An announcement from your electronic lords and masters.

Gina Trapani over at Lifehacker posted this morning that at least some users of Gmail are showing support for IMAP in addition to the nifty-keen-like-wow AJAX web and POP3 interfaces to the service. Right now, only a small number of users have IMAP support available to them but Google's announced that it'll be opened up to everyone else within a couple of days. To see if you have support for it, log into your Gmail account, click on the Settings link (top-right corner, to the right of your e-mail address), "Forwarding and POP/IMAP", and scroll down to see if you have a configuration stanza called "IMAP Access". If you do, turn it on, save changes, and then check out their configuration instructions for your mail client of choice.

What's the upshot of this? You don't need a web browser to check your Gmail anymore (doubly handy if you're stuck with a very old browser, or if you're in an environment which restricts things all the way down to the level of the type of content that the browser can handle), just a copy of Mozilla Thunderbird (portable or otherwise), or a reasonably up to date cellphone.

It's about time, let me tell you...