If you are an Apple user like me, obviously you use an email application, and probably it’s Apple Mail. Yes, there are other applications like Microsoft Outlook for example, but Mail is directly available for free in Mac OS X, and in the past has used to be damn good, while Outlook for example is still suffering some problems like the frequent corruption (and needed rebuilt) of its database.
Well, you probably are also really aware that the latest versions of Mail are not that good to say the least, instead they have become worse and worse, especially if you use Gmail or an Exchange Server.
Daily horror stories
Each of us has a list of all the problems arised with the last version of Mail available in Mac OS X 10.9 (Maverick). Among the many, for me the biggest ones have been two. First, the complete uncertainty of the sync frequency: it’s so variable that I had often to force a sync, or even to close and restart the program many times; a new mail was already arrived in my phone for example, and still Mail wasn’t showing it.
But the biggest one, and if you use Mail you know for sure, is the cpu consumption. After few minutes since you open it, Mail in many situations starts to consume 100% of the cpu for no apparent reason, with no mail activity or anything similar. As many of you, I crawled the web in search of solutions; several users were suggesting the most strange fixes but non of them was a real solution. This was becoming a real problem especially when travelling, since this strange behaviour was destroying the battery life of my Macbook. The other solution, that was to keep Mail closed and only open it every X minutes, check new mails, reply, and close again, wasn’t not something I was really interested in doing.
I’d like to have a working email application, but seemed impossible to obtain this with Mail.
There has always been in the past different solutions like Sparkle, Thunderbird, and others. But none of them had complete support for Microsoft Exchange; the best they were able to do was to connect to Exchange as an IMAP server.
Few days ago I searched again, and I found Airmail. Well, after only one day using it, I removed completely Apple Mail, and I can finally enjoy again my Macbook when working with my emails.
What makes Airmail so special? Basically, IT WORKS! CPU consumption is minimal, the software is really fast, and the support for both Gmail and Microsoft Exchange is complete. On Gmail you can use the same shortcuts you use in the web interface, and with Exchange you can manage calendar, contacts, meeting invites, and so on. It does not supports push notifications, but the sync frequency works as configured, so if I set it to check my work inbox every minute, that’s what it does.
The complete list of features is huge, and I’ve only started to explore and learn them; for example, you can integrate it with Dropbox and Evernote, and manage attachments and archiving to and from these applications.
Or again, I can finally explore the Global Address List of Exchange and see all the attributes of any user, like for example pictures or detailed fields, something Apple is not able to do with its native tools.
And the list could go on forever: custom notifications and rules per account, group conversations, or again the support for vcalendar file format! Have you ever tried to import an ics file into Apple Calendar? The native MS format is not recognized, and this feature request has been around for years with Apple doing anything to solve it.
Really, only few days has passed, but I think this is going to be my mail client for a long time.
Finally, two additional values of this program: I found out two of the three founders and developers are italians, like me! With Airmail and Reeder, Italy is becoming the home of some of the best Mac applications in my opinion.
The second one is the price: at 1.99 USD, with all the features it has this program is a gift!!!!
Bye bye Mail. welcome Airmail!