The Best Email Client for MacOS

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The Best Email Client for MacOS

Thorin Klosowski

7 minutes ago

Filed to: Mac App Directory

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Email clients come in all shapes and sizes, but when it comes to the options available on the Mac, we feel that Airmail is the best email client for most people. It’s easy to use, supports a number of different email providers, has a solid search function, and more.

Airmail 3

Platform: macOSPrice: $9.99Download Page

Features

Supports Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Exchange, IMAP, POP3, and local accounts

Unlimited email accounts with a unified inbox

Gmail keyboard shortcuts, global shortcuts, and custom shortcuts

Adjustable interface with multiple themes, modes, and layout options

Global search, filters, advanced token search, and a preview mode

Integration with Omnifocus, Fantastical, Trello, Asana, Evernote, Reminders, Calendar, BusyCal, Things, 2To, Wunderlist, and Todoist

Large contact photos for most contacts

Support for Gmail Primary Inbox

Support for folders, colors, Gmail labels, flags, and more

Attachment support for integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, Droplr, and CloudApp

Customizable notifications

VIP support with sender-specific notifications

Quick replies

Send later options

Customizable menus, gestures, and shortcuts

Today extension and handoff support

iCloud syncing with iPhone app

Folders and labels for organization

Search filters, flags, and message sorting

AppleScript support

Muting and blocking features

Task-based sorting with options to send emails to memos, done, or to-dos

Support for Markdown, rich text, HTML, and plain text

Where It Excels

Airmail’s biggest strength is the variety of ways you can customize it. Part of that comes from the fact that Airmail is updated pretty frequently, which means that not only does it regularly get new features, it’s also always up to date with the most modern iterations of macOS. Over the course of its life, those updates have added in features like snoozing, VIP mailbox, and plenty of other modern email features.

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The ways that you can customize Airmail are pretty in-depth. You can alter what’s on your sidebar, what emails you’re notified about, how emails are displayed, how long a “snooze” is, how gestures work, where you save files, and tons more. Airmail also integrates with a bunch of third-party services, so if you use one of the supported to-do apps or notes apps as part of your email workflow then it’s pretty easy to integrate that into Airmail.

Airmail is basically a power-user email app for people who don’t want to go “full power-user” with something like Outlook. It’s great for the niche of people who need an advanced email client on their Mac and who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty customizing it.

Where It Falls Short

At $10, Airmail is a bit of an investment and while it’s well worth the cost if you use all is features, not everyone needs a ton of features to begin with. While Airmail is very customizable, it’s not great out of the box, which means you’ll want to spend a 10-15 minutes playing around with various settings, options, and other things to tweak it to suit your needs. If you use email a lot for work, this isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re a casual user who just want to send and receive some mail then Airmail is overkill.

The Competition

Apple Mail is probably the most obvious competition here. The packed-in email client is… fine. It works on a fundamental level, but since it’s only updated when Apple updates its entire operating system, it’s pretty devoid of modern features. If you just check and reply to emails, it does the job though.

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Spark (Free) is easily the best alternative to Airmail for people who don’t need as many of the advanced features that come packed into it. Spark has a lot of the modern razzle-dazzle of Airmail without the clutter. It has smart inbox sorting, iCloud syncing with the free mobile app, email snoozing, and quick replies. The free part might seem like its main strength, but it gives me pause because it’s unclear what the business model is, and therefore hard to tell what will happen to the app in the future. We’ve seen far too many abandoned email apps over the years to trust any free app moving forward, even if it is run by a company with a whole productivity suite. Still, it’s a great alternative to Airmail and free to check out if you’re curious.

Postbox ($40) is another great competitor. Like Airmail, Postbox excels in search options and additional powerful features you won’t find in most other mail clients. For example, you get message summary mode, sorting by type/subject of email (called the Focus Pane), add-ons, easy archiving of messages, and more. It’s a little clunky to actually use though, and Postbox doesn’t feel as at home in macOS as Airmail does. While you can check out a trial of Postbox for free, it’s a tough sell at $40 unless you really enjoy it.

Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.

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