How many options are there for Mac users to handle their email? Plenty. The number is growing and the price is right. Most of us are familiar with Apple’s Mail, whether we use it or not. Mail is easily the most popular Mac email application, followed by Microsoft’s Entourage. After that, the email client field thins out. What other Mac email options exist?
Your Mac’s browser, in whatever flavor, from Safari to Firefox, is home to a large and growing number of email users.
Yahoo! email is the largest of the web-based email solutions with over 100-million users. Second is Microsoft’s Hotmail, then Google Gmail, followed by AOL’s mail. Apple’s MobileMe, though attractive, is farther down the list.
It’s arguable, but the main benefit to browser-based online email is that it can be checked on virtually any computer, Mac or PC, from any location, without having to carry your computer wherever you go.
Other features include folders, spam filters, address book integration, and styled email, ala HTML. Email in your browser is not longer the ugly cousin of email
Beyond Apple’s Mail and Microsoft’s Entourage are a handful of email solutions, each with their own feature and benefit set, personality, and user base. I count half a dozen recently updated Mac email clients worth of consideration.
Mozilla’s Firefox is popular among browser users, and so is Thunderbird, the open source Mozilla mail component, Mac or Windows. The objective is simple:
Our goal is to produce a cross platform stand alone mail application using the XUL user interface language. We are modeling ourselves after the Firebird rewrite of the Mozilla browser. Our intended customer is someone who uses Firebird (or another non-mozilla browser) as their primary browser and wants a mail client based on mozilla that “plays nice” with their browser.
Don’t think that the Mozilla email project is alone. It spawns. The venerable and once popular Eudora is now based on Mozilla via the Penelope project.
We are committed to both preserving the Eudora user experience and to maintaining maximum compatibility, for both developers and users, with Thunderbird.
Fair enough. The interface is different than Thunderbird, yet far different than previous versions of Eudora.
Of all the Thunderbird-inspired email clients, Postbox is my favorite. It’s new. It’s fresh. In many UI ways it’s an improvement on Apple’s Mail. I particularly like the search capability, and the tabbed organization.
Postbox works behind the scenes to catalog everything in your email. We mean everything: every bit of text, every contact, address and link. Every picture, document and attachment. It’s all in the catalog and it’s all searchable.
Outside of Apple, Microsoft, and Mozilla, other email solutions exist, though with limited usage, and a different focus than the mainstream email clients.
Bare Bones’ email software was Mailsmith, which is now Stickshift Software, and free.
Mailsmith is a Internet email client for Mac OS X which offers unparalleled filtering, searching, editing and scripting capabilities.
Lots of geeky filtering and scripting capability built in.
Remember Claris Emailer? Alright, so I’m old. PowerMail reminds me of Emailer, once my favorite email client. PowerMai’s claim to fame is search speed, though the feature set continues to grow.
Designed to fully embrace Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and integrate well with iPhone, Time Machine, Spotlight, Apple Mail import/export and other modern technologies, PowerMail also delivers the latest in 3rd-party services integration, from Growl notification to Kagi instant purchasing, from Smart Reports to auto-updating application services.
My experience with PowerMail has been more hopeful than enjoyable.
There are other Mac email clients available, though few have been updated in recent years. Last on my list is GyazMail, last updated a year ago. I like this one but can’t come up with a compelling reason to use. It supports multiple paned windows, multiple accounts, HTML display, SpamSieve support, scripting support, and imports Apple Mail.
With so many other capable email clients available for Mac users, what is compelling about GyazMail, other than it’s not from Apple, Microsoft, or Mozilla?
For many years I was hooked on Entourage because of the built-in contact and project management support. Apple’s Mail, iCal, and Address Book do some of those chores, and I’ve moved tasks and projects to other applications. Entourage will die next year in favor of a Mac version of Outlook. I’m trying to become Microsoft free. That means I’m on Mail. It’s not perfect, but that compelling reason to go elsewhere isn’t visible. Yet.
If you’re not using one of the above to handle your email, what do you use and why?