The webOS Wish List: Gmail labels support | webOS Nation

The webOS Wish List: Gmail labels support 15

by Derek Kessler Wed, 21 Mar 2012 10:38 pm EDT

The webOS Wish List: Gmail labels support

There are two things that really make Gmail Gmail: threaded conversations and labels. For the uninitiated, Gmail's labels are the result of a rethink of folders, instead of filing a message away in one folder, you can attach multiple labels (tags) to an email and have it appear under each of those labels, while still hanging out in your inbox or archive or even the trash. While some might loath threaded emails, it's hard to hate on labels.

Except that nobody seems to have been able to pull off a good implementation of Gmail labels in any mobile email client. Amusingly, Google even has separate apps for Android for regular email and Gmail, as if they couldn't figure out how to make emails that support folders and emails that support labels happily coexist. Nobody else seemed to have taken the plunge into full and proper Gmail support, to the point where we just started to assume that Google was holding back the secret sauce for themselves.

It turns out we were wrong. Google's sauce isn't so secret and there is in fact a Gmail Labels API. It was just recently implemented on a new iPhone email client called Sparrow (which while looking like a very nice suffers from the fundamental flaw of not being able to run in the background - Apple's Palm OS-style multitasking bites again!). With webOS going all open source, why not stop treating Gmail like it's just some other mail service and give it the special treatment it deserves.

For those that use Gmail as more than just another mail provider, labels are fundamental. The IMAP implementation of Gmail tries to mimic labels as folders, and it's just not good. It works, but it's not good. With an available API, splicing labels support into the webOS email app is actually a possibility. Of course, how that's displayed is another question - we'd argue for just adding a labels button to the row at the bottom of the message view and maybe putting small colored label tags in the list view. But that's it - the rest of the "treat it like folders" implementation would still work just fine.

Yeah, we're Gmail junkies here. We've gotta have our labels, man! Have your own thoughts on this webOS Wish List entry? Of course you do - the comments await. Without a doubt you have your own ideas as to what ought be on the webOS wish list, and so we've created a forum thread just for that - and an awesome discussion it has proven to be.


So the labels I have on my GMail account show up as folders on my webOS devices. Is that not the same thing or close to it?

Close, but not quite. It's handled as IMAP, which moves emails into a folder and out of the inbox (unless you copy it, in which case things start getting even messier).

For one thing, Gmail messages/threads can be assigned more than one label, thus appearing in each assigned label view while still existing as a single instance. There is no equivalent function in a folder-organization scheme. What we really have here is a system of standardized, user-defined metadata tags (what Google calls labels).

enjoy google "reading" your emails for marketing purposes. I for one have had enough 1984 Big Brother google. I have a "stub" account there but its not my primary.

Finally I can almost use bing maps too bc they not only have the nice birds eye satellite views but they now offer a street view that by the fact its newer is higher res.

No. If you really want gmail-specific mail garbage, then ask someone for a gmail webos client. I don't want vendor-specific garbage in my general purpose imap client.

If you really want to improve the mail client in WebOS, have it poll ALL imap folders for new mail, not just inbox. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of server-side filtering if you don't know when you receive new mail when you try to organize it.

1) Until you've learned how to use labels and lived with them for a while, you don't know what you're missing. I'd never want to go back to Outlook-style folders.

2) The webOS mail client already picks up all of my labels for every account, even for messages that bypass the inbox via filter rules. You seem to be saying that it's not working that way with folders on your IMAP email server. Just out of curiosity, what email are you using?

I do know what I'm missing, and I'm not missing it. I have a gmail account. Don't use it. I also run my own servers and have full control over my own data. You are google's product, not their customer. Always remember that.

I don't care that google creates imap folders for labels. That has nothing to do with what I am talking about. Please read, research, and understand before replying.

Thanks for confirmation; i suspected something like this for some time now. After switching to Sieve server-side filtering on a Dovecot IMAP server, i wondered why i "got" fewer emails than before while the desktop client always got more in the appropriate queues (=folders)..

But a problem which is more embarrassing is this stupid "server certificate is not trusted" notification. Whoa, maybe just give me the damn bloody option to pull the server's certificate and trust it then, either from the accounts' settings or from the notification, like any regular (desktop) mailclient would do?
Without the hassles of having to retrieving the certificate using a proper non-mobile crap computer, and then having to copy it manually to the damn Touchpad? Where it then still argues that the certificate wasn't trusted...

You can email yourself the cert, or put it on a public web server and then add it as a trusted certificate using the certificate manager in WebOS. I do this, because I run my own servers and use a self-signed cert. Sendmail/Dovecot/Procmail, if you are curious.

While a pain in the butt, I think it's a good thing, as it forces you to deal with the trust issues, which is the primary reasons that certificates and certificate authorities exist in the first place. To certify that the server you are talking to is who it says it is.

The lack of polling all folders pisses me off to no end, though. I just create a second account for my phone and touchpad to log into and forward to it with no filtering.

How about adding text reflow to the webOS browser? That's the one feature that keeps me from using webOS on my Touchpad. I need text reflow. My eyes suck darn it! How difficult would it be to add it? No one has ever answered that question.

a better improvement would be collapsing folders that have subfolders. I don't want provider specific code in the std client - it's almost certain to need regular updates as Google change their code, & there's a good chance it will break something in the rest of the client.

Bump for common sense. If you want google specific mail stuff so badly, then have somebody write a google mail client. I'd prefer they fix glaring PROBLEMS in the existing mail client before even considering adding vendor-specific garbage. Like the refusal to poll or do idle checks on anything other than INBOX. That's just retarded. The whole point of IMAP in the first place is server side management of mail and folders, and I want to know when stuff arrives in ANY folder, thanks.

This is similar to what Outlook does for Contacts and Calendar entries. You can have multiple folders, but you can also use one folder and mark items with categories. In Outlook, the calendar entries show up color coded. But in WebOS they get the color only from the category, so you have to split into many calendars. Category support would be nice.

Swipe with the option to Archive?

I've recently learned how to use labels and after some time examination it gets much easier.

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