MailTab and MenuTab: The Quick and Easy Way to check your Gmail and Facebook accounts

MailTab Pro ($1.99 in the Mac App Store) is a menubar app that gives users a very convenient method to quickly read, reply and craft new emails without having to open up a dedicated email app or web browser.

Like MailTab Pro, MenuTab Pro ($1.99 in the Mac App Store) is a menubar app that gives users quick and convenient access to Facebook without having to open a web browser.

Who are these Apps For?

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering why these apps are even necessary. After all, many folks already use the web browser, or use a dedicated email app, to manage their G-mail InBox. And it’s not too much of a stretch to say that a lot of these same folks have an active web browser with Facebook’s page already loaded.

Emails and Facebook notifications tend to be very disruptive when you’re working. MailTab and MenuTab make sense for users who want a simple, unobtrusive method to quickly check their incoming notifications without the need to interrupt their workflow to check their e-mail / Facebook.

How Good Are They?

Both MenuTab and MailTab apps live in the menubar. When new incoming Gmail or Facebook notifications are detected, the appropriate apps’ corresponding menubar icon changes its color to red. At a glance, you can quickly check your email or Facebook feed. The Pro versions let you toggle between two views: Mobile and Desktop. Icons located at the bottom of the app let you quickly toggle between both views.

Here’s MenuTab’s mobile view:

MenuTab screenshot (mobile view)

Here’s MenuTab’s desktop view:

MenuTab screenshot (main view)

MailTab’s mobile view presents an uncluttered view of your inBox. (I tend to keep a clean inBox.)

MailTab screenshot (mobile view)

MailTab’s desktop view displays the full desktop browser view of Gmail.

MailTab screenshot (desktop view)

Both apps, made by FipLab are also available for free (with ads). The Pro versions remove the ads and give users the ability to use the chat features supported by both platforms. Both apps can be set to launch upon login. Furthermore, you can configure a custom keyboard shortcut to toggle the apps’ visibility. I’ve set my keyboard shortcuts to Control-G for MailTab and Control-F for MenuTab. Having keyboard shortcuts makes checking Facebook or Gmail incredibly fast.

I’ve been using MailTab Pro and MenuTab Pro for approximately two weeks. Both apps consume very little CPU. Both apps stay out of my way. Both apps work as advertised. If you work exclusively on a single display (where apps and documents fight for an already precious screen real-estate) or manage multiple virtual desktops, you’ll appreciate the convenience both MenuTab and MailTab provide.

It’s difficult to find anything wrong with both MenuTab and MailTab. One minor gripe I have with MailTab would be that it currently lacks the ability to check email simultaneously on multiple G-mail accounts. It’s not a show-stopper, but definitely something I would like to see for a future version.

My recommendation is to try the free versions of MailTab and MenuTab first. If you like what you see, you can always pony up the $2.00 per app to get the Pro versions (like I did.)

MailTab earns 4 out of 5 Bob Weiners.

MenuTab earns 5 out of 5 Bob Weiners.

-Krishna

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About the author

Krishna Sadasivam creates custom comics and illustrations for organizations, magazines and companies. A champion of comics advocacy, Krishna speaks, blogs, and writes articles on illustration and sequential arts techniques and the importance of the comics medium in both education and brand awareness. His clients have included Microsoft, Mashable, Other World Computing and EE Times. His work has been featured on many notable websites, including TechCrunch, Gizmodo and CNET. His portfolio can be found at krishnadraws.com.