If there’s a Mac app we love to hate it’s Mail. Not so much because Mail is bad. It’s not. It’s that email should be easier to handle than it is and OS X’s Mail doesn’t help enough to remove the stigma that email is the killer app of the internet era.
After having switched to different email apps every year for six years (Claris Emailer, Eudora, Entourage, among others), I settled on Apple’s default email app, Mail. Over the years Mail has improved, put on the weight of new features, and I’ve organized my mailboxes into something of an archive.
It’s time to change email again.
Change for the sake of change might be a good solution to eliminate old habits which have creeped in through the years so I added Airmail to my Mac, and began switching a few email accounts from Mail. Think of the very inexpensive Airmail as Mail Lite. Considering the ridiculously low price tag Airmail is familiar but refreshingly robust but doesn’t flaunt the long list of features.
Airmail handles multiple email accounts, IMAP or POP3, including MS Exchange, iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook and many others. The inbox is unified so it’s easy to see every new message. To get you started you can also import email from Apple’s Mail app.
Keyboard shortcuts abound so Mac power users will be pleased with options for Gmail shortcuts, global shortcuts, and Quick Label, Quick Move, and Quick Folder selections. Attachments are drag and drop but also have OS X’s Quick Look preview. However, attachments can also be saved on Google Drive, Dropbox, and other online storage services.
Email from Microsoft Windows users sometimes doesn’t play nice-nice with Apple’s Mail, but Airmail has a Winmail.dat preview option. Message threads can be grouped multiple ways, and you can setup notifications on a per account basis.
Airmail is more social than Mail, too, but also integrates OS X’s Calendar and Reminders, uses the popular Spam Sieve for junk mail, and works with Evernote, Omnifocus, 2Do, and Things.
Airmail stays true to expected features like nest folders, global search, multiple signatures, fullscreen, and handles email message in text, HTML, Rich text, and even Markdown. In other words, Airmail acts like Mail Lite; faster, easier, less cluttered (look at the differences in Toolbars) and it takes less management time.
Still, Airmail is an incredible mail app and a remarkable value. You won’t believe the price for what you get, even though Apple’s Mail is free.