If you're anything like us, chances are that you've accumulated your fair share of free web-based email accounts over the years. (At last count, we have five, but these are just the ones we remember!) Some email providers do let you automatically forward emails to other accounts but most of us just end up putting up with the hassle of logging in to our different accounts to check our mail.
- Check multiple email accounts, delete/print emails, Compose emails
- No support for attachments, Unattractive interface
This free applications allows you to check multiple email accounts all from the one small screen
ePrompter, from Tiburon, provides a handy (if visually unappealing) solution to this problem. ePrompter allows you to check, receive and send emails from multiple accounts all on the one screen. This little application has support for all the major web accounts, such as Gmail, AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, Email.com, POP3 and hundreds of other email domains. A warning to Hotmail users though - there is no support for Windows Live Mail Beta. We also found the application to be temperamental using Gmail accounts, with some multiple thread emails returning just headers, rather than the complete content.
When you download ePrompter, you are taken through a very quick setup tutorial. As part of this, you are required to enter in one email account (and password) and the program then checks that account. To setup additional accounts, you have to add them manually using the Account Setup function. We think that setting up multiple accounts should be part of the initial setup process as this is probably the reason why you downloaded the program in the first place. Still, setup is about as easy as it gets, and all that is required an email account and a password. During the setup, you also have the option to use the program as a screensaver and this displays the number of new emails at each account. Why you would want to advertise this to the rest of the world though, is really beyond us.
Once accounts are setup, they are all assigned a different colour on the ePrompter window. You can then set how often you want ePrompter to check your accounts - from one minute to 12 hours. We suggest not going down to 1-2 minutes because certain email providers may block this. If a new mail is received at your account, the number of mails is displayed in the taskbar, and this icon rotates for each account. When you click on the ePrompter icon, the main screen displays, showing you all of your accounts.
Viewing your inbox just involves clicking on the mailbox icon for that particular account, and this displays new emails in a new window. (For the security conscious, you can set a password for both viewing and sending emails.) Note that the program only brings back the first page of emails from each web based account. If you have a Hotmail account for example, and set the number of emails on each page to 25, then it will return a maximum of 25 new emails only, even if there are more new mails in your inbox. To get around this problem, you will have to manually log into your email account the increase the number of emails that appear on each page.
Once the inbox is open, you can view emails, reply to them, print them, mark them for deletion or mark them as read. These actions are then performed at the next update. If you want to use the program more as an email notifier rather to read emails, you can instruct ePrompter to retrieve mail headers only.
We found The mail checking functionality somewhat limited however, as there is no way to view attachments or even tell if an email has attachments. Sending an email using ePrompter is simply a matter of selecting the account, right clicking and selecting the Compose function. The email will then sit in an 'outbox' until the next Update at which point it will be sent. We did notice that ePrompter inserted a one line signature promoting the product at the end of every mail we sent using the program. Once again, there is no attachment functionality for sending email, which is disappointing.
The main screen of ePrompter is simple to understand and displays the number of emails at each account as well as the time to the next update. Different menu options, such as account setup are accessed by right clicking and using the popup menu. The biggest turnoff about this product is the interface, which looks like something a university student came up with in their first year Visual Basic tutorial. Having said that though, we find the functionality of the program useful and convenient, (if somewhat limited) and given that it's free we can't complain too much can we?
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