I have written before about Gmail, a free e-mail service provided by Google. It has a long list of features and has quickly become very popular. You can read my earlier review of Gmail here. Now Gmail has added another feature that should delight many: POP access.
POP does not mean a soft drink. It is an abbreviation for "Post Office Protocol," the most common protocol used by mail servers to exchange mail with desktop mail programs.
In the past, the only method of reading and writing e-mail using Gmail was to open a Web browser and go to http://www.gmail.com. You can still do that but the new POP access feature allows you to also read and write your mail using any standard e-mail program, such as Thunderbird, Eudora, Outlook, Outlook Express, or any of the other standard e-mail programs. A Web browser is no longer required. You can even read e-mail messages using many handheld computers or even some cell phones. I am now automatically checking e-mail messages on Gmail every five minutes from my Sony-Ericsson T610 cell phone.
This new capability now makes Gmail more attractive than ever. It remains as a very powerful e-mail program that filters out most spam mail. It is much better than the other Web-based e-mail programs that I have used, including Yahoo, HotMail and AOL. Best of all, Gmail remains as a free service. What more can you ask for?
For more information, read my earlier review of Gmail at http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2004/06/free_google_ema.html. Then look at the information about the new POP access at http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=10350. You can even find information on how to configure Outlook, Outlook Express, Entourage, Eudora (Windows and Macintosh), Netscape, Apple Mail, Mozilla Mail, Thunderbird and others at http://gmail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=12103.