubtful.

    On the subject of sparrow... I gave it a very brief try and decided I see nothing wrong with Apple Mail so why bother learning something new, but I might give it one more look... One thing I think that might of added to AT's review would be to discuss it's interface relative to what we're seeing in the developer preview of Lion. In that light Sparrow looks ahead of it's time.
  • Griswold - Saturday, April 09, 2011 - link

    "Anandtech is a hardware site, it's true, but what good is that powerful, perfectly-overclocked rig you bought if you don't have anything to run on it?"

    Since when do mac users overclock their rigs? :P
  • Zoomer - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    I'm sure you can overclock on the Gigabyte EP45. The C2Q is getting a little dated, though. Reply
  • jed22281 - Sunday, April 10, 2011 - link

    Tried sparrow, it takes the simplicity thing way too far IMO.
    Postbox can do every thing sparrow does, plus "much" more (just diff UI paradigms).
    And in a UI that's much better than Tbird for Mac users.

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