Since the GMail hype appeared, I saw many programs that offered to notify me when I had GMail, but none of them was what I wanted. They were either written using .NET framework, thus taking up more system resources than I would like for a simple notification program, or they launched instances of Internet Explorer in an attempt to automate the process. None of these solutions appealed to me, so I wrote my own application. It is written in Visual Studio .NET 2003, using MFC.
How does it work ?
The application uses WinInet to connect to Internet and send HTTP requests. It works through proxies too, since WinInet uses Internet Explorer settings. The application simulates the GMail user logon process to get to the inbox page, which is parsed. The program settings are stored in registry under HKCU\Software\Catalin\MailNotifier key. Passwords are securely stored using CryptoAPI.
Using Mail Notifier
You can add, remove, or edit e-mail accounts for notification. When new mail is received, a balloon-style tooltip appears near the taskbar icon, and the icon changes accordingly. If an account contains the same number of new e-mails between checks, the balloon tooltips appear only twice. After this, only the taskbar icon is changed, so that the user does not become annoyed. When errors are encountered during the mail check, the taskbar icon changes to reflect the error state. Opening the user interface (via the context menu) shows up more details about the state of each account. Double-clicking on an e-mail account starts the default web browser with the GMail page as default.
The application has been tested on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. There is a great chance that it will work under Windows 2000. Since the application is Unicode-compiled, it will work under Windows 9x only if the Microsoft Layer for Unicode is present.
I hope the application will be very useful to some users, now that web-based e-mail services are giving so much e-mail storage for free. A tool like this can make a web-based e-mail service really usable.
- POP3, IMAP, Yahoo! and Hotmail support - really soon (only supports Gmail for now).
- E-mail subject and sender to be displayed when e-mail is received.
- Enhanced GUI.
To get the latest version of the tool, please visit here.