The Best Email App for Mac Money Can Buy – Airmail
Your search for a good email app for Mac should end once you have read my Airmail App Review.
Email is a pretty big deal. If yo don’t have an efficient email client on your Mac, you’re going to be a very unhappy user. Apple’s proprietary email client, Mail is good, but let’s face it. It is plagued with a lot of issues and eventually you start looking for better options.
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I’ve heard a lot of good things about Airmail and decided to check it out myself. I picked up the Airmail 3.2 Version from the Mac App Store for about 800 bucks (Rs.) and after about a month’s usage, I can say that Airmail makes me feel perfectly at home when it comes to email management.
So here’s my review of what I think is the best email app for Mac at the moment.
Airmail App Review (for Mac)
According to the app developers, Airmail is a mail client with a modern interface and a minimalist look that promises fast performance and is completely customizable. Well, time to put that statement to test.
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Setting up Airmail
Setting up any email client is is usually such a pain. There are multiple windows that open and ask you for all sorts of details and you hardly ever get it right the first time around.
With Airmail, I found email setup easy and straightforward.
Airmail lets you connect with popular email clients including iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, and Live.com.
Once you select your service provider, you just need to enter some standard details such as your name, email address, password, and you’re all set to go in a matter of minutes.
If the case of a POP3 or IMAP based account, you need to enter the incoming and outgoing server details and the necessary ports as well.
I setup my POP3, Gmail and Outlook.com email accounts and everything worked like a breeze and better still, it took less than 15 minutes to set up all 3 accounts.
One sore point with the setup, though a minor one. Airmail automatically subscribes you to their newsletter for each account you add. So make sure to turn it off before you complete the configuration.
Look and Feel – Airmail App
If you’re looking for the most visually appealing email client, Airmail won’t fit the bill. But its definitely a hell of a lot more appealing than Outlook or Gmail for that matter.
On the left pane are all the items you’ll need quick access to. At the bottom, you can see you email accounts, to-do tasks, completed tasks, and memos.
At the top of the left pane are the most important folders. That includes the Starred, Drafts, Sent Mail, Bin, Spam and To Read folders.
In the middle pane, you have your various email messages and at the far right is the Reading pane.
The Inbox displays the List view by default and I particularly liked how Airmail picked icons for each sender. The app automatically checks iCloud contacts, Google contacts and other sources to find avatars or icons for your contacts and applies them next to the email message.
A quick glance at the inbox quickly tells me that I got a few newsletter subscriptions from CNET, a couple of promotional materials from Ugaoo and some social messages as well.
This makes the Inbox look visually appealing as well as easy to find email from specific people.
So as far as the look and feel goes, Airmail is pretty standard but keeps everything nice and tidy without overwhelming with options. All folders and options are just one click away making it easy to find what you need and stay organized.
Airmail can do all the usual stuff that any other email client can do so I’m going into all of that here. What I am going to show you is where it stands out when compared to others. Here are some of its most striking features that immensely appealed to me.
One of the biggest headaches for anyone using an email client is SPAM.
Airmail comes with its own SPAM folder and email messages are earmarked SPAM in big yellow letters. However you do need to manually train it to identify spam and a double-tap or right-click of the email will give you the option to mark mail as SPAM.
Sorting email is a simple task that every email client does with aplomb. Airmail lets you sort email by unread status, starred items, attachments, conversations, dates and plenty of other criteria as well. But what I particularly like about Airmail is how I can quickly see messages from a particular sender, select them and delete or archive them according to my needs.
For example, I have this newsletter subscription from Ugaoo that’s been piling up and I need to archive all of them in one go. I select any email from Ugaoo and use the keyboard shortcut of Control+F to sort by sender. Then I press = to select all those sorted email. Now I simply hit the Archive button to clear them off my Inbox. So with just 3 actions, I’ve cleared out a ton of email from one particular sender. This shortcut is a great time saver especially when your email messages have piled up for some reason and you need to take quick action on them.
One Airmail feature that struck me to be quite useful is Send Later. This feature lets you pick a date and time of your choosing to send out a mail or a series of email. I like Send Later. It lets me automate email that needs to be sent out during the course of the day, week, month or year at my own convenience. That means I can sit for an hour or so, plan out my email campaigns and forget all about it. Its a big time saver as well. The downside of this is that it only works on a Gmail or Exchange account.
If you’ve been using your email for a long time, you know that your Inbox is filled with all sorts of stuff, from newsletter subscriptions to personal and work related correspondence. Over time, the Inbox gets too noisy. VIP Contacts makes it easier to see through all that noise.
What I do is set up my most important contacts as VIP contacts. That sends email from such contacts into a special folder where I can get an exclusive view of all email messages sent by that person. So if I want to check email from my Mom or my boss, its just a click away.
Similar to the VIP Contact feature is Smart Folders. It is designed to help you sort email based on a number of criteria. Its like a Search filter that collects email from your Inbox based on some criteria and puts it into a smart folder for easy viewing.
So let’s say you want to find email from a particular vendor but your correspondences with that vendor spans multiple email accounts. You can filter the email based on various search criteria like Sender, Subject, Label, Filename and so on.
Smart Folders is another useful feature from Airmail that will benefit users who work with multiple email accounts.
Yet another useful feature in Airmail for Mac is the various integration of services with the app. As many as 21 services are integrated with Airmail. That includes Dropbox, Box, FTP, OneDrive, Fantastical, 2Do, Asana, Google Drive, Wunderlist, OmniFocus, Trello, BusyCal, and Droplr among others.
I completely love this feature in Airmail as it helps me access all my data from Dropbox and Google Drive and keep track of my to-do items from Trello right from inside my Inbox.
What’s even better is that I can access these services by adding them as shortcuts on my Reading pane. I can only use 4 services, but that’s good enough for me. All I need to do is go to the Services tab in Airmail Preferences and link my services. Here, I’ve linked my Google Drive service to Airmail.
Next, I head over to the Services tab in Airmail Preferences and add Save to Google Drive as a button.
When I head over to my Inbox, the shortcut button is right there in the Reading pane. Now when I want to save an email I’m reading to Google Drive, I simply click on the Google Drive button.
Adding an Unsubscribe option is also something that I found very helpful. I could go on and on about each feature’s brilliant integration with Airmail, but I think you get the picture . If you use any of the services that Airmail integrates, you could get a ton of work done in less time with no hassle. I’ve yet to see an email client that does this level of integration with such ease. Using these various services with my email feels like the most natural and efficient way to get things done. Kudos to Airmail for that!
Everyone has their own comfort level when it comes to working with an email client. Some users are happy with their software and some want something that feels natural to their work style. An application that does not overwhelm a user with too many options while still offering enough flexibility to conform to each person’s needs and working style is the Crème de la Crème of applications.
Airmail for Mac comes pretty close to matching that description. It has plenty of customization options that meets my work needs. There are no complicated configurations and no learning curve for using any of these features. Airmail syncs between my Mac, iPad Pro and iPhone using iCloud so I have access to all my stuff on any device I use.
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It lets me work with integrated services with ease and lets me see important mail from my VIP contacts at a glance. It makes coordinating actions, completing to-dos, assigning tasks to others, and working with cloud solutions easy and efficient.
The app isn’t perfect yet! The app does not support Active Sync, so if that’s something you rely on, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
If you want a clean, user friendly app with tons of good features, go for Airmail for Mac.
Price: $9.99 Download Link: Mac Store
If you are unhappy with your email client, consider using Airmail. Its a tad expensive and you have to buy the Mac and iPhone/iPad versions separately, but its money well spent.