One of the joys of using either Firefox or Flock is that both of them allow you to extend the functionality of the browser. What that means is that if you need for your browser to do some specific thing that it doesn’t already do, you, or in my case somebody else, can write a mini-application called an “extension” that provides the ability to do what you want it to. By using extensions, users can choose to install only those additional features to their browser that they actually need and want to use.
With the beta release of Flock (version 0.7) on June 13th and the redesign of Flock’s web site, an extensive list of extensions that have been written by the Open Source community is now available, some of which are quite useful. I should point out that many, if not all, of these extensions were written originally for Firefox and have been adapted to work with Flock, however, that doesn’t make them any less useful.
The one I am particularly interested in discussing this morning is one called Gmail Manager.
Many of us have more than one Gmail account. For instance, I have one account for my primary email address, one for use in connection with communications with this blog, one “disposable” one for registrations, and one other, just in case I need a backup. Gmail Manager permits me to monitor all of those accounts and notifies me, right here in Flock, when new mail arrives. If I want, I can easily click on one of the accounts in the drop down list and log into it to reply to or initiate a new message.
Here is the author’s web site that explains what his extension does. If you are using Flock and want to install this extension however, you do so from this link, because this is the link that contains the version that has been adapted to work with Flock.
I took this screenshot this morning of my set up and of the preferences dialog for Gmail Manager. If you want to see it in a larger size, just click on the screenshot and it will open it in my Flickr account where, if you click the “all sizes” button, you can see a larger version.
As you can see (red arrow on the right), the extension automatically logs me into all my Gmail accounts. Then it checks to see if I have messages and displays the number of them alongside each account (red arrow and bar on the left). You’ll also notice that on the toolbar at the top of the browser window, there is what looks like a big, red M icon for Gmail Manager. (Flock permits you to customize your toolbar so that access to extensions like Gmail Manager is more convenient.)
Though I just installed Gmail Manager yesterday and am still evaluating its usefulness, my first impression is that it will make keeping up with my various Gmail accounts much easier.
Blogged with Flock