Google has just added a new feature to Gmail.. and it’s one I’m sure you’ll like! The new Mail Fetcher will allow you to “fetch” mail from other non-Gmail accounts! Yes… non-Gmail accounts.  It seems like everybody has multiple email accounts these days; one for work, school, home, etc. This is a great solution for those who don’t use a program such as Outlook, but need to check multiple accounts daily. You’ll be able to add up to five different accounts.  As always, Gmail doesn’t just implement the feature for everyone right away, rather they implement it over a period of time.  I have yet to see this feature in my account (check yours, you may have it already!), but here’s how it works:

Simply click on Settings (found at the top of the Gmail page), and click on Accounts. If you already have this feature, it will have an option that says get mail from other accounts.  Then you’ll click to Add another mail account.  It will guide you through the process of adding other accounts. Because Gmail offers an insane amount of storage for a free service, you can bet this will surely attract lots of people.  Gmail has other attractive features that have made it the preference over other free services such as Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, like the labeling and archiving system. With the new service, you have the option of automatically labeling all of the messages that you receive from a non-Gmail account.

If you’re considering having Gmail fetch mail from other Gmail accounts, you’re better off fowarding them instead.  Gmail offers forwarding of other Gmail accounts for free by going to Settings and clicking on “Forward.”  This way, you’ll still have your five non-gmail accounts available to use for fetching.

Gmail says that it checks the other accounts on a regular basis which makes me wonder how often it will actually check.  I’d imagine it would be every hour, but I’d love to see Gmail add a “fetch mail now” feature so that you could have it check whenever you want.  It would also be nice to be able to set the time interval that you’d like it to check it such as 5 minutes of 10 minutes. I think this could possibly be the one thing that would keep people from switching over from something such as Outlook which gives you the option to set the time interval, or to  “check mail now.”