Outlook 2016 vs Mac Mail - which do you prefer and why?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by HungarianStan, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. HungarianStan macrumors member

    May 23, 2015
    As it says above, which one do you use and why? Like, I've used Mail for a long time, and it's okay; quite functional, no real issues with it. I recently have access to Outlook for Office 2016, and...it seems okay. I guess. I don't really know what the differences are, and online reviews are sketchy at best as to differences. So, I'd like to ask my fellow Mac users, which one do you prefer, and why? Bonus if you use the mobile versions on iPad or iPhone (which i suppose I would; I'm the sort of person that likes to use the same set of apps on all my devices, if possible).
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    IMHO, there's no comparison of the two applications. Mail is an email application, Outlook is a PIM - they're different applications altogether, with Mail offering a subset of Outlook's features. I use both, for different reasons.
  3. HungarianStan thread starter macrumors member

    May 23, 2015
    I don't even know what a PIM is, so, for me, there is plenty of room to compare them. Also, anecdotally at least, most folks I know tend to use Outlook for it's mail functions, and not so much the others unless their workplaces use them (calendar is the only other Outlook function I know of that's used; I don't even know what the others would be in a PIM, whatever that is). So, I think they can be compared and contrasted, based on what is seen as primary function.
  4. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    I use Mail for personal, and Outlook at the office (because I have no choice). If Apple bundled a bunch of it's software together (Mail, Calendar, Notes, etc.) into one app they would be a bit more comparable as @campyguy stated, but I'm not sure they are.

    It's hard to say which I prefer. I'm just so entrenched in the Apple ecosystem at home, and on all of my personal devices, that I haven't made an attempt to switch to other software. I have to say, however, I do find the Microsoft Office Suite much better than Apple's similar products. However, I like Apple's OS much more than Windows so I tend to work with its default applications on all my personal devices.

    If I didn't have to incur the expense of paying for more software I might try using Outlook, etc. on my Apple devices. I hope this helps.
  5. TonyK macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2009
    PIM = Personal Information Manager.

    It incorporates Mail, ToDo, Calendar, Contacts, etc. in one application. Apple has these as separate applications.

    When I used a day planner it made sense to keep everything in a central location. And by using the separate applications I can let them update across the iCloud and all my systems stay current. That doesn't happen, or didn't, with Office. Have no experience with Office 2016 so it could have changed.

    Outlook tends to come bundled with Office and the new Office is a subscription based software so we won't be using it. My wife and I use the separate applications and for us it is not a problem.
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    These days many of us have multiple devices that sync email, contacts, notes, calendars and reminders. The only way to get Outlook to work in this manner is to have an account somewhere (Exchange, it seems) to which it can connect. Otherwise, you're just using it's email function. Sort of like using an RV to drive to work.
  7. nefan65 macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2009
    I have both, and tried Outlook 2016 but it's bloated IMO. I've turned off Mail/iCal and tried just Outlook. It definitely chews up memory, and slows things down. Switch screens, etc. there's noticeable choppiness when it's running vs. Mail and iCal.

    For what it does, I don't fine myself more productive. I find Mail/iCal fits better for me than Outlook.
  8. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    If you're only using the two applications for email and none of Outlooks other features, then obviously Mail is better since Outlook chews up quite a bit more system resources. However, Outlook is prettier and is easy on the eyes. I use both, but when I really need to respond to a lot of emails, clean up my inbox, and move messages to different folders, then I use Thunderbird to work more quickly.
  9. knguyench macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Maybe outlook is ok. Outlook support calendar meeting is ok. App mail is not good this case
  10. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    There was at least one comment about Outlook regarding "Exchange" accounts - one of the recent previous updates added "Outlook.com" accounts as a native option, but read on. I also use Win 10, which has apps for mail/contacts/calendaring and an "Accounts" app. A few weeks ago I had to wipe a Mac and I opted to start fresh.

