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Good Email App

dwfaust

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 3, 2011
6,810
7,634
I am so over Apple and the cluster**** that is their Mail app. I need something that works, is either free or one time purchase (NO SUBSCRIPTION).

I have two personal email addresses (@cox.net and @gmail.com), and I also monitor about 6 different Gmail-hosted private domain email addresses. I need something that can mange it all in a reasonable way. I don't want to have to jump through 1,000 hoops to check my email.

My favorite email app of all time was the late, great Eudora Pro. Sadly, it sleeps with the fishes, and I am left with a bunch of half-@$$ attempts at a macOS email client.

I realize that there are as many 'favorites' and 'solutions' as there are email clients and users (and as many or more threads on the subject), but dang, son... why is this so difficult?
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 68020
Feb 16, 2018
2,022
1,865
No service
The most obvious free solution would be Mozilla Thunderbird, a direct descendant of mid-Nineties Netscape Communicator.

I have used this application on and off since that era through all of its various incarnations and name changes. Today I use Thunderbird for checking backup/auxiliary e-mail accounts, light usage that happens a couple of times a week for less than ten minutes each session.

My primary e-mail app on my Mojave Mac mini 2018 remains the native Apple Mail client.
 
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TheRedOx

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2009
156
78
Chicago, IL
I've also had it with Apple's Mail app. I'm trying out Spark....I believe it's free. If it syncs with iOS then I'm happy.
 
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dwfaust

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 3, 2011
6,810
7,634
Does anyone use PostBox? I played with it years ago... Considering trying that one now...
 
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svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
207
92
I'm in the same boat, tired of Mail. So I tried Thunderbird a couple of nights ago. I used that exclusively on Windows for years. The big thing I miss is the "related messages" option that Apple provides. When I view a long email thread, it is so useful to see my responses and not count on someone quoting me.

If you try PostBox can you report back on whether it has this feature? I have the same question regarding Canary. I guess I should get off my fat ... and do some checking myself :).
 
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Fowl

macrumors member
Sep 28, 2018
73
59
One feature I miss from Outlook are the dividers in the message list, which would clearly separate the days when sorting by date, senders when sorted by sender, etc. Does any mail app have that?

Speaking of which, how is the Mac version of Outlook these days? Other than the cost, I mean.
 
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svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
207
92
One feature I miss from Outlook are the dividers in the message list, which would clearly separate the days when sorting by date, senders when sorted by sender, etc. Does any mail app have that?

Speaking of which, how is the Mac version of Outlook these days? Other than the cost, I mean.

Just fired it up to check. I don't use it, but I have it as part of my Office subscription. It's hard for me to say whether it's good or bad since I haven't used it in earnest. I can only comment on the aesthetics.

One interesting thing is that the program gives me the option of "New Outlook" or "Old Outlook". I would say that "New Outlook" is not to my taste and "Old Outlook" looks old (old fashioned). Like Apple Mail, New Outlook gets rid of the title bar and makes it hard for me to find a spot to drag the window around.

I do prefer Old Outlook to New Outlook. That's worrying since they're probably going to retire Old Outlook. Progress!!!

All in all, I'd say Outlook (both new and old) is a bit garish when running on Big Sur; it doesn't work for me stylistically. Maybe I'm missing some customizations that someone could point me to. For example, the blue of the window heading in both versions really bugs me.
 
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HenryAZ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2010
657
126
South Congress AZ
Does anyone use PostBox? I played with it years ago... Considering trying that one now...

I used it for a couple of years. It is a direct clone of Thunderbird, with a prettier UI. I even purchased their "lifetime license" when they offered it. But, if you do any type of configuration that is not in Preferences, Postbox is not for you because they have cut off access to the Config Editor. They don't trust users not to mess up their installation. I've gone back to Thunderbird and am much happier. I prefer their 68.x.x chain rather than the newest ones. Currently running 68.12.1.
 
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OldGreyGuy

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2014
99
13
Near Brisbane, Australia
I use both Airmail (subscription type) and PostBox which I have via the onetime lifetime purchase. Simply I have a number of email accounts for different business ventures I am involved with and apple mail would occasionally just stop working for some of them and then suddenly start again.

Why the two, well I have found that for me email is such a critical component of my work practices that occasionally I have found that messages do not render properly and this appears differently in each until they get a patch and suddenly they work again. Case in point was that Airmail stopped being able to display messages from Ariba (a payment interface used by a number of my customers) so I have a fallback with the other.

Yes their interfaces are slightly different, they mostly do the job properly, I admit a preference for the interface of Airmail but I have used PostBox equally as happily.

When I retire in a few years time I will probably just drop the airmail subscription and continue on with PostBox.
 
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svenmany

macrumors demi-god
Jun 19, 2011
207
92
I tried Canary. It's very pretty. Their website has a page of privacy policies. They mentioned a few things I didn't like and failed to mention one thing that I happened to stumble across elsewhere. I don't think they mean to hide anything and they seem to have a quality product, so I don't mean to disrespect them.

My expectation of a mail client is that my email is a personal relationship between software running on my own device and the server which has my email. I don't expect any third-party involvement relating to the contents of my emails, storage of my credentials, or other side-channel chatter. Canary seems to satisfy that on Mac, but fails that on iOS. That failure made me just queasy enough to back off completely. Here's what I learned:

On Mac the situation is quite good. They have some call-outs which are anonymous and can be turned off (analytics and such). I'm not fond of the read receipts feature; I feel it's an abuse of the recipient. They add a hidden link so that when your recipient loads the contents of an email, Canary's servers are notified. But, that's just my politics; you're violating the privacy of your recipients, but not your own.

