What’s the best email client for Mac?

Started May 15, 2012 | Discussions
Hen3ry
Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
What’s the best email client for Mac?

I’m running OS X.6.8 with Rosetta and will continue to do so because I want to continue running some legacy programs.

One of those I have used since time began is Eudora. I've tried one or three other emailers, but I haven’t seen one that is half as good.

However, I'm thinking it is time to shift -- recently, I've had a number of mail boxes corrupt themselves. I back up weekly, so I've been able to make do bringing in the back-up mail boxes and losing up to a week's emails maximum, but sooner or later, I'm going to lose vital material.

So, sadly, I'm thinking of leaving Eudora behind, but where do I go? I love the way Eudora works, with multiple mail boxes in multiple folders, etc., its speedy downloading, easy direction of mail to various destinations, etc., etc.

Any suggestions?

Cheers, geoff
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Jen Yates Senior Member • Posts: 1,414
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

I switched to gmail years ago.

I see no benefit these days in using a software based client unless you have very specific needs (you didn't mention any).

But...

Weekly backups? If you're not happy losing a weeks worth of emails then I'd sort that one out if I was you.

Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,748
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

I too used Eudora of old for a long time, but switched many moons ago. Primarily I use Mail, but it does have some shortcomings.

I'm afraid all you can do is try some out, and see what suits best.

I find all of the Thunderbird stable to be far too buggy and unreliable (including PostBox, and Eudora OSE, which is not a patch on the original)

There are some others to try, Mailmate, Mailforge, GyazMail, Sparrow (App Store only), and perhaps MailSmith (POP only)

Personally I find not a single mail client currently has either a full feature set, decent UI, or is reliable.

Of them all, I keep staying with Mail, as it overall seems to work the best - adding Attachment Tamer and MailHub makes it much better though (for me at least).

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jfelbab Senior Member • Posts: 1,842
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

I've also used a myriad of mail programs and have settled in on Apple Mail as an adequate package.

I also run Time Machine and so I have hourly back-ups of my e-mail that I can recover if needed. I have on two occasions accidentally deleted some e-mail and was able to restore them in a couple minutes. TM software is free and all you need to do is plug in an external drive and take advantage of seamless, transparent back-ups. No reason to lose a weeks worth of e-mail ever again.

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Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,748
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

jfelbab wrote:

I've also used a myriad of mail programs and have settled in on Apple Mail as an adequate package.

Yeah, it's just a case of it being the best of a bad bunch.

I also run Time Machine and so I have hourly back-ups of my e-mail that I can recover if needed. I have on two occasions accidentally deleted some e-mail and was able to restore them in a couple minutes. TM software is free and all you need to do is plug in an external drive and take advantage of seamless, transparent back-ups. No reason to lose a weeks worth of e-mail ever again.

I've switched everything over to IMAP now anyway, which makes trying out different clients much easier :).

TM backs up other email too BTW, or indeed anything you have on any connected drive that isn't specifically excluded.

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ekohn Regular Member • Posts: 155
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

just my 2 cents.

First, I think this might end up being a personal preference. Some like OUTLOOK, some like the simplicity of Mail.

Like others, I've tried a LOT of clients. I still come back to mail (I run the latest OSX). I find it very fast, especially if I search over 10K emails between multiple boxes.

And I love the clean look.

but again, try and find your favorite. I do recommend that you stick with one for a week before determining it sucks.

EricWN Senior Member • Posts: 2,232
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

Still using OS X Mail for my communication. It is simple, straight forward and has some good features.

Tested Sparrow recently, but it will be more useful for those who use freebie-stuff like FB and gmail. It's a nice client but really simple without many extras.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,484
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

I also had to make the switch after using Eudora for many years.

GMail is out due to its message scanning and Google's practice of tracking Internet activities when logged-in to an account. Creepy!

Thunderbird wouldn't accept keyboard inputs; apparently it is a common problem. Postbox is a gussied-up Thunderbird with a questionable upgrade policy that has angered users over the years.

Poor ol' Mailforge has been trying to replace Eudora for over two years. I paid $19.95 early in its development but I finally gave up on it ever making it past beta testing...

Apple Mail? I dislike its so-called Wizard (try configuring a POP3 GMail account...) and it's tendency to forget account passwords. I don't appreciate having to pay for plugins in order to obtain some control over the software.

