I REALLY hate ads on web-based gmail client, but I suppose they are a necessary evil.
The an ads-removing feature send the wrong message.
I may buy (or donate for) a gmail-client-enhancer.
I may buy (or donate for) an ad-remover plugin (well, I already use ABP and ghostery, and donated for the former)
But I wouldn't give money for a gmail-specific ad-remover, that doesn't feel right (even if I am using ABP, maybe the 'specific' part?)
I may be wrong, but distributing it at two separate plug-ins may be better.
Removing the "ad-removing" part would be the easiest way, because interested people almost all already have ad-blocker.
Even if you chose to let it in, not making it a major marketing point would be smarter. just let it there as an option (activated by default or not, I don't know).
PS: Attachment icons would be real nice, though, I love that feature.
PS2: Yes, I know, using ABP and not wanting to pay for that app because of this feature sounds like hypocrisy, in fact it is, but that's how I thought about it (I have build-in hypocrisy), and I may not be the only one.
I don't disagree with those of you who were a bit surprised to find this application blocks all ads indiscriminately. I also find Google's ads to be the least intrusive on the block. One need only login to Yahoo! Mail to realize how unobtrusive Google's ads are.
A major issue would be the migration of your data from your private Google account to a Google Apps account. There is no direct migration path, you basically have to download all your data and upload it again. If you have a high number of mails, it might take weeks since download/upload are rate-limited.
Interested parties will probably already be using free software to remove ads across the web, but you have a problem with this free software that removes ads only in gmail and provides a ton of other neat features? Adblock asks for donations too -- https://adblockplus.org/en/contribute.
But why hidding /removing the ads in gmail feel wrong? Because they are not too visible. The only bad/intrusive part of gmail ads is the mail parsing to select which ad will be shown. I have no proof, but I strongly suspect this will be done even if I hide them, so nothing to win there.
In regards to what we are giving in exchange for the free service, there's all sorts of tracking activity, contact and content mining, and general Google account-related user information that we share with Google in order to feed Google's database.
Google aims to feed its database to improve its products and make its products more attractive to partners. Ads in Gmail are only part of the story of how Google gets rich from your stream of personal data. A few ads shown on the Gmail interface is not how Google is making its billions.
IIRC, there is an option in gmelius to opt for a GMail style of MS-style icon for attachments.
-Make your headline a different color other than white, because it's very hard to see with that background image.
-It took me scrolling "below the fold" to find out what it is this product does. I'd change your headline to something more concrete, like "Gmail, the way you want it" while also finding a way to move up some of the product-specific content higher up on the page.
-You also have way too much text and the two paragraphs that start with "Gmelius, pronounced 'Gmail'-'jus'..." seem unnecessarily long and distract me from finding out more about your project. I actually read that and just skipped past that whole block of text and later realized I had also overlooked your donation box.
-There's also too much text explaining the features, making those screenshots look tiny in comparison. I think you could just get rid of the descriptive text and keep the feature titles, like "Restore the old compose window" and "Experience Gmail without ads" without losing any of the message.
-Minor point: That red download box should explicitly tell me it's not supported for Safari, if you're detecting my browser. Right now it says "Free Download for Safari" in bold text with "Browser not supported" in a lighter typeface underneath. Like I said, minor, but I found it a bit confusing.
Hope that helps!
Out of curiosity, which native app do you use for Gmail?
I am asking because I have not found a satisfying native app for Gmail so far. Standard IMAP clients like Apple Mail and Thunderbird are usually in a constant struggle to update all the folders (labels) and new mail outside the inbox might show up with major delays in comparison to Gmail on the web (or in a browser-like client).
I was recently "kindly" asked by Google(had 48 hours to comply) to remove Adsense from a innocuous post on my blog because said post was just a couple lines explaining how I used some online service to download a video from Youtube (which, apparently, hurts their TOS and feelings)
If I'm Florian Bersier, the creator, and I believe that it's ultimately the users choice to manipulate the the UI--up to and including removing ads--then I can still use those same ads on my site without contradiction as long as I also believe that users have the right to remove those ads as well.
