Gmail IMAP – Part 2

I’ve been using IMAP on Gmail for the past few days, then. But I’ve found that WLM is a bit "strange" with it: –

  1. Memory usage is now about 90mb whenever it’s running – I imagine that because of the number of emails that there are?
  2. It’s fairly slow to mark an email as read – maybe 1 second sometimes. Imagine that I come home and have 30 emails to read?
  3. Lastly – because the same email appears in both Inbox and All Mail, I get the same email twice in my Unread Mail smart folder. Any way around this?

I’m still using POP access as well because I’m not entirely sure whether this is the way to go, and I want to easily switch back to POP if I decide to.

Using IMAP for Gmail

I’m toying with the idea of using IMAP full-time for accessing my Gmail. There are a few reasons for this, the main one being that it’s a live view of my Gmail so when I read something locally, it automatically marks it as read in Gmail, too.

However, I’ve got a few questions/ concerns about this: –

  1. Security of my data. I remember reading horror stories of web mail companies in the past losing/wiping someone’s account accidentally; the response from them was "well, it’s a free account, you should back your mail up locally anyway – don’t rely on us". So, currently I download my Gmail using POP and have my mail folder backed up weekly onto a backup hard disk. Can I rely on Gmail to safely stored my data in the "cloud"? If not – should I still use POP access to get my mail locally for the purposes of backup?
  2. What about searching through emails client-side? I like being able to search through all my emails locally across accounts in Windows Live Mail. If I’m using IMAP, that’s just a view of what’s in the Inbox (rather than the entire mailbox – including archived mail) of Gmail. How do I search all of that locally? Do I download the "All Mail" folder instead? [I just tried it and WLM died; it’s currently now stuck in the task manager at 50% CPU i.e. one core doing "stuff"; it refuses to load a new instance whilst that one is working]. Will I be able to search against an IMAP folder – doesn’t it just download the headers and then the bodies "on demand"?
  3. As per (2) but with Vista Instant Search – does it still work?
  4. What about duplication of items when searching i.e. I would presumably need to download the entire contents of the [All Mail] folder to search all my mail locally. However, that folder contains everything including all the items in Inbox plus any other folders (labels in Gmail-speak) that I have. So when I search, would I see the items twice?

Comments/ advice gratefully received…

Gmail IMAP support, Thunderbird vs Outlook.

Gmail have started offering IMAP as well as POP support – great news, I thought (although it only shows up if you set your language as US). However, I tried it out – dead, dead slow. Much too slow to consider moving over from POP access. Plus, it has a few other limitations and / or oddities, the main one being that I like to merge all my email accounts into a single Inbox which allows me to search within Thunderbird for all my mail. Using IMAP means I have to keep my Gmail separate from my other mail accounts which I download into Thunderbird. I can’t do a single search against all mail, or filters etc. Searching is also very slow – I guess it does it against the server rather than against the local cache?

I’ve been considering moving over to Outlook for a while now instead of Thunderbird for a couple of reasons such as integrated searching in Vista (there’s no plug-in for Thunderbird) plus calendaring, although Vista comes with a Calendar anyway, and I use Google Calendar for my calendaring. If there was a way to write entries into my Google Calendar from Outlook, that’d be great. For the moment I guess I’ll be sticking with Thunderbird.