Ineffective alert

This ambitious notifier does several things, but not very well.

Browser-based e-mail notifiers have become de rigueur, and it's no surprise that Google Chrome has its fair share of these add-ons. Unfortunately, as much as we wanted to like Google Alerter, this particular application needs a little more work before it's ready for prime time.

Google has introduced quite a few services that have become popular in addition to its much-lauded Gmail, and Google Alerter attempts to help you keep track of several of these. In addition to Gmail, the add-on also alerts you to new items in Google Reader, Wave, and Voice. We thought this sounded promising, but Google Alerter's execution left something to be desired. The add-on appears as a small icon to the right of Chrome's address bar and displays the number of unread Google Reader items; clicking on it opens a drop-down displaying the status of the other Google accounts. Like many people, we subscribe to way more feeds with Google Reader than we can ever hope to keep up with, so the number that the icon displays is always 999+--not particularly helpful. We would have much rather seen how many unread e-mails we had. Unfortunately, the alerter didn't seem to be able to handle mail notifications at all; it could tell us how many unread e-mails we had when we actually had Gmail open in our browser, but when we didn't, the add-on said we were logged out. This makes Google Alerter practically useless as an e-mail notifier. The add-on has potential, but it definitely has some kinks that need to be worked out.

Google Alerter is free. It installs and uninstalls without issues. We do not recommend this add-on at this time.

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