SpiceBird is a new application that aims to integrate Instant Messaging, Email, Calendar and Task Management, and also RSS reading under one wing.
I just downloaded it and gave it a try, and thought of posting my initial thoughts on this over here. First, it’s a beta version FYI. I had no problems with installing SpiceBird on Windows, it went smooth.
Starting it up
Upon starting up, two wizards opened up – one that asked you to configure your instant messenger settings and the other was a wizard asking for details on configuring your email account.
Instant Messaging and Email Configuration
Configuring the inbuilt instant messenger for Gmail/Jabber is quite easy, but I suspect you’ll have a tough time if you need to use some other network for chatting.
Setting up email is a breeze, just like it’s on ThunderBird, provided you know what settings you should choose.
The default view is quite cool with applets that show you what’s hopping up on your inbox and your tasks. There’s a little RSS applet - but you can’t say that it’s an ‘RSS Reader’ but there’s minimum functionality for reading RSS feeds.
You can just add two or three feeds that you read everyday – the ones you must check over. Clicking on an feed item, you can set it to open it in an application of your choice.
You also have a little applet telling you the time, and upcoming tasks. Not a big deal right now, but I’d love to see more applets that’ll save me time and keep me productive a lot more. And since the program Open Source, I hope there’ll be new developer-created stuff for us to use.
Gmail users can feel it: Chats pop up as a tiny window in the bottom right of the screen.
While this is quite good, I also found that the contact list needs some work. The list can’t be sorted, and you have all your contacts listed there, you need to look into it for quite some time if you have a huge list of contacts.
You can set your IM status by using the IM Status icon on the toolbar. A sound alert for any incoming chats will be greatly useful. The program misses it right now.
Email, Tasks and Calendar:
Regarding these, I don’t have any complaints, and I’m quite satisfied with what the program offers. It’s based on ThunderBird, you should know.
A minor annoyance
You can’t rearrange the four tabs on top. I tried hard, but I couldn’t. :D I hope they fix it up soon.
SpiceBird has a very good potential as an application. It has the capability to boost your productivity a lot. I must mention that the software is in its early stages and as days go by, it’ll be embraced by a larger audience provided they keep improving the software.