A while back, we reviewed RCDefaultApp, a Mac preference pane that makes it easy to set default apps in your Mac. The only slight shortcoming with the pane was that it wasn’t developed for Lion and might act a little glitchy. Webmailer is a free Mac preference pane that helps you redirect mailto: links to your web browser or any other app that you would like to handle all your email through. This is built specifically if you aren’t a fan of Mail and would love a different way to handle emails. The preference pane handles mailto: links that originate in a third party app, and redirects them to the app you want (like your browser).
Although the app should simply redirect a mailto: link to your browser and open it in Gmail if you’re signed in, tests revealed that it did not do that. A simple work around for this is to use an app that redirects mailto: links to you browser and have Webmailer direct it to that app. In this case, we used Gmal Notifr, a free Mac app that works in the Menu Bar (read full review here) and set Webmailer to send all Mailto: links to it.
Click the Advanced button and select Try to use the current browser or Always use and select your default browser. Click Done and you’re good to go.
You must have Gmail Notifr running at all times. To test if it worked, click a Mailto: link in the Mail app, and it, too, will redirect to your browser. All links in any email that you may have synced to Mail will also open in your default browser.
It isn’t clear why you need Gmail Notifr to act as a middleman, since Chrome (the browser used for testing) handles mailto: links well on its own. It might have to do with how the defaults are set or perhaps even an extension that is installed. If you prefer to use Hotmail or Yahoo, it is likely you might need an app similar to Gmail Notifr, but tailored for that specific email provider.