Copyright © 2016
Tag - Mail
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 5 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.
You need to shut the world out so that you can get this urgent thing done, and maybe that's really what Airplane Mode was invented for. However, even or especially in your busiest times, you cannot afford to miss an email from your partner or your boss. So now the answer is the VIP feature in iOS 8: quickly nominate people whose emails get through to you, and choose how much they disturb you. Well, that's how much as in whether you get a bleep, a dropdown notification, a banner or a full middle-of-the-screen alert. It's not as in whether they're sending you disturbing news or not.
It happens when you're in a poor signal area: your iPhone tells you there's a new email message but it won't show it to you. You can see who it's from, you can see the subject heading but when you go into it Mail gets stuck on the word "Loading". It's annoying but not unreasonable when you remain in that poor signal area but then you leave there for some Wi-Fi oasis and still that message will not get beyond Loading. Now what?
Perhaps you know a lot of people, perhaps you don't. Yet you can be pretty sure that most of the ones you do know have at least one email address, a cell phone, a work line, maybe even a fax if you remember those, plus a website and a Twitter address. Lots of people times lots of contact details means it can take ages to get to the person you want. The newly updated iAddressX 3.6.0 aims to fix all that by putting every detail into one icon on your OS X menubar.
As with any software where Apple already provides something as part of OS X, you have to have good reasons to spend money on alternatives. The makers of Airmail 2.1 have plenty of reasons for you, and they are good and they are useful, yet somehow they're not completely compelling.