It’s tough being a competitor to Gmail. Google has been the first major company to offer virtually unlimited storage for e-mails, and the simplicity of the service, solid spam filtering and good integration with other Google services has made Gmail a favorite for many.
Zoho Mail has been in private beta stage so far and thus it is definitely not as widespread as Gmail, but it has always been a worthy competitor. It’s a slick, feature-rich client that tries to marry Gmail’s simplicity with the overall look and feel of a full featured desktop email client, such as Outlook. Today, they’ve reached an important milestone - Zoho Mail is coming out of private beta, and it has some new features to show off.
First, through Google Gears, Zoho Mail now supports offline mode. To access, it, you must have Google Gears installed in either IE or Firefox, and click on the “Setup Offline” link on the top. Zoho Mail will recognize your connection status and switch between online and offline mode seamlessly. It may not be a killer feature, but it’s useful, and the fact that Gmail has been dabbling with it for quite a while but the official offline mode is still not out there is in Zoho’s favor.
Another important feature is mobile support - oops, did I say mobile? I meant iPhone, since Zoho Mail currently only works with Apple’s phone, and support for other devices is “in the works.” Just login to zoho.com from your iPhone and you’ll find the mobile version of Zoho Mail right there.
These two features, along with some others, for example support for Gmail-style labels as well as Outlook-style folders, and integrated chat, make Zoho Mail an interesting competitor in the Web mail field and a great addition to the already very solid Zoho Office suite.
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GMail on Your Desktop Yet?