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Having an email client that is built-in to the browser is one of those things that you either love or hate. Both the Opera and SeaMonkey browsers include this functionality out-of-the-box, but if all you’re looking for is basic emailing capabilities you may have to look no further than a Firefox extension. The Simple Mail extension brings POP, IMAP, and SMTP support to Firefox.

What’s nice is that when I went to add my Gmail account to Simple Mail it automatically adjusted the settings to match what I needed to connect to Gmail’s IMAP server. It automatically recognized my email address and did the dirty work for me, which saved me from having to dig around looking for the settings I needed. I couldn’t find a list of services it supports with this feature, but Gmail is definitely one of them.

One of the things that really impressed me right off the bat was the search capabilities. The search box is in the upper-right corner, and it filters the results as you type. I know, this isn’t the first email client to show live search results, but what makes it just a tad bit better is that it also highlights the matching portions of the email as you’re typing.

For some odd reason the IMAP support doesn’t seem to be implemented as I would expect it to be. For example, Simple Mail does not grab the labels from my Gmail account and turn them into folders as most email clients would. Plus when I archived a message in Simple Mail it remained in my Gmail account’s Inbox. So it doesn’t mirror your actions like a normal email client would with an IMAP account, but I guess that is part of the “simplicity.”

Get Simple Mail for Firefox
Thanks Mark for the tip!