Why? It’s expensive. I’m hoping to soon see a promotional discount that drops the price to less than the $25 registration fee. I’m one of many Mailplane fans who think that this retail price is a bit steep. It’s a very nice desktop Gmail solution, but is it worth $25?
In essence, Mailplane is a polished front-end that provides easy access and some OS integration to Gmail accounts. Many of the reasons that I want to keep using it have more to do with direct access to Gmail features, not with Mailplane features. Perhaps in some other time, I’d just buy it. But I don’t want to right now. I’m on a tighter-than-normal budget at the moment.
Given this, I was delighted to find that, today, as my 30-day trial expired, I can continue to use Mailplane.
The caveat is that many of the integration features that make this tool really shine are now disabled. With an expired trial, it’s essentially like a Fluid installation, but it’s still quite a lot better. Here’s why:
I still have access to all of my Gmail accounts from within one pane (with Fluid, I’d have to create multiple site specific browsers for each Gmail account); I am still notified of new messages from my multiple Gmail accounts from the menu bar; I still remain logged in to all of my Gmail accounts; and I can still keep Mailplane as my default mail application. That last point is key: with Mailplane you can set the app to be your default system-wide mail app. New mail messages created externally from this app are handled with Mailplane, OS-wide. You can’t do that with Fluid or other similar browser-based solutions. I assume these privileges are indefinite for unregistered (trial-expired) users.
Now that I’ve passed the end of the trial period, what I lack are extra integration bits that make Mailplane really slick (e.g., ability to drag-and-drop files, resizing photos on the fly, easy capture-and-send screenshots, Address Book integration, iLife media integration, etc.). These features are really nice. I love them. They are handy. However, I think I can do without them for the moment.
I’m not advocating that I and others choose to disregard the Mailplane registration fee. The developer surely put in (and continues to put in) lots of hard work developing this mail client. All I’m saying is that I choose to hold out for a promo for a while longer. And I would like to continue to use this mail client to access my Gmail accounts.
I’m willing to forego some key features until the next discount comes around (assuming there will be one). It’s fortunate, then, that the developer apparently allows for continued use of the app beyond the end of the trial period. It’s not fully-featured anymore, but it’s still functional. That’s classy.
Still, I think the registration fee is too expensive. The last promo, on Dec. 12, offered the app for one day at 50% off retail. I think that promo might be much closer to the right target retail price of Mailplane, given the current feature-set.
P.S. I’m only one day past my trial period. It may stop working altogether in the morning …