Update to the update 2018
Still my favorite email client, and I’m now also blessed with a version for iPad and my iPhone. It’s up to version 3. It never crashes, and the search is fast and excellent. Best email client ever!
I’m still using Airmail now, two years after I wrote this post. It has never failed me in any way. It’s now up to version 2. I guess Apple has probably fixed a lot of the problems they had back then when connecting to Gmail. And let’s face it, Google changed a lot from the original IMAP standard, so everyone had to keep up. But I’m sticking with Airmail 2. Now there’s even an excellent version for Airmail for iOS. And you’ll feel right at home. It also syncs your settings from your Mac OS X application, so now I have an HTML signature on my iPhone. Yay! The only complaint is that they did the app for iPhone only and not an iPad version. In a perfect world, it should have been a universal app. But hopefully, they’ll fix that in the coming months.
Airmail, my new favorite mail client
After Mac OS X 10.8, Apple Mail has been going downhill by every update. It’s weird because the iOS Mail app is rock solid. I have my email domain on Google Apps, and I know that Gmail doesn’t follow the IMAP standard, instead choosing to do it their way. So they use tags instead of folders, etc. The blame has to be put on Google for not following standards but is a significant player; you can pretty much set your own rules. Anyway, Apple Mail has become a slow, unreliable application although they have fixed some of the more severe problems in the latest release. For the first time in many years, I was on the lookout for a new email client software.
Time to find a new Mail Client
I wanted to be able to have both of my private and work email accounts in the same program but have them separate to make life easier, and after searching the net, I found an application called Airmail. The feature list is comprehensive to the point of me not wanting to list all the features here, but follow the link to get a lowdown on all the things the application can do. I’ll go through the things that persuaded me to switch.
Airmail is fast. I mean, really fast! I just bought a new MacBook Pro 15″ Retina with a 2.5Ghz Intel i7, so it’s probably not the best computer to pass any judgment on the speed of an application, but my computer at work is a three-year-old MacBook Pro, and Airmail feels very fast on that machine as well.
Switching between email accounts
When setting up several email accounts in Airmail, it’s easy for the user to switch between them. I have two private email addresses and one for work that I have configured in the application. There is an option to use a unified inbox, but for me, it’s much better to have my work emails separated from my private ones. You can either switch by clicking on the small icons on the bottom left column in the application window, but a quicker way is just to use ctrl–1, ctrl–2 or ctrl–3, etc. to be able to switch between your accounts.
Depending on the one you chose, Airmail will use the correct reply address and signature specifically for that account. Very convenient, and cuts down on mistakenly sending email from the wrong return address.
Another great feature is the small icon in the menubar that shows a little airplane symbol. It is black when there is no new mail, but turns blue and shows the number of new emails. The icon works as a toggle, so if you press it, the Airmail application becomes the front application, but if you push it again, the Airmail window disappears. A great feature because I no longer need to have the mail application showing all the time. That’s a handy little feature. When a new email arrives, you get a nice looking system notification through OS X standard notification system.
I do all my planning both for work and private projects in OmniFocus so it’s nice to see that there is built-in integration with OmniFocus, a program that I can’t live without. No more problems when Apple updates Mail and makes the OmniFocus plug-in stop working.
You can send emails directly to OmniFocus by right-clicking the message and select the submenu ‘dispatch’ and choose ‘Create OmniFocus Task,’ and a new task window will appear. It creates a new task and adds a URL to the specific email message.
Often you only need to make a quick reply to an email thread without any signature at the bottom. By pressing Command-E, you get a fast entry dialog box for entering your answer. It usually replies to the primary sender, but if you want to respond to all persons, just press Command-Shift-E.
You have the option to write your email messages in either plain text, rich text, HTML or MultiMarkdown. For me, this is a great feature, because I write everything in Markdown these days. But if your old school, or have recipients that have inferior email client software, you can always write and send it as plain text.
It’s easy to set up a nice looking signature that will show up at the end of your messages because you can write the signature in Markdown or HTML. You can do an HTML signature in Apple Mail as well, but it’s not for the faint of heart. In Airmail it’s dead simple, primarily if you use Markdown to generate nice HTML code.
External File Sharing Services
Most email servers have a limit on how large attachments you can have. The limit the servers usually have are somewhere between 5 to 20Mb. Airmail provides the ability to link an external service, so it uploads a large attachment and then provides a URL to the file. Currently, these are the services you can connect to:
- FTP Attachments
- Google Drive
- CloudAppSo as you can see, there’s plenty of options for sending large files to a recipient without having problems with mail servers returning the mail because it is too large.
Sometimes when an email conversation is selected, and a new mail arrives, it doesn’t show up, so you have to choose another message and then select the discussion again for it to show. This is a small bug and one of the few I encountered. I’m using Airmail both at work and at home, and this is the only bug I’ve seen so far after a couple of weeks of intensive use, so it’s a small issue that will be fixed in an update. There’s also a tiny cosmetic error (that I have reported to the makers of Airmail) in the Swedish translation of the application. Other than that, I haven’t had a single problem with the app.
This application is insanely cheap. Currently, it has an introductory price of $1.99, so you don’t have to risk a lot of money to try it out, and if you do, I’m sure that you’ll like it. If not, you just lost less money than a decent cup of coffee.