If you need a fast and lightweight email client for Gmail without the bells and whistles (and bloat) of Apple Mail, you should give Mia for Gmail a whirl. Mia is a

minimalist desktop email client for OS X by Stéphane Quéraud.

As opposed to copious minimalist Gmail clients that however wrap the web interface inside native OS X code, Mia provides the full native experience and sits right in your Mac’s menu bar rather than run in Safari or Google Chrome.

In addition to showing you most recent emails, Mia allows you to compose new messages and jump through all your inboxes with unbelievable quickness. All in all, it’s the perfect replacement for Google’s defunct Gmail Notifier app.


On first run, Mia asks you to input your Gmail credentials.

Yes, accounts protected with Google’s two-factor authentication are supported and Mia uses the OAuth 2.0 protocol  to handle your credentials in a secure manner.

In addition to using secure IMAP/SSL protocol for all connections,  andMia relies on Gmail’s Auth 2.0 user authentication so Gmail passwords are not stored on your Mac.

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As mentioned, the app puts a little Gmail icon in your Mac’s menu bar.

Click it to bring up a quick menu listing your ten most recent emails (attachments are supported), each accompanied by a one-line excerpt of its contents. Hover over any item and you’ll see a preview of email contents.

You’ll also notice a blue dot to the left of each item and a trashcan symbol to the right. You can click the blue dot to mark a message as read or unread, or trash it by clicking the trashcan icon.

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To show the full email, click the entry and the app will open the message in a window of its own, rather than open the email in a web browser. Choosing the Compose option in the menu bar brings up the email compose window.

Delete, spam or archive

Additional features show up upon opening the email from the menu bar.

As shown above and bellow, the email window lines up these options alongside the top. You can report a message as spam by clicking the stop sign icon. To trash the message or archive it, click the trashcan and folder symbols, respectively.

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You can also Reply, Reply All and Forward the message.


True to its minimalist form, Mia provides limited customization.

In addition to adding or removing Gmail accounts, the settings interface allows you to set the frequency of email checks (I set mine to five minutes), select the new email sound among the system sound list and enable push notifications for new messages on OS X 10.8 or later.

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Other customization features include telling the app to open every time your Mac starts up, hide the mail counter next to the app’s icon in the Mac menu bar and use the black and white icon instead of a colored one.

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If you have more than one Gmail account (say, one personal and the other for work), that’ll be a $1.99 In-App Purchase, which also removes ads.

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And lastly, Mia optionally lets you read and compose your emails from a browser and you can choose your default browser on a per-account basis (say, Safari for personal Gmail and Google Chrome for work email).

Final thoughts

Mia is simple, easy on the resources, lightweight and to the point. The layout is compact, the features and the interface are self-explanatory and straightforward.

And with push notifications for incoming mails and a paid upgrade to unlock multiple Gmail accounts, Mia is a living example of how In-App Purchases should be used with no detriment to the customer experience. The app will even save your storage space as it doesn’t store full emails on your computer.

Of course, Mia won’t replace a full-on desktop email client but that’s beyond the point as it was designed for those moments when you want to quickly get in and out of your email without firing up your default email client of bringing up Gmail’s resource-heavy interface in a browser.

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As more than a capable replacement for Google’s departed Gmail Notifier app, Mia gets the job done. And unlike Gmail Notifier, Mia won’t automatically become the default app for mailto: links for every browser installed.


Mia requires an Intel-based Mac with OS X 10.7 or later.

The app is provided on a freemium basis so you can use all features without restrictions on a single Gmail account at no charge. To gain access to unlimited Gmail accounts and remove advertising, upgrade to the Premium version via a one-time $1.99 In-App Purchase.

The app is localized in English, French, German and Russian.

Grab Mia for Gmail in the Mac App Store or download it from the official website.