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Desktop Gmail App WMail Scores a Sizeable Update

Among the changes introduced is an unread count badge for the Unity launcher

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wmail-linux-desktop-app

There’s a new stable release of WMail, the app that describes itself as “the missing desktop client for Gmail”.

“WMail was created to make your webmail feel right at home on your laptop or computer […] adding all those extra bits that you miss when using them in a web browser”, the official WMail website explains.

We wrote about the app back in July and the response it received was pretty terrific.

WMail Integrates Gmail with the Desktop

WMail is a web-wrapper around the exact same version of Gmail that you can open in your web browser.

What WMail does that a regular browser tab can’t is integrate Gmail into the desktop as though it were a regular desktop e-mail client and not a website loaded on a remote server.

You get native desktop notifications on new mail, a system tray applet displaying an unread count (which can be clicked to quickly read the subjects of your most recent mails), and a whole heap more.

You also get a great deal of control over each account that you add to it, including whether or not you see notifications and alerts. You can even apply your own custom CSS or Javascript to each individual account if you wish!

While similar apps exist — both Franz and Rambox support Gmail — few integrates the webmail service into the desktop experience as tightly as WMail does.

New Features in WMail 2.0

In WMail 2.0.0 all of the core internals have been updated, so that the app is running atop Chromium 53, Electron 1.4.4 and React 15.3.2.

Even better, the app now takes up less room than before, and uses less system resources when running.

“Code has been restructured into 3 main packages. The primary package, main app and mailboxes window. Because of this I’ve been able to remove a lot of dead code that was shipping in the production build. This has reduced file size and decreased build time,” developer Thomas Beverley writes in the release notes.

The overall installed file size has been reduced by 17%, and there’s been a 95% reduction in files (9878 to 415).

My favourite new feature in Wmail 2.0 is the tray icon designer. How many times have you installed an app that adds a garishly coloured icon to your system tray or a subtle one…that doesn’t match your GTK theme?

WMail lets you customise the colours of its indicator applet icon, including the main border colour (black by default), the background colour (transparent by default), and the unread colour (red by default).

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WMail can now show an unread count on the Unity launcher. The badge can be configured to display the count of your entire inbox, your priority mails, or those in your primary category (if you use gmail categories).

If you find the unread badge to be a distraction you can easily turn it off in Preferences > Accounts > Unread & Notifications. The same section also offers a toggle for desktop notifications, should you not like those either!

Key changes/features in WMail 2.0.0:

  • Tray icon designer in the settings screen
  • Unread count for Unity desktop launcher
  • Changed Tray menu to have submenus for each mailbox
  • Offline splash screen
  • Responsive settings screen
  • Removed excess top space from side-menu on linux, windows and when the toolbar is enabled
  • Restart option
  • Link preview of hovered link text
  • Built-in update check
  • Primary Inbox support for GMail
  • Option to remove custom account avatar
  • Downloads download to a temp folder before completion

These features are in addition to the existing ones, which include:

  • Desktop Notifications
  • Notification sounds
  • Unread Count
  • Tray Icon
  • HiDPI support
  • Multiple Accounts
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Spell checking

Download WMail for Linux

You can find out more about WMail on its official website, linked to below. There is where you’ll find the latest stable (and pre-release) builds are available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Visit the Wmail Website

Of note, an Ubuntu installer is now provided, something that wasn’t the last time we wrote about it:

Download WMail 2.0 for Ubuntu (64-bit) Download WMail 2.0 for Ubuntu (32-bit)