I finally settled on GyazMail. It Just Works. No, it's not Eudora and it isn't perfect. But I have discovered that I don't need the bells and whistles that it lacks. I've been using GyazMail for over six months and I don't find myself missing Eudora one bit.

elliotn Senior Member • Posts: 1,867
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

I've been using Gyazmail for years. Like he said, it just works.

tjack Senior Member • Posts: 1,160
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

I have been using Sparrow for a while now. I like the app because it is small, simple, and to the point. It will also do pretty much anything if you are willing to learn how. But, I keep it simple.

Before that, I used Thunderbird for years on both my MBP and Windows machines. I never had a problem with it. Co-workers at the college still use it and also like it. Some people on this site have complained about problems, we have seen none.

Microsoft Outlook is OK but, for me, overly cluttered and trying to do too much.

I have never liked Apple Mail. Nothing really wrong with it, I just find it annoying for no particular reason!

As a personal aside, the cult surrounding Eudora is really unfounded. I remember using Eudora back in the Middle Ages when you had to pay good money for it. Really now, there is nothing about Eudora to make one wax poetic. More false nostalgia than reality.

jbagg Regular Member • Posts: 237
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

Jen Yates wrote:

I switched to gmail years ago.

I see no benefit these days in using a software based client unless you have very specific needs (you didn't mention any).

But...

Weekly backups? If you're not happy losing a weeks worth of emails then I'd sort that one out if I was you.

Here are two very good reasons to use traditional e-mail programs:

1. Control.
2. Privacy.

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Hen3ry
OP Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
Many thanks for your input, everyone. I get the message...

…there's really no replacement for Eudora!

And I also got a message from a friend reminding me that Eudora gets nervous if you let any of your trays get too heavily loaded. About 1,000 posts is the really safe max.

I looked at the mail box that's corrupted itself a couple of times recently, and to my astonishment, found it was up to 2,400+ posts. It's not a critical mailbox and not heavily used normally, so it has been quietly creeping up, and I've had a burst of activity in that area recently.

Oh dear -- so I opened up the back-up, took the scythe and pitchfork to it, and reduced it by2/3rds! I'll see how it goes.

Many thanks for your pointers and tips. I've tried most of the possible alternatives at various times but simply found them wanting compared with Eudora. And that, in turn, comprises two elements, I suppose -- I have been using it since the beginning of time (although I did have a flirtation with Cyberdog of blessed memory) so I am accustomed to it, and it does what I want (or perhaps I do what it allows me to do and I think that’s what I want!).

Either way, I really do find it a very convenient program.

As for Time Machine continual back-ups -- no thanks. I'm on a laptop for light weight, flexibility, and portability, and I spend time away from the power supply. I like to keep back-ups simple. If I lose a bit now and again, so be it.

It’s very rare.

My thanks again for your help. Oh for a Eudora replacement that's as good as Eudora. But I’m not holding my breath.

Cheers, geoff
--
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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,484
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

tjack wrote:

As a personal aside, the cult surrounding Eudora is really unfounded. I remember using Eudora back in the Middle Ages when you had to pay good money for it. Really now, there is nothing about Eudora to make one wax poetic. More false nostalgia than reality.

Well, there actually were a lot of things to wax poetic about Eudora; sorry that you didn't discover them. It's amazing that Eudora continued to function well for me for six years after development ceased. If I hadn't upgraded to an MBP running Lion I would still be using Eudora.

Current e-mail software doesn't come close to Eudora in terms of control and customization. Eudora is particularly useful when juggling multiple accounts and a large number of messages on a daily basis. It's really geared toward so-called "power users." Many people do not fall into that category.

Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,748
Re: Many thanks for your input, everyone. I get the message...

Hen3ry wrote:

…there's really no replacement for Eudora!

Correct.

However, I also seem to remember it wasn't entirely the best mail client in some ways, IMAP always sucked with Eudora, something that would be more important to me these days. HTML reading wasn't always great either, which like it or not, is simply something that's needed these days.

[..]