The contradiction, as I see it, would come if he made somehow it impossible for users to remove ads on his site while presenting a product that removes those same ads.
I don't know why people do this... Google provides Gmail and other services free of charge because of Adsense, don't ruin that by facilitating the removal of their ads...
Here's a great trade off, don't want to see ads in your email? Don't use Gmail.
This is why we can't have nice things.
Out of curiosity, where do you draw the line? Am I also required to read each ad? Purchase something from x% of advertisers?
I've been a Gmail user since it was in very early beta and I don't think I have ever read a single ad on the site. They're there - I apparently immorally trained myself to ignore them though.
Now, you don't seem to take into account the fact that this overflow of ads we have to face (more and more) on a daily basis actually encourages people to become active or passive ad-avoiders, decreasing then the income generated by ads. I clearly think this kind of business model is not viable over the long-run...
These people are leeches. I see removing ads on a site the same way I see pirating movies... Don't want to pay for the cost of a movie ticket because they're so outrageous? Then wait for the movie to come out on DVD, get cheaper, and possibly hit the TV and watch it then... But don't go out and pirate the movie because you feel entitled to watching it free of charge.
Same thing with Gmail, or any service that is ad supported. You are not entitled to using that service free of charge... You are entitled to using it by enduring the advertisements. Removing them is costing the provider money without even recouping a bit of it.
You come to my site, watch a video or view a gallery of pictures or read a bunch of text, whatever... Still costs me money, If I make a penny off you, it's better than nothing... If I make a penny off every user who visits my site, and 100 people come, that's a dollar a day, $30 a month... Paying the bare minimum at least the cost of the VPS I run to give you that content... Completely remove my ads and guess what... I am now paying $30/mo and it's no longer feasible for me to entertain or offer you something without charging you for it... Guess what? Service gets shut down, and then you spend your time griping about how all the good free services end up shutting down and that you wish you could have donated or even paid a small monthly fee to keep it alive... But in reality, all you had to do was endure a simple Adsense block that wasn't even intrusive, but you felt entitled to view the content or use the service while blocking it... And now your service is gone.
The one way to ensure that anyone who uses your site will provide you with revenue is to make them pay for it. There's nothing inherently wrong with that: it has its pros and cons, like every other business model.
What I'm trying to get across to you is the idea that the morality of ads and ads blocking isn't as simple and clear-cut as you obviously like to think. Calling people who use ad blockers leeches won't solve whatever concrete problem made you post such a bitter comment.
Here's a question for you: is it okay for me to go to your site and then, after the content is rendered, use Evernote Clearly (or some other readability tool) to re-render that content without any ads?
If not, why? Is it because Clearly is another program and you drew an arbitrary line at using software instead of, say, covering parts of screen with paper?
On the other hand, if you answered "yes" to the question about using a readability tool, then would it be "okay" if I used some tool that behaves just as if the ads were being rendered, but it doesn't render them? I'm guessing "no", because that starts to sound unethical. So how about a separate extension that auto-activates a readability tool after the page is rendered?
In other words, where do you draw the line? Or better yet, can you draw the line as clearly as you thought and enjoy your moral high ground? Or should you try to be more flexible and realize that you can't really have it all and there are always trade-offs in every approach you might take?
Maybe it just boils down to a realization that "all complex ecosystems have parasites"  and it's not necessarily a bad thing.
"Add-on" is the keyword here. Instead of disrupting your workflow by offering a distinct native app developed from scratch, this simply enhances an already great experience. I consider Gmail's UI very efficient and actually quite close to perfection (speed, reliability, labels, filters, multiple inboxes, keyboard shortcuts...). Gmelius just corrects the small annoyances that remain or have appeared lately.
