Banner for Kiwi for Gmail

The Google Suite has become your team’s standard for documents, spreadsheets, contacts, and calendar. It’s not surprising that GSuite is so popular. For collaboration and ease of use it is hard to beat. But if you are a contributor to more than one team, that means more than one GSuite account. You can’t have documents getting shared with the wrong team. The answer too often is a profusion of tabs in Google Chrome. That solution invites confusion because eventually all the tabs are too small to distinguish.

Enter Kiwi for Gmail

Zive, Inc. reimagined all those tabs and reorganized them into a thin frame that makes up their Kiwi for Gmail app. Kiwi describes itself as a desktop app that allows seamless interaction with all of the features of the G Suite, but this is only a desktop app in as much as any browser is a desktop app. No one would call Kiwi a ‘native’ app.

So what’s the point?

Inside the Kiwi frame, everything looks exactly the same as it does when viewing Google services through Chrome, or Safari, or Explorer. Doesn’t that mean that the user experience is also exactly the same? Yes and no. It is true that an email viewed in Kiwi looks exactly the same way that it looks when viewed through Gmail. Users looking for a new email interface because they are tired of Gmail’s look and feel – Kiwi is not for you.

Kiwi does, however, give you highly intuitive and user-friendly tools that allow you to seamlessly go back and forth between GSuites. Each account is in a different color-coded frame. Along the top, you have instant access to each account denoted by envelopes that match the color of your various accounts. Click yellow for account number one, blue for the next account, then red and so on. Along the right side of the frame are all the shortcuts you need to access every aspect of the GSuite for that account, and this toolbar is customizable.

Control Space vs. Workspace

So, when I am looking at a particular email inbox in Kiwi, I can instantly create a new calendar event, or review what’s in the Google Drive for that account, or start Google docs. All of these commands open your doc or calendar or whatever in a new window. The new window doesn’t have all the frame features of the mail window, but for me that works. In other words, I prefer a writing environment without distractions, other than the Google Doc controls. With Kiwi I get that. The Gmail page becomes the control center from which I can launch tasks and change accounts. I found it very easy to adapt to this kind of workflow.

The Verdict

Are there still a bunch of windows open all over the place on your desktop? Potentially, yes. But that is a condition I accept when participating with several projects. Kiwi does not provide revolutionary change for staying organized and on top of things. Rather, it sprinkles a little bit of innovation on a ubiquitous platform and makes it just that much easier to use.



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