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New Version of Linux E-Mail App ‘Geary’ Released

 A new development release of new desktop e-mail app Geary has been released.

Geary works with most popular webmail services, including GMail and Yahoo, as well as providing IMAP support.

Its unique selling point (other than being lightweight and easy to use) is the ‘conversation-style’ approach it takes to displaying threaded messages.

Geary saw its first development release last May. Since then the app has gained a bucket full of new features, including:

  • Attachment sending/receiving support
  • Visual and audible notifications on new mail
  • Unity Launcher count
Geary 0.2 adds Unity Features

  • E-mail address autocompletion
  • An ‘Outbox’ for scheduled mail sending
  • Messaging Menu integration
  • A new icon
  • SSL and STARTTLS support

A full list of bug fixes and feature changes can be read online @ redmine.yorba.org/versions/20.

Design Dilemma

As well as stocking up on new and improved features Geary 0.2 also sees a variety of tweaks to its interface, such as ‘text labels’ on buttons and an improved account creation dialog.

There are a couple of new options in the ‘Preferences’ window, too:

But it’s the ‘conversation’ pane that is the most visibly different:
  • Sender avatar now placed on the left
  • Read entries ‘collapsed’
  • Multiple authors are displayed
  • Font tweaks

Development = Not Finished

Despite being a ‘development’ release Geary 0.2 works well. I only experienced one brief ‘hang’ during my use of it.

The Unity Launcher count, Messaging Menu notifications, and notify-OSD bubbles alerts all worked – albeit briefly. I’m not sure if I accidentally invoked a known bug, but without restarting Ubuntu they didn’t come back.

Geary still lacks an easy way to configure, edit, or remove an account once added, as well as a ‘search’ method. None of those are be a deal breaker in a development release, but are worth noting all the same.

Potential

As popular as web-based e-mail services are, a great many people still rely on the ol’ fashioned desktop e-mail client on a day-to-day basis. It’s why Ubuntu ships with Thunderbird by default.

Personally, I find Thunderbird over-kill for my needs, and I imagine many others do too. That’s not to diminish it: Thunderbird is a fine, capable application with a fantastic feature set, ideal for power-users with multiple mail accounts to manage.

But for Joe User who wants to check his email, something light, simply and integrated like Geary would make an ideal fit.

Future features planned for Geary include:

  • Social network ‘mail’ emblems
  • Allow images to be auto-load from specified senders
  • GMail label colours
  • Support GNOME App Menu
  • Ubuntu HUD support

Installing Geary 0.2 in Ubuntu 12.04

As Geary is in development you won’t find it available for installation through the Ubuntu Software Center. But that doesn’t mean getting a-hold of it isn’t easy.

To install Geary in Ubuntu 12.04 open a new Terminal window and enter the following two commands carefully:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install geary
After Geary has installed you can launch it through the Dash. You will be prompted to set-up an account on first run.