If you are a Gmail or a G Suite user on Windows, Google doesn’t really care about you. There’s no native email app (many Gmail features don’t work via Microsoft Outlook) and along with its suite of productivity apps, you’d have to live in the browser for anything and everything. For many users like me, that’s not the ideal experience.
Additionally, if you’re like me and have more than one Google account (work + personal, or two parallel work gigs), you’d find yourself signing in and out of different accounts all the time.
But looks like, we have a solution now. Kiwi for Gmail puts Gmail and Google Apps into a desktop app. Granted, it’s a web wrapper but it’s a simple, yet wonderful, idea that retains the user experience that you’re familiar with, and probably enjoy, while giving you some ‘app-like’ advantages.
There’s that icon on the taskbar, and a shortcut bar on the left with a series of universal shortcuts for different Google Apps. Calendar and Contacts open in separate windows – and so does each document, sheet, or slide deck - and you can compose new messages in a separate window.
All the apps running in their own window gives the impression of regular Windows apps, like the Microsoft Office suite would offer… and that’s really the highlight of the app. Yes, Alt+Tab to switch between them works as well!
Also, each account has its own color-coded tab allowing you to quickly switch between different accounts without the need to sign out and sign in. This is quite handy, and clearly one of the best pitches for the product.
Zive, the developer of the software, offers a free version that supports single Gmail account without apps integration, or you can pay $9.99 for a one-year subscription that unlocks all the features. There’s also a free 30-day trial for you to test the waters.
Kiwi for Gmail will not dazzle, but it is a simple productivity hack that people who live in the Google ecosystem will appreciate. At $9.99/year, it’s affordable as well. Give it a whirl, and let us know how you like it.