It's been a little while since I last wrote about my 30 day Webmail challenge and several people have emailed to ask about the next installment. Wait no longer!
Here's a summary of my status so far using the new Yahoo! Mail Beta for my work email and Google's Gmail for my personal mail. I'll conclude with some themes that are common to both.
I've reported several new bugs to the Y! Mail team since I last wrote about the product. There's a new one I need to report that involves intermittent drag-and-drop problems. It's hard to describe what's required to reproduce it, so it's probably going to be one of those "come by and I'll show you" bug reports.
I recently discovered a feature that blew me away by really demonstrating the team's attention to detail. When you run a search, the results pop up in a separate tab. You can then re-sort the results based on any field you like (subject, date, folder (the search covers all folders)). I noticed that one message in the results was in my "inbox" rather than in my "yahoo" folder. Not thinking about the fact that I was in the "search results" tab, I decided to drag it to the right folder.
It took me a second or two to realize that IT WORKED. I was then suitably impressed.
Gmail still produces more errors than I'd like, but the frequency has decreased since I last complained about it. I'm still frustrated by the inability to sort search results. Other than those problems, it's going pretty well. I'm reasonably happy with Gmail.
Using webmail exclusively means that when I'm on a plane with my latptop (as I was last weekend), I cannot catch up on reading, organizing, or writing email. But that turns out to be a blessing in disguise. I now have time to catch up on the many magazines and books that have piled up at home.
A downside to web based email is the lack of integration with an address directory. At Yahoo we have an internal LDAP server that makes name/address auto-completion work great in Outlook, Thunderbird, Mail.app, etc. I miss having that. It adds a tiny barrier to emailing someone I don't communicate with frequently.
The keyboard shortcuts are different for Gmail and Y! Mail. This is annoying. It reminds me of the Windows 3.xx days when every app had it's own shortcuts (for the most part) and there was very little standardization. I wonder what it's gonna take to get CUA standards (or whatever) for rich Web applications.
Posted by jzawodn at October 19, 2005 02:58 PM