Since we last mentioned Mailplane, the Gmail client that integrates with Mac OS X, it's received a series of minor updates that have fixed bugs and added a few features. The most recent update, however, has added some significant new features such as a 'Mail PDF with Mailplane' print dialog plugin, customizable toolbar, clickable Growl notifications that take you to the specific message and - to my personal delight - simple instructions for enabling rich text editing when composing messages. This is big news because Mailplane uses WebKit - the same open source web rendering engine Safari is based on - to interact with Gmail, which means Mailplane is also limited by WebKit's inability to provide rich text editing features like bold, justification, colors, etc.
Fortunately, turning on rich text editing is as simple as downloading the latest nightly app build of WebKit and telling Mailplane where you put it. This won't overwrite Safari or interfere with it in any other way, so this process is pretty low-risk for gaining rich text editing, but seemingly only in Gmail (either in Mailplane or using WebKit itself as a browser). I tried surfing to a few other sites and couldn't get rich text widgets to appear in any of them.
Either way, this is great news for Mailplane users who want to join the rest of the internet in using some text formatting goodness when composing their messages. If you need a refresher on what Mailplane is all about, check our previous post and photo gallery for a brief tour, or head over to the Mailplane site to read more and sign up for the private beta.