OK, there's a new Eudora release available. The first thing covered in the release notes is the inclusion of support for emoticons. Personally, the thought of horrible little yellow smiley faces turning up in my beautifully minimalist Monaco 9 text windows drives me up the wall, so I've switched off that feature straight away.
But there's a lot of other stuff in this release. The famed Eudora search system (one of the main reasons I continue to use the application over any other mail client) has been beefed up. Although it was always fast, it seems to me faster than ever before; Qualcomm isn't highlighting this in the release notes, that's just my personal observation.
The thing they are talking up is the new Live Search feature. If you have a search window open, new mail that fits the search criteria will show up in it automatically. You can now create Live Searches and leave them open, and they will behave rather like the much-hyped Smart Mailboxes in the forthcoming version of Mail in OS X Tiger.
Another welcome new idea in Eudora 6.2 is the Scamwatch, which alerts users to suspicious URLs hidden inside mail messages. Even users who tell Eudora to ignore all HTML and formatting in incoming messages sometimes get presented with HTML-style links that could take them somewhere unwelcome and unexpected on the web.
Eudora's Scamwatch at work
Just mousing over the dodgy-looking links will prompt Eudora to display the real web destination in a tooltip. Nice feature, this.
Elsewhere there's been improvements to IMAP support, which means things work better offline and deleted messages actually go away. SSL has been beefed up, and Eudora's Dock icon now displays the number of unread messages.
OK, so some of these features (Dock notification, emoticons) have been around in other mail clients for ages. If you use such a client, you could be forgiven for thinking "So what?" Well, Eudora has strengths of its own and although in some respects it might appear to be catching up with the competition, in others it is light years ahead.
Giles Turnbull is a freelance writer and editor. He has been writing on and about the Internet since 1997. He has a web site at http://gilest.org.
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