This reminds me of a sentence in Dropbox's YC application: "With Dropbox, you hit "Save", as you normally would, and everything just works." The worflow isn't altered. It's just better.
Of course, Gmelius is just and add-on, with no clear business model. But maybe that's all we need after all.
Then, we can find some kind of standard protocol between the client and the server so you can use your client with any email provider. We could call it... IMAP!
I was trying to express my belief that neither @bbx nor @eloisant were wrong: a browser extension implementing a generic e-mail client that talks to servers using IMAP might be a really good solution. I would certainly like to try using something like that.
Reference: RFC firstname.lastname@example.org
seriously. it does a better job than an old nx mbox, or other technology. i'm not trying to say it's not better, it's just amazing how impatient we've gotten in the last decade, and how much we've bought into "googlethink"
We built MetisMe around this philosophy of making it very easy to search and share attachments inside Email. www.metisme.com .
The next thing that we're targeting upon is can we give more context to the content which is already there inside Email.
I think I emailed him at some point if it would be possible for him to offer this for Yahoo! Mail as well. Since then, Yahoo have modified their own UX for the better, but the request to extend this to Yahoo mail still stands from my end (pretty please, Florian) :-)
tl;dr Yes, it could read all your email. I doubt it does though.
Additionally you could just not update the addon ever if you're OK with it right now.
Anyway, it is already looking much cleaner and nicer, and I hope it saves some time and makes my emailing experience more efficient. I'll try it out for a week or two, and you will hopefully get a small donation from me :)
Your service proves it isn't difficult not to deny users decent Ux options.
Getting rid of IM is also very nice, I am not really sure what the removing G+ stuff does but I know I don't want any G+ stuff interfering with my email client, so I clicked that too.
I do agree with those that say the removing ad thing is not good. It seems fair to me to be stuck with the ads if you use a service that is offered as ad supported.
I tried paying Google but the process of using their $50 a year option is horrible. It isn't just pay $50 and ads disappear, it is pay $50 for our separate app with lots of issues that makes things annoying, breaks, has all sorts of problems when you want to reverse out. Thankfully I just tested it on a brand new account for 2 years and could just let the whole mess die an ugly death. Don't consider it without reading all the horror stories people have had moving their primary email and then trying to get out of the mess created.
I can see Google making the plugin not work or making it really difficult for people if they see too much use since ads are removed - though using gmail with desktop clients doesn't show ads as I understand it so maybe Google will let it go.
edit: two years
This seems to go further (and allow icons to be customised, which I'd like) - look forward to trying it!
If you weren't already. For me Gmail became a slippery slope of "I don't like that either" incidents.
When I decided to leave it had become an easy decision to make, and once I left it honestly made me feel glad.
At home I stick to Thunderbird, which leaves a decent local copy with ability to connect to CardDAV and CalDAV which I handle via Baikal.
Hopefully Fastmail will live up to their promises about providing CardDAV and CalDAV themselves, as that would leave me one less thing to worry about.
One annoyance I have with the page itself though: The top three links are pretty pointless.
Download does nothing unless you scroll down but then that hides the header.
About scrolls down a tiny bit and features just a bit more. The features is probably the most useful of them all but even then it's cutting it short. Why not make the header fixed and actually give some point to those links? :)
Now that it supports the old compose interface too, for me, it's incredibly useful.
... it's not entirely clear in the UI whether checking a box there ENABLES or DISABLES the feature, because normally
means "enable this feature", not "disable this feature"
-- sold!!! ... and a bunch of other ones I like too :)
Thanks for the awesome work!
EDIT: It was the Old Compose feature, which admittedly is in beta. Still, I'm not a fan of losing the group chats I have open.
I'm a trusting person, so I believe them. But privacy is a big issue these days. Not sure a one-liner is enough to assuage doubts.
I went through your list of features, but didn't find anything I'd really be interested in. Not for me.
But then again, that's just me.