MacOS 11 alternative Mail app

I didn’t think Apple could make the Mail app worse - but in MacOS 11 it is completely useless.

Any thoughts on alternatives guys?

Spark by readdle?

1 Like

Postbox - was on offer a few days ago. I have 15 Inboxes, been using it for 3 years, solid and customisable.

1 Like

Thanks Dave - got the demo and it seems to be just the ticket.

Thanks - it’s a neat app but possibly a little lightweight for my needs.

I’ve used Spark for a few years now with multiple email accounts. It’s not perfect, but I’ve yet to find and email client that is!

I find Mailmate hard to beat. Is crazy powerful.

MacOS Mail gets an extra dumbing down on every new OS version IMHO.

I use Airmail 3.56 and have done since it appeared about 4 years ago, and it was breath of new fresh stuff that had long disappeared from the MacOS Mail app. When they changed the pricing model, I abandoned the IOS version because it had become a bit crashy on IOS. However, I still use it on MacOS and have no issues with it. I have more accounts on it than I can remember and the features seem to make it a good heavy use daily email client that I can find stuff in 100"s of emails I seem to get every day.

For my personal (and my business) I also use Airmail (v 4.5) and pay the subscription for the pro version. Like Gary, I have quite a few accounts on it, and it works great. I also have it installed on my iPhone.

I also have a “real” job working for a giant company (20+ thousand employees) -most of whom use Windows 10 / Microsoft Office. As a result, for that side, I use Microsoft Outlook (installed by my employer). I could keep all of my email in Outlook, too, but I’d rather have it separate.

My preference, by far, is Outlook. It works beautifully, it incorporates a calendar and address book seamlessly, and the search is great too. They also have an iOS version that is every bit as polished as the desktop version. I don’t know if it can be purchased separately, but as Microsoft offers Office 365 for up to six people for under $100/year, we have that for my wife and kids. Half are on Macs, half use Windows - Microsoft doesn’t care how many devices or what types of devices the software is installed on. Their only limit is the number of people that use it.

Another vote for Spark - works great on every device, and integrates really well with apps like 2DO, my task manager of choice. I was an Airmail user for years, but their email composer drives me nuts…

Thank you all for your valuable input - I now have all the demo apps and will play with them in the next couple of days.

Yes, I know where you’re coming from on this one. Spark has some really great features but it’s also lacking in some really obvious ones too. I have workarounds for the things I found it lacks, and while on the face of it my workarounds ,right seem OTT, they slot in well with how I do things in general.

The two biggest missing features from spark for me are

  1. Spam handling
  2. Rules

My solution is as follows, but first I should explain my setup.

On my main machine I have Spark with all my email accounts. On a 2nd machine, I run Apple mail, also with all my mail accounts added. On the 2nd machine Mail is setup to move s copy of everything to a local folder, this is in effect my local archive/backup of all the mail I get. As well as archiving all mail this machine also runs all the rules I have in place, plus it has various spam filters setup.

The idea is the 2nd machine (with Apple Mail) sorts all my incoming mail, removing spam, sorting into folders, and archiving. This means that by the time the mail hits the main machine (and all my devices) all the hard work is done (by Mail), so Spark just has to handle the basics. In this setup Spark is in effect purely the front end, with Mail on the 2nd machine doing all the grunt work.

I realise this sounds completely overkill, but I’ve always had my email setup over two machines for archiving purposes, so it was only a bit more to add in the spam and filtering stuff.

Doing it this way means almost nothing get’s to me via the main machine or devices that I don’t actually want.

Depending on how you do things Geoff, if you like the features that Spark has, something similar might work for you to overcome it’s short-comings.

I guess I should add that the main reason for going with Spark was because as @Raimo said (and it was he who put me onto it) 2Do and Spark integrate really well. So I’ve stuck with it, despite it’s failings.

You clearly are a wrongun Dave ;-)

lol. I almost hate to give Microsoft credit for anything. But, Outlook is great, as is Visual Studio Code.

For spam-killing, I’ve been using SpamSieve for years (at least ten, probably way more). It works with IMAP, Exchange and POP mail, I don’t think I’ve ever been charged a fee for upgrades (they release small auto-installing updates at least monthly), and it catches EVERYTHING. The downside is that there isn’t a mobile version- but the easy workaround is to use IMAP and just leave mail open on the desktop machine. If you’re interested, this link is not a referral link- it just goes to their info page: https://c-command.com/spamsieve/ I can’t say enough good things about it. :-)

I’ve used MailMate for years now. Very customizable. Great shortcuts. Nice integration with OmniFocus and other apps. Markdown savvy. Not for everyone, but definitely worth a look. I absolutely need it’s power features: great smart folders and other features.

Oh, that is really nice. Old school, but I love his/her instructions, very clear and concise.

I’ve installed the demo, if it pans out, I’ll use your affiliate link to buy

Just for the record: it’s not an affiliate link.

Sorry, I was getting mixed up.

1 Like

I have just switched to using Airmail 4, as I am a longterm user of SpamSieve and Apple Mail on Big Sur has almost reduced me to tears over the last month! Sanity has been restored with Airmail and SpamSieve working in perfect harmony. Thoroughly recommended.

1 Like

I’ll also speak up for Airmail, but for a different reason than others have mentioned, and that is its ability to compose HTML and Markdown messages. If you’re using HTML mail in conjunction with stacks like Joe Workman’s Post Office, or mailing lists on Sendy, Airmail will let you send matching messages using the same (or a similar) template. My writing world (Ulysses, Agenda and Tav’s Scribe stack) is also now focused on Markdown, so the ability to copy and paste Markdown is important. Airmail’s composer is complicated, but its ability to toggle backwards and forwards between HTML and Markdown is nothing short of awesome!

I struggle to understand why Mail app is subject to such intense opprobrium? I use it all day, every day, since 2004. I can still access all my mail from that period onwards, with only very minor gaps. I can and do send and receive images and files up to 2Gb. It is not perfect with outlook free accounts, but otherwise reliable and fast, syncs between several Macs and iOS devices.

I used Outlook on a PC for a brief while and I have tried most of the apps on MacOS, but never found anything that has been consistently reliable. I did use spam sieve for several years, but finally gave up - I only average 1 spam/day

Improvements? Search and mail threads could be better, but it works.