Gmail is a powerful web based email service and it can be used in an email client, or via the web site. Both of these methods however, mean that when you want to check or read your email, you need to break out of the app you are currently using and switch to your web browser or email client. This is something that MailTab for Gmail can help with.

The app adds an icon to your menu bar, and this can be used to quickly and easily access your Gmail inbox. This means that you are able to look at your emails whenever you want, and you will still be able to see whichever other applications you had open. MailTab for Gmail creates audio and visual alerts when new mail is received so you don’t need to keep manually checking your inbox.

There are few options to configure, but you can choose how frequently the app should check for mail. The pop up window that appears when you click the menu bar icon houses a miniature version of the Gmail web site, and this means that you are able to access many of the features of the site including conversation view, message starring, and searching.

The free version of the app only allows for access to your Gmail inbox, but also includes support for Google Chat. This is a great alternative to having to visit the Google web site and use the chat windows alongside your email. Using the app you can keep chat separate from your web browsing and other apps.

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A great time saving tool, but unless you make regular use of Google Chat, the free version of the app may be all you need.