    In my Win 10 VM, when adding accounts I noticed that iCloud.com accounts are available so I added one - my iCloud Mail and Calendars (including my "groups) and Contacts were all ported in and available for editing in the Win 10 native apps. The caveat with the imported items is that not all of the data fields map over BUT, unlike Gmail Outlook.com hasn't bunged up my data in my iCloud portal. Then, I noticed that the Win Calendar/People apps data fields resembled those in my two Office 365 accounts, so...

    On my Mac, in Outlook 2016 and the Internet Accounts I added my Outlook.com account as an Exchange Account, and it worked - all of my Outlook.com data showed up in Mail, Calendars, Contacts, and Outlook 2016 as Exchange account data. So, there's the "free" conduit for getting data in both the Mac apps and Outlook 2016 (I no longer use Outlook 2011 but don't see why it wouldn't work). My caveat is that I am being careful with making sure that I keep my data for each account segregated, since Outlook.com is still being moved to the Office 365 platform, Apple uses its own version of data fields, and I keep my business data in Win Outlook 2016, and I only use Gmail for junk. And, don't expect "real time" synchronization with an Outlook.com account, but it's still workable...

    I don't see that the above hijacks this thread too much, thought I'd share how to sync Mac data into Outlook 2016 without a "real" Exchange account.

    IMHO, I also left out one additional point - price. Outlook comes with a subscription cost or an outright cost and Mail is included with each expensive Mac. I also will offer that you could consider an application like Thunderbird (no cost) or Airmail 2 (a small charge in the MAS); I also use Airmail 2 for my Gmail accounts, which Airmail 2 is pretty good with (Labels and other Gmail-specific items are handled well in this app).
  11. Cassady macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2012
    Outlook (Accompli) on iOS is very good, imo - Outlook 2016, not really close to the features of the Window's equivalent, sadly...

    That said, I still use it since the work requires it, and calendar/meeting requests/categories integration is still good.

    A few weeks ago, I took the plunge on Mailtags (following my purchasing Mail Act-On last year) - and I'm giving it a serious whirl. It's allowing me to do things that Outlook (on either platforms) can't - but have yet to deep-dive properly...

    I guess that both have strengths in different areas, and would largely be shaped by what you might need from them...

    [Damn pointless answer this ^^] ;)
  12. Roller macrumors 68020

    Jun 25, 2003
    I've used both for years - Mail for email and Outlook for scheduling (my company is on Exchange). At one point I tried moving everything to Outlook, but I didn't like it as an email client and I switched back. If Apple or some third party offered a fully-featured, Exchange-compatible calendar app for OS X, I'd use it. By that I mean that it should do everything that the Windows version of Outlook does, including support different time zones for the start and end of an event. That's valuable for entering flights that span time zones. But, AFAIK, it's still not available in Outlook 2016 for Mac.
  13. Easttime macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2015
    In my Windows days I liked having all my PIM functions in one app (Outlook). When I switched to Apple I got used to Mail and find it works well, but missed having everything in one app. I tried Outlook when it released for the Mac but simply couldn't get it to run for some reason. Gave up and settled back into Apple Maill.
  14. MainStream, Jan 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016

    MainStream macrumors member


    Sep 20, 2010
    I use both but prefer Outlook if for no other reason than the way it handles/places attachments at the top of the message under the subject. Technically I prefer having separate databases for mail, contacts and calendar as the Apple products operate. if you have ever had your Outlook database get corrupted you will know what I mean.
  15. Roykor macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2013
    I use Mail and have 7 email accounts to run. It works okey. But i would like to have some more options like creating maps with client names and rule there email to those maps. I would like to rule out all kind of other mail to and sort it into maps. With Mail, everything in on one pile. Its a shame that i need to take the whole Office to use Outlook. I am not interested in the rest. And it will cost me also 100+ euro a year. So, i stick to Mail and take the lack of some options as it is. Mail is free and not bad. But it can be better with some simple things. If you need some more control, Outlook is your tool to mangage your email better. Also, you can go much more in depth with your signature. In Mail thats limited to.
  16. Fitch22 macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2015
    Inland NW
    Can you provide some specifics as to how you added the Outlook.com account as Exchange in the Internet Accounts? The reason I ask, is my wife's account must be one that has moved over to O365 as her IMAP access no longer works but EAS does on her iPhone/iPad as does EAS from Outlook 2016. But she would rather use Mac Mail.

