A portable email surgeon
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.
Enter your email address with one tap
It's been a long time since everybody automatically knew their own telephone number, but we all remember our email addresses because we type it so often. You wouldn't think that: of all the addresses in all the emails in all the world, our own ought to be the one we use the least, as we are not in the habit of emailing ourselves. Yet continually we are giving our address out in emails and texts -- and we are forever logging in to services with our address as the username. What MailKey 1.0.2 wants to do is make that easier, it wants to make so that you just tap one button, and the address is entered.
Read those stubbornly unreadable messages
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?
It had to happen but why change our favorite bit?
As of July 15, if you use the free version of Evernote you can no longer email into it: you can't forward an email to store in your Evernote account, you can't use any apps that save into Evernote via mail. As of July 27, Evernote has a new CEO, as the company's co-founder Phil Libin has stepped to the left to allow ex-Google manager Chris O'Neill to take the helm. The two things are (possibly) unrelated but they come from the same place: Evernote needs to make some cash.
Snappy, fast email for casual users
The world seems to hate email, but it isn't going anywhere -- and those of us who like it are bemused at attempts to replace it. Microsoft Send didn't strike a chord with us but actually, maybe Bee 1.0 does. It's definitely got a place in adding convenience and speed to emails, though probably not if you're a heavy user of Apple's Mail, and definitely not if you're wedded to Gmail or Outlook.
When email just isn't curt enough
Microsoft Send 1.2.4 is more an experiment than an app: designed by the company's Garage team, it's an attempt to see what email would be like if you turn it into text messages. The answer is ... text messages. Maybe you like text messages, and for some reason can't send them to someone. If so, then Microsoft Send is for you.
All your contacts right there in your menubar
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.
Find and merge duplicate contacts on iOS
Gone are the days when you can't make any more friends whose names begin with E. Now there's no page to fill up and no reason not to just keep on adding everyone you come across. So we do. And it's a mess. Last year you added that fella your boss said you should get in touch with. This year the same guy contacted you and you cheerily added him again. Whatever you do and however fastidious you are, your address book is in a state and Cleanup Suite 5.0.3 is here to do something about it.
Showtime heading to Hulu in early July as $9 monthly add-on
Hulu is providing its subscribers with access to Showtime, thanks to a deal between the two services. The extra viewing option will offer on-demand streams of every original Showtime original series, with access to new episodes as they premiere, all through the Hulu app. Showtime will be available in early July and will cost an extra $9 per month on top of the $8 Hulu basic service charge, making it $2 cheaper than signing up for the standalone Showtime service.
Leaving and returning to the OS X email app
Postbox, Airmail 2, Outlook and of course Gmail: those are just the email apps and services I've tried this year. Any of them could've become my regular email software, but they haven't: I'm using Apple Mail, and it always seems to go this way: I try something, I come back.
One month of wrist talking with Apple's new gadget
As I write this, it is one month to the day since my Apple Watch arrived -- and I only know that because I looked it up. It simultaneously feels like I have always had one and that it is still a new toy. Those two things can't both be true, but they are and really it just means I am firmly in that time when I just don't appreciate that I'm actually a lucky git for having one.
Google creates My Account tool to manage security, privacy settings
Google is making it easier to manage the security and privacy of a user's account, by bringing everything within the same page. The new My Account site allows users to manage their Google account's privacy settings, device activity and notifications, and other settings that apply across all Google services. Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup tools also aim to simplify the process, taking users gradually through the account settings. A second site, privacy.google.com, has been created to explain what Google does with user data, how it is secured, and other similar queries.
Alternative to Apple's mail app gets new look and features
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.
One email, many people, job done
We've said that we think BusyContacts is the best address book software on the Mac, so here's some proof. One feature that we've found we keep coming back to is the ability to email a group of people. You can select a group in Apple's own Contacts, and you can choose that group in Mail, but we never did. It was a chore. Yet with BusyContacts, we do it a lot.
They've sent it, but you can't read it
Perhaps you haven't personally come across one yet, but there are one or two iPhones in the world. Yet despite their ubiquity, there are still people who don't have them, and who do email you attachments that iOS can't fathom. We don't mean the times when they send you a document made in an iOS application you don't happen to have. Often, you will need to get that app -- but if they send you an Excel file, for instance, and you haven't got that, then iOS 8 offers to open it in Numbers. Your iPhone works hard, but still there are attachments that stymie it.
This little known feature is sometimes better than forwarding
You know all about forwarding emails. If you get an email, and it's better answered by Burt down the hall or Susan in Australia, you forward it to them -- and actually, that's what you should do. For not only are you sending them the original email, you're probably also writing them a note about why you're lumbering them with this extra work. However, there are times when it's better to redirect than to forward: it's much the same, but the small difference is huge, and for some reason most people do not know this feature exists.
Unified Gmail inbox combines messages from multiple accounts into one list
Google is bringing the unified inbox to its Gmail app for Android, the search company has revealed. The latest version of the app allows users to view emails from multiple accounts on one single page, with the function not only working with multiple Gmail accounts, but also email addresses from other services, including Yahoo and Outlook.com.
The official Gmail app gets iOS 8 update, but still needs more
Google has released an update to its universal iOS email app, Gmail 4.0, and it adds good new features that exploit iOS 8. The new features are welcome, and the app is a must-have update if you're a Gmail user.
You don't even know you've got this problem, but you actually do!
It's such an obvious feature of Mail now that we don't think about it: if you start typing the name of someone in your Contacts, Apple fills in the rest. Only it does exactly the same thing in exactly the same way, even when you don't have them in Contacts -- if you have ever previously emailed them, or received email from them. So if they're not necessarily in Contacts, where are those autofills coming from then?
