I hate email.
There. I said it. That sentiment probably echoes that of most Mac and Windows PC users. Email has long been described as the killer app of the internet. Unlike the browser, which has more uses, email is such a chore that many of us are certain that it helps to shorten ones lifespan.
Is there a cure for email?
Other than falling off the grid entirely, email management requires a special discipline, and probably a different approach. Take Unibox as an example. This Mac app is a new way to do email. It’s familiar, but also different.
Everything about Unibox is contained in a single window so forget popups windows to read messages, or popups to send messages. Create a new message inline and without a second window.
Unibox is contact and thread oriented. Click on a Contact in Unibox and view all the emails from that person.
This reworking of the email paradigm isn’t so rigidly different that it’s unnerving or a deterrent to using. Instead, Unibox is comfortable, clean, and inviting.
View messages from Today, Yesterday, and beyond in the lefthand sidebar. View attachments inline or select a contact to view all messages.
Now, speaking of attachments, Unibox does something with enclosed photos, documents, images, and other relics of the email age that is truly unique.
View attachment images as if you were looking through an album of photos in iPhoto. All it takes is a click to view thumbnails or a click to view attachments in a detailed table.
I truly like the single account focus, too. That’s especially handy if you’re overrun by a number of email accounts and struggle to keep order.
As different as Unibox is to view, it still feels like an email app, and it’s mostly– but not completely– a good email citizen.
Unibox supports the IMAP standard which includes Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Hotmail, and most self-hosted IMAP servers, but not POP mail. Unibox is a Mac App Store app, comes with a price tag, but there’s also a 15-day free trial version, which is more than enough time to see how it compares with Mail on your Mac.
Preferences are extensive, including a click to log IMAP (incoming) and SMTP (outgoing) messages, an option to archive messages, and automatic or manual account setup. Special folders include Sent, Trash, Archive, and Spam, but Unibox doesn’t have the built-in filters available in Apple’s Mail app.
The negatives include no junk mail filter and no comparable iOS version for iPhone or iPad.