I don't like the situation on iOS. Their app is built with AppFlyer. Canary describes it as "Install attribution which helps understand effectiveness of inbound marketing campaigns." Their privacy page didn't mention it; I found it here. Also a concern, but probably a necessity, if you turn on push notifications they store your credentials on their servers. (They're very clear that if you turn off push notifications then they delete the credentials.)

I suspect there really is nothing to worry about unless you're paranoid. I guess you always have to trust the supplier of your email program. I happen to trust Apple completely (even though I don't care for the Mail app).

I have this nagging feeling I'm going to stick to Apple Mail or Thunderbird.
 
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dwfaust

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 3, 2011
6,810
7,634
I've been test-driving PostBox for a week or so... saw something strange today... they have a feature that flags potential phishing emails... they have been sending daily 'tip' emails that provide help on specific topics ... today, I got that alert on THEIR OWN 'tip' email
 

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Nazwisko

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2012
51
13
I've been test-driving PostBox for a week or so... saw something strange today... they have a feature that flags potential phishing emails... they have been sending daily 'tip' emails that provide help on specific topics ... today, I got that alert on THEIR OWN 'tip' email
I'm looking into using PostBox instead of macOS Mail. Did you happen to figure out the reason for this warning? Anything else you can add about PostBox? Thanks
 
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dwfaust

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 3, 2011
6,810
7,634
I'm looking into using PostBox instead of macOS Mail. Did you happen to figure out the reason for this warning? Anything else you can add about PostBox? Thanks

No, I can't find a rhyme or reason for the alerts... they mostly show up on ads (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Chick-fil-a, etc)... I finally got frustrated and turned that setting off (Preferences > Security > E-mail Scams) ... I check links the way I always have - hover over the link and compare the URL to what I expect it to be... I typically do not click any link from an email... instead I open a browser window and type in the URL myself...
 
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Nazwisko

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2012
51
13
No, I can't find a rhyme or reason for the alerts... they mostly show up on ads (Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Chick-fil-a, etc)... I finally got frustrated and turned that setting off (Preferences > Security > E-mail Scams) ... I check links the way I always have - hover over the link and compare the URL to what I expect it to be... I typically do not click any link from an email... instead I open a browser window and type in the URL myself...
Thanks for the update!
 
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lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
1,304
432
The Netherlands
I switched to Postbox a few weeks ago. So far, I am very happy with my switch as Postbox contains a lot of functionality (most of which I am not using yet). It also has a lot of handy keyboard shortcuts and other things that makes dealing with email easier. And their website it full of useful information and how-to info. Setting up mail accounts was very easy (they have settings for a lot of ISP's/mailproviders in a database so that you don't have to enter all these yourself).

I also tried Spark and Canary mail. There were a few things that surprised me a bit:
- in Spark you cannot change size of the font of a mail, and you also cannot change the font size of the message list. I found this surprising as this is even possible in Apple Mail
- in Canary you can change the size of a font in a mail message, but the text wil be partly hidden (in Postbox the subwindow enlarges as well), and you cannot change the font size of the message list; furthermore I couldn't permanently change the font in a template. All in all Canary felt a bit unfinished for me.

Of course it will also come down on personal preferences and Postbox just clicked with me.
 
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Mistercharlie

macrumors member
Nov 27, 2020
97
39
Spark also used to store your username and password on Readdle’s servers. I think it still does, but I haven’t used it for some time. Just FYI.
 
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Nazwisko

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2012
51
13
I also tried Spark and Canary mail. There were a few things that surprised me a bit:
- in Spark you cannot change size of the font of a mail, and you also cannot change the font size of the message list. I found this surprising as this is even possible in Apple Mail
- in Canary you can change the size of a font in a mail message, but the text wil be partly hidden (in Postbox the subwindow enlarges as well), and you cannot change the font size of the message list; furthermore I couldn't permanently change the font in a template.
Thanks for posting this. I did not consider Spark due to privacy/safety issues. But not being able to change font size? Seriously? That's plain ridiculous and I'm glad I found out, saves me time checking those two.
 
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dwfaust

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jul 3, 2011
6,810
7,634
I switched to Postbox a few weeks ago. Until now, I am very happy with my switch as Postbox contains a lot of functionality (most of which I am not using yet). It also has a lot of handy keyboard shortcuts and other things that makes dealing with email easier. And their website it full of useful information and how-to info. Setting up mail accounts was very easy (they have settings for a lot of ISP's/mailproviders in a database so that you don't have to enter all these yourself).

I also tried Spark and Canary mail. There were a few things that surprised me a bit:
- in Spark you cannot change size of the font of a mail, and you also cannot change the font size of the message list. I found this surprising as this is even possible in Apple Mail
- in Canary you can change the size of a font in a mail message, but the text wil be partly hidden (in Postbox the subwindow enlarges as well), and you cannot change the font size of the message list; furthermore I couldn't permanently change the font in a template. All in all Canary felt a bit unfinished for me.

Of course it will also come down on personal preferences and Postbox just clicked with me.

I'm curious about "Until now"... has something happened that has changed your opinion of Postbox? For the most part, it's working really, really well for me.
 
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lexvo

macrumors 65816
Nov 11, 2009
1,304
432
The Netherlands
I'm curious about "Until now"... has something happened that has changed your opinion of Postbox? For the most part, it's working really, really well for me.
Sorry, I used the wrong expression (English is not my first language), I meant "so far". :)
(I edited my post so it will be more clear for others)
 
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