Chrome and Email check!

Google just released Chrome, its open source browser which has a bundle of new features like making tabs different processes. In some ways, it seems to be a throwback to the days of IE6 where tabs would actually be processes! However, the new paradigm gives a tabbed UI and a process based backend, which should be interesting to try.

One big advantage with Chrome is going to be finding out which processes are badly designed and hog memory — something that is pointed out in this blog post.

I decided to give it a try to opening all the new emial services (Gmail, new Yahoo mail, and Live Mail) in separate tabs and testing their memory usage:

It seems to me that that all the mail programs actually use up a lot of space (and Gmail/Y!mail top it at around 20Mb each — looks like there was some GC happening and Gmail process collected back some memory). Live mail seems to be the most lightweight!

However, what I am worried about — if my mail tabs are using up that much space and it is only going to go up as these applications add more complexity, why would I not use a desktop based mail client, and switch to a web based client while on the go? A lot of times I have to face flaky connections, and it seems obvious that web based mail clients are downloading a ton of stuff everytime!

The pain point of offline mail clients is the ability to keep perfectly in sync with the server (IMAP notwithstanding and perhaps that should be worked upon) and the ability to install updates, due to which their UI is now lagging behind web based counterparts. If desktop applications can figure out some way of cleanly installing new features and keeping things completely upto date, would they get back in vogue?

Update: And this is what the condition was after leaving the tabs open for about 3+ hours:

About kpowerinfinity
I *♥* technology, business, conversations, experiences, books, music, theater, coffee and people. I am an entrepreneur in the city of Bangalore - my company, Capillary, provides customer engagement programs and marketing services to retailers around the world.

6 Responses to Chrome and Email check!

  1. Gursharan Singh says:

    In essence, the root pain is to manage all the mail accounts separately. A desktop client solves this problem, but takes away the cosmetic beauty and features of web clients, while web clients are too many children to manage for a single mother. Just my 0.02.

  2. kpowerinfinity says:

    @gursharan: very valid point. You could emulate that by forwarding all your emails to one account… but that wouldn’t really solve the problem.

    I think if we can have a new desktop client that makes very good use of web services to ensure its always uptodate — and gives small nifty features from the individual providers — that will be amazing! I would sign up for sure.

    Sad thing is — desktop mail client development seems to have stalled in comparison. I couldn’t find any good desktop mail clients in the open source world!

  3. Gursharan Singh says:

    Agreed KK. The problem is two-fold, managing content (actual mail) from different sources (a secure web service may suffice) and preserving a “view”. The latter seems to be more challenging. How can one design a UI with the pluses of gmails, yahoos and lives and manage to avoid a potpourri of features? I am not really sure if we want something like a Kindle for emails, but purging a lot of things into one device like a cellphone doesnt seem to work that great. I think rather than having expensive iphones just for email, and getting robbed for features that one may not even use ever, it might not be a bad idea to have a Rs. 3000-4000 device just for email on the go. Devices only for dedicated purposes get used. Though these small numeric QWERTY pads on devices are too much of a hassle to type (apple breaks this, but is not affordable). I leave a lot to debate, I admit.

  4. ash says:

    hi , nice post ..
    two things .. it really doesn’t matter if you use up 20 -30 mb of your RAM ..

    Second .. if you are have a big problem with your memory usage .. try using a real OS instaed of the vista you are running .. and chrome sucks

  5. Sunny says:

    … and you might want to check out some of those 179 unread mails in your inbox :-P

  6. kpowerinfinity says:

    @ash: 20-30mb of RAM doesn’t matter — but if they are using 20-30MB of RAM they must’ve downloaded quite a bit of JavaScript.
    I don’t know why Vista has anything to do with the browser!

    @sunny: :P If you notice, I read 7 emails in 2 hours :P

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