Apple Mail alternatives
If Mail isn’t meeting your email expectations, try these excellent alternatives to Apple’s app
What’s the best email app for OS X?
When it works, Apple Mail is a wonderful email app, but for many of us it doesn’t always work the way we’d like it to. It has a rocky relationship with third-party services such as Gmail, it occasionally goes in a huff for no good reason, and it isn’t as customisable as some of its rivals.
If you’re thinking of switching to another email app, it’s important to know what’s involved. Yosemite can be huffy when you switch the default app. For example, Pages’ option to share a document by email disappears if Apple’s own app isn’t set as the default, and the equivalent option in other apps stop doing anything. You’ll usually need to recreate any rules, filters and spam training, and of course it’s a good idea to ensure you have a backup if you store important emails on your Mac rather than in the cloud.
We’ve looked at six major email programs here. Some you’re probably familiar with – Thunderbolt is so old Moses probably used it on his tablet, and the refreshed and revitalised Outlook has been a Mac stalwart for many years – while others may be new faces. Unibox makes email look like iMessage or your favourite chat app, Postbox takes Thunderbird’s engine and makes it sparkly and modern, Airmail is a stylish Yosemite app that’s very similar to the sadly defunct Sparrow, and Mailbox is Dropbox’s unusual and innovative answer to email overload.
There isn’t a bad app here, but there are big differences in what they do and the kind of users they are aimed at. Where Mailbox is deliberately simple, Outlook wears its corporate colours with pride. Unibox is innovative and a lot of fun, and Postbox has a huge selection of tools to help you tame your inbox, but takes time to learn.
In this group test we’ll compare the different apps on several key areas: how easy they are to set up and use, what tools they offer to organise your email, what extra features they deliver and how pleasant they are to use. Gary Marshall
There isn’t a bad app here, but there are big differences in what they do and who they’re best for