    When I tried to add and Exchange account, it asked for email address and password, but failed authentication. There were also some URLs that looked like they could be modified but I don't know what to use.

    Any help?
  17. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    Honestly, not at this point. I'm posting in a couple of threads that have chatter and my input regarding this. MS has been offering that the Outlook cloud services (what they call Outlook.com) are going to be fully migrated to the O365 platform - I started reading MS blogs as early as last February. I really only noticed last week what I alluded to - but it's with one of the two accounts I have, the second one fails authentication as your SO is experiencing. The Outlook.com account that appears to be migrated still is working very well, but has synching issues with Contacts (only, the same old -997 error code that's plagued Exchange accounts on Macs for years, but the data synchs nonetheless). Furthermore, I removed the account from Mac Outlook 2016, added it as an "Outlook.com" account and it still shows up in Outlook's Accounts Preferences as an Exchange account - I'm still stumped by this behavior.

    Short answer, in time the account will be be ported. I've read that Outlook cloud services, including Accompli for iOS, will be ported to Azure "in 2016" from AWS which is consistent with what MS wrote/blogged about early last year. My main, migrated account performs so much faster than the second account it's ridiculous - I use Win Outlook 2016 to gauge both accounts for the heck of it. I used Autodiscovery, simply entering in my username (full email address) and relevant password - make sure you enter in the 2-Factor Authentication password if it's turned on for the account you're asking about.

    And, FWIW, maybe your SO could try again? I opened my Win 10 Accounts app and did see a bright red error message that Outlook wasn't synching properly and "try again later", with some hex code error. Ugh. My Mac apps and Outlook apps were working fine, tho'.
  18. takeshi74, Jan 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016

    takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Outlook because I have an Exchange account and it's what I'm used to. I prefer having all the PIM stuff together in Outlook on my computer.

    Why? The native mail app on IOS works better IMO. Outlook for Mac is nothing like Outlook for IOS.

    Instead of just matching use your needs/wants and priorities to determine the solution that is the best fit for you in each situation.

    Or commuting solo in a pickup truck to work which many people do.
  19. -BigMac- macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    i use mac mail app for majority of my mailing. when i need more features i use outlook. quite simple really. if its an ultra important email i do use outlook. i somehow trust it more.. no reason as to why
  20. hauntvictim macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2009
    Orange County, CA
    Same here, because I am also so in the Apple Ecosystem I just stick with Mail app. I love using Outlook at work. In fact I wish there was a way to import all of my contacts, calendars and mail into Outlook... Hmmm maybe a pet project or this weekend.
  21. loekf macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2015
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    Call me old-fashioned, but after using Netscape Mail and later Thunderbird for 20 years I don't see the point of switching to the Mail app or even Outlook. Outlook is too bloated. I'm too lazy to convert all old mail folders to OSX Mail app. Thunderbird still exists, so why change.
  22. sk1wbw Suspended


    May 28, 2011
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    I would dearly love to try Outlook, but I don't have a student email in order to activate it.
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I personally, prefer Mac Mail, my needs are simple, and I have no issues with using what apple provides in OS X.
  24. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    Outlook everytime.
    I find the mac mail offering laughable tbh I dont want to go back to the 1990s..

    That said, id rather apple focused on fixing OS X than adding even more bloat to the already over bloated and buggy offering we have right now.
  25. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Apple Mail is for me and I can't install Outlook to very little free space left on 256GB SSD. And Mail is free anyway.

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