Many thanks for your pointers and tips. I've tried most of the possible alternatives at various times but simply found them wanting compared with Eudora. And that, in turn, comprises two elements, I suppose -- I have been using it since the beginning of time (although I did have a flirtation with Cyberdog of blessed memory) so I am accustomed to it, and it does what I want (or perhaps I do what it allows me to do and I think that’s what I want!).

Oh CyberDog, I remember that too, and really wish they could have progressed that further. I really got the idea of the OpenDoc system.

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jfelbab Senior Member • Posts: 1,842
Re: Many thanks for your input, everyone. I get the message...

Another source for e-mail client information is ESP.

http://www.email-standards.org/

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Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,748
Re: Many thanks for your input, everyone. I get the message...

Interesting, but most of the reports are 4-5 years old.

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graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,318
Re: What’s the best email client for Mac?

I switched from Eudora to Apple Mail. Mail was not quite adequate at first, but over the years it has acquired many of the features I used to enjoy in Eudora.

If you do this and your messages are not quite right, you may get a better mailbox conversion with Eudora Mailbox Cleaner than with the Apple Mail built-in conversion.
http://homepage.mac.com/aamann/Eudora_Mailbox_Cleaner.html

Hen3ry
OP Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
Re: Many thanks for your input, everyone. I get the message...

jfelbab wrote:

Another source for e-mail client information is ESP.

http://www.email-standards.org/

Thanks, Jim.

Andy, you’re right about the HTML but I do plain text and put up with the HTML rubbish when it appears.

As for IMAP -- maybe it’s not good with that but I don’t even know what that is all about. I just use the old POP (which is what my grand-kids call me, cheeky sods!) which has been working for me for 20+ years so I should worry! Or should I?

Cyberdog was a victim of Gates -- one of the prices of Gates continuing Word/Orifice support for Mac and investing in Apple when it was at its nadir.

Cheers, geoff
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graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 6,318
Re: Many thanks for your input, everyone. I get the message...

Hen3ry wrote:

As for IMAP -- maybe it’s not good with that but I don’t even know what that is all about. I just use the old POP (which is what my grand-kids call me, cheeky sods!) which has been working for me for 20+ years so I should worry! Or should I?

POP has a fatal flaw. It is only tracked on one machine at a time. If you mark an image read, it is only marked on the machine you first read it on. As I understand POP, if you send an email, the copy of the sent message can only exist on the machine you sent it from. Other actions, like deleting and writing drafts, are also segregated and isolated to individual clients. This makes it from difficult to infuriating to check email on multiple clients.

IMAP fixes all that. When I read an email on my laptop, it is marked "read" on my desktop and on my iPhone and if I check mail via webmail. If I compose a message draft on my desktop and I have to run out the door, I can open my iPhone mail program and...the draft is there! With no extra work on my part. Because it got synced back to the mail server. Now I can finish and send the email even though I walked away from the computer it was originally composed on. The same convenience applies if you check mail on a home computer and a work computer. It also means if you delete an email in one place, it is consistently deleted in other places. With POP, you would have to delete the same email on every email device you own.

IMAP could be said to be one of the first popular cross-device "cloud" implementations, even if it wasn't thought of with those words.

This should help you figure out whether you need IMAP. If you only check email in a single program on a single computer in the universe, you do not need IMAP. POP is just fine. But if you need to be able to use email on multiple devices, or even on multiple clients on the same device, IMAP will keep you sane while POP would probably result in you tearing your hair out.

You can see why IMAP is becoming standard now. It's not uncommon for someone to now have one or two computers and one or two smartphones/tablets that they check email on. POP would be a total data disaster in this scenario.

This reminds me why I had to desert Eudora in the first place. Its support for secure IMAP was pretty horrible for the longest time, while Apple Mail worked fine.

Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,748
Re: Many thanks for your input, everyone. I get the message...

Although, going back a short time, POP also had the advantage that you controlled fully the storage and archiving of your messages.

IMAP relies on you having enough storage space available on the server to be able to store as many messages as you need, POP is only reliant on the disc space you have on your system.

Not too long ago, some IMAP services were only giving a few MB of storage space (usually whatever was included in an ISP account, and was shared with whatever space you used for a website etc.).

Not that long ago either, many ISPs, at least here in the UK, weren't even offering IMAP as an option, or you might have had to pay extra for it. This probably means that many older users of email are still using POP.

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