Tag - Mail
One of the lesser-appreciated features of email today is how you can swap the application you use to read and write it, without swapping email addresses. You can practically swap in the middle of writing a message, it's that easy, and Airmail 3.0 for OS X wants to persuade you to make the jump. Mind you, so did Airmail 2.1 which we reviewed a year ago, but each new version does push it a little further along from good to compelling.
[Update: now fixed] According to a report from Apple, approximately 0.86 percent of users are currently seeing some problems with Mail and Notes, such as the inability to send or receive email from an iCloud account for the former program, and the inability to sync and in some cases create notes in the latter program. The outage which at press time has lasted for four hours, began shortly after 8AM Eastern time. While affected users can still access the web portal of iCloud if needed, syncing appears to be the biggest issue.
It's not as if there aren't several alternatives to Apple's Mail app and it's not as if a jump from a 1.0 to a 1.1 version is ever significant. Except today. For Airmail 1.1 for iOS doesn't really add more than one tiny feature that's important, but it's important. As of this version, Airmail is now designed for iPad as well as iPhone –– and it is designed very well.
There might be another new version of the Spark email app before you've read to the end of this sentence: the company has done at least one a month since last July. Not all have been hugely significant but most have and if anything tops this month's previous release for good new features, it's this month's second one. For where Spark 1.5.0 was an iPhone app that you could run on an iPad if you didn't mind it being stretched up to the bigger screen, now the new Spark 1.6.0 is a proper universal app –– including an excellent Apple Watch edition.
We may be the only people who like email as a concept, and are fine with Apple Mail as an app. That's nice for us, but even we agree there are things we wish Apple would add, and there are now several alternative apps that provide the features we'd like, and many are struggling without. Spark 1.5.0 for iPhone is one, and like the recently-released and recently-reviewed Airmail, it chiefly focuses on making dealing with new emails very, very fast.
It's like the mostly-fictitious parable that NASA and its contractors spent billions of dollars developing a pen that can work in space where the Russian space agency just bought some pencils -- a moment ago we signed a form, and we did it using an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro, where in the past it would've been a ballpoint pen that cost five cents. You will never spend the money on all this Apple gear in order to sign forms, but if you have the iPad Pro, and you have the Pencil, you will never sign anything any other way ever again.
Airmail has been a popular email app on OS X that arguably suffered from not also being on iOS. That absence won't have bothered everybody, but now it doesn't have to trouble anyone, as Airmail 1.0 is out for iPhone.
Microsoft made no secret of how it had bought the companies behind calendar app Sunrise and email app Accompli. Now it's making a big deal of how it will be taking the best features from those and putting them right into its own Outlook. Microsoft Outlook 2.0.0 for iOS is the start of this process and for all the promise of what's coming next, it is just a start. If nobody told you, you might not spot for quite a while that anything is different at all -- unless you used the old Sunrise app.
There's is no doubt that you have at least a little interest in your Mac and OS X, or you wouldn't have read to the end of this sentence. Yet, it's equally sure that you're busy, it's certainly sure that updating will take longer than you think, and for once it is less obviously sure that you should do it. Trust us on this one, though: the upgrade is worth your time.
Email is not dead, email is not dying, email is still brilliant. True, we get a lot of it, and that is a problem. The volume is a problem that services and apps try to fix by being like Apple Mail, but better somehow. Dispatch 3.1.2, though, is like an adjunct to Mail that makes handing your emails faster and more efficient -- under certain circumstances.