Fast and good looking. Is Airmail 2 enough to oust Mail from your Dock?
Airmail 2 wants to usurp Mail. It’s attractive, fast and extensible… but it comes at a price. Mail is free, so Airmail is going to have to work hard to beat OS X’s default option.
Getting set up is a breeze, importing accounts from earlier versions with three clicks and autodetecting server settings for any new accounts you need to add from scratch. As before, it’s compatible with all of the headline webmail services, plus iCloud, Pop3 and IMAP, and you can now link it to web apps such as Dropbox and Google Drive, which it can use to host attachments. You can’t annotate images like you can in Mail, though.
It sports iOS Mail-style mouse gestures, so you can swipe left and right to delete or archive messages, and convert them into Reminders or Calendar entries through a menu in their titles. If your day starts with an email audit, these tools help you complete the task sooner, and you can further automate the process using the extensive Rules panel.
Notification Center integration puts Airmail in Yosemite’s Today pane, where you can see not only your unread messages but any you’ve marked for follow-up as ‘memos’ or ‘to-dos’. This effectively turns it into an effective task manager as well as an email client, while the new plug-ins system lets you expand its default features. It’s easy to add extras like Google Translate and encryption, but it’s still lacking smart mailboxes.
We like Airmail – a lot – but despite the improvements in this latest release and its low price, it’s not going to replace Mail on our Mac just yet. Should a future release introduce smart mailboxes, that judgement may very well be reversed. Nik Rawlinson
A worthwhile upgrade for existing users, with ‘Today’ integration, but Mail is ahead in many areas, and has smart mailboxes