All of us have a list of what we would like to see Apple improve upon beyond the hardware. There are two new iPhones in the world, a few new Watch models, but no new iPads, no new Macs, either. With every release of OS X Apple adds a few more features, but seldom the ones I want.
My perfect example is Mail. Is there a more used Mac app than Mail? Safari, maybe. iTunes for some who listen to music all the time, but few apps are used more often and more hated than Mail. What I want is Apple’s traditional ease-of-use but with functions that help me with email, not make it more cumbersome.
Here’s the overview. Features in Mail should be modular. An entry-level version that functions something like Polymail would be nice, then layers for more functionality and features. I like Polymail. It runs on Mac and iOS. It handles major email services and standard IMAP (most of the time). It’s very user centric and does not try to do too much. No templates, no plugins, no stationery, no junk mail filter. But those are functions we want so Mail should make them available but without the current clutter we see now.
There isn’t a decent email app or plugin I haven’t tried over the years. Herald is a great add-on and makes basic email easier than Mail. And it’s free. Why isn’t that simplicity in Mail? I tried the plugin SendLater to send messages according a schedule, but that became a subscription service; pay by the month forever.
Through the years I’ve tried Postbox, Thunderbird, PowerMail, Microsoft’s Outlook (back to that subscription model) and everything in between. CloudMagic was a favorite I paid to use and it became a subscription model, too.
The basic features I want are rather straightforward and simple enough because they exist in other email apps.
- Send Later – I want a scheduler that lets me write an email late at night but send it at a specified time early the next morning.
- Open Tracker – I want an option that lets me know when an email has been received and read (as in ‘opened’).
- Spam Filter – Mail has Junk Mail Filter to trap unwanted spam messages, but it doesn’t work too well. SpamSieve is better but also an add-on.
- Easy Fast – Herald’s pop-up incoming email window is one of the best ever email management features if you don’t subscribe to the GTD method. Why isn’t that in Mail?
Templates and email stationery is nice, but that doesn’t help productivity, and managing email is one of those time suck activities that makes Mail painful to use at times when all I want is to minimize the effort and maximize the result– email gets done in less time.
I’m not asking for the world here, Apple. These features and others are available in competing email apps, but nobody seems to get them all together in one app.