updated 10:33 pm EST, Tue February 25, 2014
Fixes issues with Gmail, Exchange, unread counts and more
A new report by TidBITS' Joe Kissell, author of the forthcoming Take Control of Apple Mail, says that Tuesday's release of OS X 10.9.2 makes great strides towards fixing the known issues with the rewritten version of Mail crafted for OS X Mavericks. As reported earlier, Apple released the update earlier today to address a number of issues, including a serious SSL vulnerability, as well as add FaceTime Audio calling and a new version of Safari among other changes.
According to Kissell, the version of mail in the outfit (officially known as version 7.2, build 1874) addresses most if not all of the biggest issues that have plagued some users (particularly Gmail users) since the release of OS X Mavericks. While Apple lists its fixes to mail in more generic terms, among the biggest fixes were an improvement in the accuracy of "unread counts," improved VoiceOver navigation, better compatibility with Gmail Archive mailboxes and better handling Gmail labels, and resolving an issue that prevented Mail from receiving messages from certain providers.
In addition to Apple's notes, Kissell notes that numerous smaller issues with Gmail special mailboxes has been resolved, including problems with the "store on the server" options in Gmail accounts -- with the new version, users can opt not to store mail on the server at last. Mail uses can also now specify locations other than the defaults for Gmail's Drafts, Sent, Junk and Trash mailboxes. Rearranging Gmail mailboxes in Mail is now possible, apart from the special-purpose, automatically-created Gmail boxes such as Important and Chats.
In good news for AppleScript fans, AppleScripts work correctly again and can "see" into Gmail mailboxes, thus no longer reporting them as empty. Exchange users will be pleased to know that Mail now checks for new messages periodically again, rather than just (and only) on launch. Finally, Smart Groups can now be added to a field in a composed email and, as long as it is spelled correctly, will function as it should -- and dragging a message from any mailbox to the unified inbox no longer requires users to specify which account it goes in as it did in Mavericks previously, it now goes into the right one automatically as per the Mountain Lion behavior.
Kissell says he is continuing to test the new Mail and that he "wouldn't be surprised" to see further improvements (and new bugs, possibly), and that some other well-known issues with Gmail, Exchange and Smart Mailbox counts may not yet be resolved -- but generally sees 10.9.2's Mail as a big step in the right direction. "But, to keep this in perspective," he adds, "Mail is now at the point where it should have been when Mavericks was released."