"An intuitive Gmail alert."
Spiffy is a lightweight notification application that works with Gmail. It sits in the notifications area in the taskbar and pops up every time you receive new mail. It has quite a few features, and some shortcomings. Let’s take a look at them in this review.
Installation is quick and simple. There aren’t any complicated options to set, and the process is a breeze. No adware or toolbars are bundled. Spiffy works with any Windows OS newer than and including Windows XP. You may need to download and install the .Net Framework in case you don’t already have it to get Spiffy to run correctly.
Spiffy more or less has no windows as part of the interface, and comprises entirely of the tray icon that you’ll see once you run the program. There is a log window, but this isn’t of too much importance and you’ll probably never have to use it for anything. It’s just useful when something goes wrong, or if you want to look at older notifications. The tray icon’s options are simple, and neatly arranged. Almost everything is accessible in a click or two. The interface is absolutely minimalist; perfect for an application that’s going to be continuously running in the background. No complaints here.
Spiffy works exactly as advertised. It is a simple notifications application that is easy to set up, and is light on resources. Set up consists of just entering your Gmail username and password into Spiffy. There are plenty of options that allow you to control exactly how you are notified of new mails, and how often Spiffy checks for them. The appearance of the notifications windows is completely customizable. Other little configuration tweaks are built in as well. For instance, Spiffy can be configured such that the tray icon changes when you have new mail. Spiffy also supports the use of Proxy servers. Up to five Gmail accounts can be configured, with different frequencies of checking each of the respective inboxes. New mail notifications can also be restricted to mails bearing a particular label. There’s also a “Tell me Again” feature that gives you a quick overview of all the unread mails from all your accounts.
Spiffy has some performance issues that need to be ironed out, especially when the password entered for an account is incorrect or there are connectivity issues. In both these cases, Spiffy crashed bringing up an error message. Another complaint is that the notification windows themselves are static. You can’t do anything except hide them. There isn’t even an option to open a browser window with the respective message already opened; instead you’re just taken to your inbox.
A great alternative is Google Mail Checker Plus, which is a Google Chrome extension. However you’ll need to have Google Chrome open for it to work. A popular desktop alternative is Google’s own Gmail Notifier application.
Spiffy is one of the best Gmail notifiers available. Its customizability is one of it's main strengths, but it lacks some important features, that will hopefully be added with future versions. All in all, an application that is certainly worth trying out.