Why is the "Mail" interface just like my computer interface 20 years ago?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 31, 2005
The most commonly used program by many of us is email... whether it is Mail or Entourage or whatever, yet we dont moan and groan to Apple about recognising that its interface should be/could be a killer... by making it like Finder with the ability to organise folders like "Folder view" or any other view we can in Finder, by coloring and renaming folders and emails by simply clicking and retyping, by opening and moving email just as if they were word docs between folders and even to the "real desktop" or documents folder, where they would be accessible to say rtf or word programs and stored and sortable along wth everything else. In short, the most common program we use still suffers from the old computer interface problem of 20 years ago of inflexibility. Why not update it to be as Friendly and as flexible as Finder, to interface with the real Finder easily and to be able to access the 10,000s of mesages we keep these days in relative confusion? .... Just a suggestion for a killer app!


macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
All up in your bidness
I don't know. It sounds like a good idea, but I think Apple is a little too busy transitioning to Intel and milking the iPod at the moment to really focus on anything else.


macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2003
No. Cal.
I've often thought along similar lines in than a mail app should organize your mail in a mail folder within the documents folder. After all, mail is just documents. I don't know how associated attachments would be managed, but I'm sure someone could find a solution for this. I would think this would make it easier for people to switch between mail apps as they should then be able to sync the app with the folder of the users choosing. The again, maybe the developers of such apps don't want it to be easy to switch between apps. Moving mail from computer to computer would also be easier.

I also like Google's "search don't sort" concept and wish labels could be added to mail in mail apps and to documents in the finder so that mail and docs could essentially be located in several virtual folders (to borrow a phrase from MS Vista) for search purposes. I am aware of smart folders, but I think they are over complicated for a lot of tasks, but maybe I haven't spent enough time trying to understand them, and I'm not suggesting that labels replace smart folders just wishing they were an additional option.


Jan 18, 2005
personally I have no problems with Mails appearance. i like the way it looks right now.


macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
That's a pretty neat idea... as an extension of that it might be interesting to create a "mail app" as a set of AppleScripts that let you handle all your mail as if it were a set of documents within a specified location...

Have it automatically download and export your mail to a "Username's Mail" folder, and then have a a bunch of smart folders that index it all into whatever categories you see fit (never opened, new in the last week, from XXX, sent, sent today, has attachments, Spam, etc).

Then have a link to the folder on your desktop and/or doc, as well as a script that launched TextEdit and asked for some parameters - like To:, CC:, BCC:, etc - (and/or took them from the spotlight metadata that was added by the download script).

Seems to me that with Spotlight and AppleScript alone you could come up with a really unique and useful way to handle your mail.


macrumors 68000
Oct 1, 2004
Mountains of Vermont
This is a good point. I have decades of mail and I need to keep old copies easily available for at least several years. Large message counts really slows Mail.app down. I mitigate it somewhat by dividing it up into topics but I still end up with 5,000 to 10,000 messages in some mailbox archives.

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macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
Boston, MA
i like mail as it is. i haven't tried to archive mails the way i do it in outlook at work. i think it's not possible.

i would be happy if apple adds an archive function to mail like outlook. the only difference to the outlook archives should be that they actually should work. outlook archives get unstable above 1 GB. within that archive all mails are in a finder like structure, fully searchable (thats also not very good in outlook). i would prefer a separate system like this over having my mails mixed with normal documents in the actual finder structure. i wonder if someone could write a separate shareware program doing that. i would be willing to pay some bucks if it's good.

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