A new web email client (with the unfortunate name of goowy) has just hit public beta. Regular readers of jonathanboutelle.com will know that this kind of thing is right up my alley. The movement of desktop applications to the web is one of the big trends in rich internet applications right now, and email clients are leading the way (think gmail, earthlink, and oddpost).
So how does goowy stack up? It’s positioned as a “fun” email client (tagline: “email doesn’t have to be boring”). It was developed in flash and is very “flashy”, in both good and bad ways. Aesthetics are important, but a tool that is being used on a daily basis has to be blazing fast and easy to use as well as pretty.
For me, the latency at startup was the big strike against the application. I don’t have time to wait when I’m checking mail, and this seems noticeably slower than oddpost / earthlink / gmail. Even once the initial app has downloaded, simple actions seem to take longer than they might take in a good html interface. This may be causes by Flash components being slow: the Flash dropdown, in particular, is noticeably slower than an html dropdown.
The ability to “skin” your client by choosing different backgrounds will probably be a big hit: people love to customize, and no web-based email client I’ve seen gives users this rich level of customization. Good idea!
It will be interesting to see how this software improves with time: in my opinion, it’s not quite there yet, but it has some potential.
For more information on goowy,see here and here