Bccthis logo

Hey, Gmail users. If you've ever wished you could append a private note for a subset of recipients in a group e-mail without having to compose a second message, here's an in-progress application for you.

Bccthis, which was first introduced for Microsoft Outlook and BlackBerry, is an e-mail add-on that hooks into Gmail by way of the Firefox browser and lets you create a secondary e-mail to select contacts without leaving the composition window.

Bccthis for Gmail (and Firefox)

The add-on attaches an expandable Bccthis menu below Gmail's composition window. This is where you'll pen your second, secret message and choose recipients. There are fewer customization and formatting options in Bccthis for Gmail than there are in the Outlook add-on, but the mechanics work the same way. Gmail shoots off the original message, then Bccthis sends the second message through Google's SMTP servers. Since Google handles everything in the end, a record of your private message shows up in Gmail's Sent items.

At this stage, the Bccthis add-on is experimental, so take heed if you're fearful of prerelease extensions. While it worked consistently in our tests and will certainly have its audience, Bccthis won't appeal to everyone. In addition to what we think will be a limited user base is its cumbersome characteristic of sending two separate messages to the same recipient. The Outlook version can consolidate incoming e-mails if the sender is also using Bccthis for Outlook; everyone else has to lump it with two e-mails for now.

The free, experimental Bccthis Firefox add-on is currently only compatible with Gmail in English.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.