ATOM Feed Of Your GMail Inbox?

Checking my GMail account this morning, I noticed an unusual icon in the lower-right corner of the browser window:

GMail ATOM feed icon in Firefox

It turns out that Google‘s GMail service seems to be testing an ATOM feed – a kind of syndication feed (similar to those used by weblogs and news sites – see Scatmania’s ATOM feed) that can be ‘subscribed’ to from your desktop computer.

Right now, the GMail feed looks pretty bare:

ATOM feed from GMail

Nonetheless, this is an interesting turn of events – didn’t Google recently say that no other automated mail checking tools were to be used except for their own GMail Notifier (sorry, can’t find a news story to link)? But now it looks like they’re working on developing a format by which anybody can ‘subscribe’ to their own inbox (although probably only using a web browser – the non-browser-based XML readers seem to have difficulty with cookies, which are likely to be required.

It’s all interesting.

1 reply to ATOM Feed Of Your GMail Inbox?

  1. “didn’t Google recently say that no other automated mail checking tools were to be used except for their own GMail Notifier”

    Yeah, they did say that, but only because the API wasn’t stable at the time; lots of the early GMail checkers were glorified screen-scrapers, bandwidth heavy and suchlike.

    I think that soon GMail will be open to IMAP access too (and hence about a million little “check my IMAP” applications. They opened up POP access a little while ago (which works nicely, automatically leaves messages on the server, and if you send using their SMTP server, it automatically copies emails you send using your POP client into your ‘sent items’ on the web interface), and they’ve hinted strongly at IMAP. From the POP help page:

    “Gmail doesn’t currently support IMAP access. As part of our ongoing commitment to give our users easy access to their email, we have introduced POP access. We look forward to announcing more features as they become available.”

    –Jon

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