A few weeks ago, I posted about a new App coming to Apple Macs. KiwiforGmail from the guys over at Zive, promised to bring Gmail to desktops in a revolutionary new way. In this Kiwi for Gmail Review, I’ll show you how they delivered on their promises and gave so much more.
At S. Ihme we use Google Apps for Work and so I spent a lot of my time sitting in my web browser. Generally, there are three tabs open; gmail, google calendar, and google drive. For a while, I’ve been on the look out for an App that would bring Gmail to my desktop in the same way that Outlook has done, for more than a decade.
When I received my copy of KiwiforGmail, my anticipation and expectation was very high. The promises of this App were something I have wanted for a while. On first load, the splash screen reiterates all the previous promises I had seen, and delivered in beautiful fluid movements.
Setting up for accounts is as easy as logging into Google – literally – that’s all you do. Once you’ve logged in, you are presented with the same gmail inbox that loads in your browser, theme included. As a Google Apps for Work user, even our custom logo and design was shown perfectly.
You can access all the Gmail settings from within the App and customise everything as you would in the browser. The App preferences are short and sweet. Four tabs combine all the adjustments you can make; General, Accounts, Notifications, and Shortcuts.
Email and Google Drive
Working with email is a pleasure, and combines all the great elements of Gmail on my desktop. Acting as a default mail client, anywhere I click email links, brings up the new message window within the app. Attachments, Google Drive, and Canned Responses, it’s all there within the new message window.
Speaking of Google Drive. The other big claim of KiwiforGmail is the fluid integration of Drive. Again, they have delivered in exceptional ways. You can open Drive in the same way you normally would. However, with Kiwi this brings up a new window with full access to your Drive and all the features you have within the browser. It’s the fluidity of navigating between Email, Calendar, and Drive that really brings Kiwi into its element. There’s no need to keep switching between tabs or windows your browser. Everything is easily presented and integrated into the app.
Plugins were a major surprise when it came to working in Kiwi. Any serious Gmail user is making use of one or more plugins and Kiwi have been very clear to state that plugins are not currently supported but are on the way. So, when I opened an incoming email and saw some of my contextual plugins were already working fully – I was stunned. It has been a long time since an App managed to seriously surprise me with understated features. Not all plugins are supported, and there is no clear reasoning as to why some work and not others. However, the fact that some already work ahead of Zives’ planned inclusion just shows you what an exceptional product KiwiforGmail is.
Moving between accounts and their contacts, drive, and calendar is impressively quick and simple. You can be reorganising your drive in account ‘A’ and seconds later you can be opening a document in account ‘B’. Something that’s not even sure is possible on the Web Browser version of Google apps, not at this speed anyway.
Kiwi for Gmail is part of a new wave of Apps that combine exceptional quality, with beautiful design. It took me a day or two or get out of the habit of using my browser for everything. However, once that change came, Kiwi for Gmail has easily become my go-to-place for communication. Speeding up management and use of both email, calendar, and drive, it has easily become an essential part of my business work. It’s spreading throughout our organisation, and has become the primary app that we recommend to entrepreneurs and small business.