An Honest Review Of Mail Pilot From Someone Who Wanted It To Be Great

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by anonjd, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. anonjd macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2012
    I've never considered writing an app review before, mainly because I'm an awful writer, but also because I don't think my review would be better than all the real writers who review apps. For some reason, I felt compelled to write this review. I also won't talk about the lack of push or local notifications or the fact that they don't store your emails. I'll just say that I can do without push, but without local notifications the app loses a lot of it's appeal right away, and doesn't become a very efficient app.

    Lets get a few things out of the way first: I actually love email, I have a system in place to works for me no matter what device I'm using (iPhone, MBA, or through I'm also not rich by any means and $15 was actually a lot for me. But, I justified it the same way I justified purchasing Omnifocus, which has actually somewhat changed my life. Also, I tried Mailbox and really liked it, but it didn't work with my workflow. Plus, my primary account is an iCloud account.

    I want to start off with the design of the app. I think you'll either hate it or love it. Personally, I think it's good, but can use a lot of improvement. There are a few very small things that bug me though. For example, along the bottom you can see tabs for incomplete (which is your inbox), Set Aside, Dates & Lists, and Compose. You also have a search button at the top right and that drawer icon on the top left to bring in more options. First complain is about the compose screen. You have to tap at the very top of the area where you write your email or else it will start on whatever line you tap. Small thing, but I think no matter where you tap, the cursor should go to the first line.

    When you tap the drawer icon you see Incomplete take up a row and then Dates & List, Set Aside, Completed, and Sent. There is also a section called individual accounts and some support options near the bottom, but more on that later. I would have liked the icons here to be in the same order as the main screen (incomplete, Set Aside, Dates & Lists, and Sent taking the place of Compose). That's not a big deal though.

    Now, when you tap on your individual account, you're shown all your folders in alphabetical order. And you have an options tab at the top right to update your password or signature. It's simple and works. Only thing is, if you want to move an email to another folder you can tap the list Dates & List icon, but it doesn't organize your folders alphabetically. That's a big deal, for me.

    Now, here are my issues. But, before I talk about them, I should say that I think the developers have a solid foundation to build on. And if they listen to their users, this app has a lot of potential. Okay, so first issue is that when I first tested out a Gmail account it worked great. I'd move an email from incomplete to Set Aside or a specific date and another folder/label that I made and it worked flawlessly and showed up almost instantly while I was logged into Gmail in Safari. The problem I ran into was when I used my iCloud email. I'd move an email to the Set Aside folder or to a specific date and I'd have two copies of my email (one in my inbox and one in that folder). Then, sometimes it would work flawlessly. I don't think anyone wants duplicate copies of their emails and it would negate the entire concept of the app to have to check with another app on the iPhone or Mac to see if it actually moved the email. I emailed the developers and they said that this happens even to them and that it all depends on the email program you are using and that their Mac app will be out soon and this problem won't happen. Because of the way I work with my emails (all emails get moved to a folder from my inbox, unless I delete or archive them) this is a big issue for me and I can't really use Mail Pilot. Also, I think when I use IMAP, if I move an email using one client, the changes should be present across the board.

    Another issue I found is that when I send email using my iCloud email it won't show up in my sent folder. I check using Mail Pilot, the stock mail app on the Mac and iPhone, through, and the email just isn't in the sent folder. It does get sent though.

    I still have high hopes for Mail Pilot though. I think the developers are truly hard workers and will bring some great additions. (One addition I think is crucial, besides push and local notifications, is the ability to be reminded to take action on an email later that day at a specific time.)

    If the developers can put out a release that fixes the bugs I mentioned (if you check their Twitter stream, it seems there are countless bugs people are experiencing) and then focus on local and push notifications and then release the Mac app and put out steady updates with new features this app was well worth the price.

    I'd recommend this app to those who think they can truly benefit from it and if it suits your email workflow, but only when they fix the bugs and have, at the very least, local notifications. Until then, stick with the stock mail app or Mailbox.
  2. decafjava macrumors 68030


    Feb 7, 2011
    Long read but interesting thanks for the review.

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