Kiwi for Gmail finally makes email manageable on the Mac [Review]

By

Kiwi for Gmail on macOS. If you use Gmail, you should be using Kiwi on your Mac (or Windows PC).
If you use Gmail, you should be using Kiwi on your Mac (or Windows PC).
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Did you know that Gmail has more than 1.5 billion users? For a large portion of those users, email is something they must deal with on a regular basis — whether for work-related matters, personal communication or staying updated on the latest deals at their favorite retailers. Staying on top of your email can be a major pain, and even with all the smarts that Gmail offers, once you fall behind, it’s daunting to catch up.

Kiwi helps add a layer of convenience and intelligence to managing your Gmail and G Suite accounts on your Mac or Windows PC, all while offering the familiarity and comfort of Google’s mail platform.

The Gmail you know and love

Most third-party email apps feature custom interfaces, weird labeling tricks, and server-side scraping to offer a “better” email experience. Kiwi for Gmail is different. Built as a way to pull Gmail out of the browser, the majority of the interface is the web-based, gmail-dot-com email experience you’re familiar with, adding in a few over-the-top features to make it more useful and you more productive.

Using Kiwi for Gmail allows you to manage multiple gmail accounts in a single application, receive notifications when email is received (in real-time, no less), and take advantage of Gmail’s deep AI and machine learning systems. It also retains the powerful (and incredibly useful) keyboard shortcuts that make working through email faster and more productive.

Kiwi for Gmail 2.0
Kiwi is like Gmail on the web, built into a stand-alone app.
Screenshot: Kiwi for Gmail

Kiwi for Gmail isn’t just Google’s web email client in a window, though. It’s also features quick access to other G Suite and Google app features. With their quick access side panel, you can instantly view your calendar or contacts list, browse your Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, or create new messages, events, or documents with a single click.

Using Google’s robust set of APIs, Kiwi for Gmail allows you to work within Google’s ecosystem of productivity apps without launching Safari or Chrome. Thanks to its support for multiple accounts, Kiwi makes it easy to bounce between personal and work accounts for calendars, files, documents, and more, giving you a centralized hub for your work.

Manage your email better

If all of that wasn’t enough, Kiwi for Gmail recently added a layer of power-user features in a way that everyone can take advantage of. Their new “Focus Filtered Inbox” tool allows you to remove email distraction while working on only the most important messages.

Kiwi for Gmail Focus Filtered Inbox
The Focus Filtered Inbox allows you to see only the most recent or most important messages
Screenshot: Kiwi for Gmail

Built on Google’s expansive filtering options, the new tools can quickly add complex filters in a single click. This means you can quickly limit your email view to messages received in the past day (or 2, 3, 4, or 7 days), show messages with attachments, or even limit it to display only unread messages. You can also filter using Google’s AI-powered “Important” label, or your own assigned “Star” tagging. Using the Focus Filtered Inbox, you can deal with the most important, relevant, or highest priority messages, allowing you to stay on top of what matters most.

Thanks to the Focus Filtered Inbox, you can finally take advantage of the innovative features Google has introduced. Using Kiwi to leverage them makes it accessible and understandable. While Google is slow to roll out new features, or and often unwilling their hand when it comes their purpose behind some features, Kiwi is pushing Gmail forward in logical, functional ways.

The best version of Gmail is still on the desktop

While all of this is incredibly useful for managing your gmail account, it isn’t without some minor frustrations. The first frustration is that Kiwi only works for Google and G Suite accounts. My current email setup consists of Google accounts, but if you’re on another service, Kiwi may not work for you.

I’ve personally been using Kiwi on and off since they launched back in 2015. I prefer it for the simplicity and familiarity of Gmail, but I also crave advanced third-party features. Using Kiwi on the Mac (or on Windows) is the best of everything Gmail has to offer, plus some. Unfortunately, Kiwi is only on the desktop, and if you’re like me, email is happening more and more on mobile.

After chatting with Kiwi’s CEO Eric Shashoua, it seems their focus will remain on the desktop for the time being. In our conversation, we discussed working on iOS, and by all accounts, our views differed. For the past few years, I’ve done the majority of email, and an increasing amount of other tasks, on iOS. Eric was less convinced that real work – even something as simple as email – could be done effectively on mobile. His comments offered only a vague confirmation that we’d see Kiwi on mobile devices at some point. When I asked about his mobile email app, he pointed me towards Google’s own Gmail app.

Now I can get a stellar Gmail experience on the desktop, but a crummy Gmail app on iOS. I truly love using Kiwi on my Mac. It offers great features and makes dealing with email far less frustrating when I’m using my Mac. But without an iOS counterpart, a part of me still feels empty – searching for a better solution.

Kiwi is available for macOS and Windows, and is currently 100% off (FREE!!!). If you’re all-in on Google for your email, this is the best way to experience Gmail on the desktop.