Create and send graphically designed email newsletters
If you just send a lot of ordinary emails, you can skip this. If you're in a company that already has designers in-house crafting gorgeous and on-message email newsletter designs, you can skip this. If you're in the middle, though, such as a small company sending out newsletters or HTML updates to a few thousand people, or even just the newsletter editor for a club with a few dozen scattered members, Mail Designer 2 and Mail Designer Pro 2 are worth looking at.
WorkMail hosted on AWS, provides 50GB storage for each user for $4 per month
Amazon is taking on Google, Microsoft, and other suppliers of remote workplace communications, with its own corporate email service. Dubbed WorkMail, the service is claimed to be a "secure, managed business email and calendaring service," hosted in the cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), and could be an easier and cheaper corporate email system to manage than current services like Exchange servers.
Acompli purchase could help Microsoft with mobile Outlook app
Microsoft has revealed it has acquired Acompli, the developer behind mobile email apps of the same name for iOS and Android. Revealed early via a mistakenly-published blog post before being pulled from view, the acquisition gives Microsoft a mobile email client from which it could easily integrate certain aspects into work already carried out by Microsoft's Outlook team.
'Activity of concern' detected in same period as White House attack, security updates underway
In late October, the White House was the target of "unusual activity" on unclassified networks, leading to the sweep of internal systems for malware and other nefarious infiltrations. As it turns out, the White House wasn't the only high-profile network hit, as the US State Department detected "activity of concern" around the same time period.
Material Design, IMAP and Exchange support included in Gmail APK
Version 5.0 of Gmail has become available to download as an APK, ahead of its expected release on Google Play. The latest iteration of the email service's app introduces many aspects uncovered earlier this month, with a visual refresh to Material Design and support for external email service both making an appearance in the app.
Inbox created by same team behind Gmail, invitation-only at first
Google has started to invite people to try out its new email service, one that has been in development for a number of years. Made by the same team behind Gmail, Inbox aims to help users manage their incoming e-mail by automatically grouping similar emails together and by picking out what it believes to be the more important incoming messages.
Updated Gmail app could support mail accounts from Yahoo, Outlook
Google will allegedly include support for some alternative email services in its refreshed Gmail app for the next version of Android. Aside from a visual upgrade, Gmail 5.0 will apparently be able to handle email from other mainstream providers, including Yahoo and Outlook, with the user able to quickly switch between the different accounts with a swipe of the screen or by selecting the relevant account from a dropdown box.
Google says there is no evidence of a breach, many logins are said to be outdated
Another credential scare has turned up online, this time for one of the world's largest free email services. The emails and passwords of around 4.66 million Gmail users have turned up on a Russian Bitcoin forum, traced backed to English, Russian and Spanish users of the service. It's not clear where or how the list was collected, but it is said that many of the logins are outdated.
Email sent to wrong address sparks privacy concerns, Google blocks access to email
A Goldman Sachs contractor sent an email containing confidential information to the wrong email account, causing the investment company to contact Google over its removal. After a Google representative told Goldman Sachs that it requires a court order to do so, the company filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of New York requesting that Google delete or retrieve the email. The company further asks for any information pertaining to its access.
Push by EFF to have Internet giants encrypt communications paying off
A statement by Apple to National Public Radio in response to its story about moves the largest Internet providers could do to enhance communication security has revealed a plan to expand end-to-end encryption currently in use to emails sent to other providers. Currently, the company's iMessage offers end-to-end encryption, as does iCloud email (@icloud.com) sent to other iCloud users. However, there is presently no encryption used on email sent to other providers -- a situation Apple says it has already been working on.
Works with Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook; pro version available
Security software company Cloudmark has made a version of its award-winning anti-spam software available for Mac users in both a free and paid version. In addition to supporting Apple's default Mail program and Microsoft's Outlook 2011, the company has added support for Mozilla's Thunderbird 17 and later email client, running on Snow Leopard (10.6.x) and later versions of OS X. The program acts as a plug-in to each of the mail programs, allowing users to set filters and flagging any potential spam or phishing emails.
Emails with key phrase were being inexplicably deleted
A bizarre glitch has revealed the existence of "pre-filtering" spam deletion algorithms being used by Apple for its iCloud email. The company acknowledged the issue and has since fixed it, but when an iCloud user would attempt to send an email with the phrase "barely legal teens" in the subject, body or title of some kinds of attachments to another iCloud user, the email would not be delivered. Replies to emails with the phrase, or messages sent to non-iCloud users with the phrase, were successfully sent. Unusually, offending messages were deleted rather than simply flagged as spam.
Should affect only 0.5 percent of users' email
Apple has posted on its iCloud status update page that it will have a brief period of planned maintenance to its free iCloud service between the hours of 10 p.m. and midnight Tuesday (Pacific time, 1-3 a.m. Wednesday Eastern time). The company says that only one-half of one percent of users should be affected by the outage, which will cause some users to be unable to retrieve email.
SharewarePublisher 1.1 ($56) allows developers to easily submit their applications to different software listing sites and repositories. The application comes with a list of almost 200 pre-configured shareware sites, about 100 of which list Mac software. Users can track how many sites they have submitted their application too and how many have listed the software. The latest release includes a new feature which can automatically copy a product's category from a submission form and store it in the softwares database. The update also fixes a problem where a created site was not displayed in the Sites drawer and a drag and drop issue present in Snow Leopard. [Download - 3.4MB]
NetMine 1.1 ($30) is designed to intercept network traffic from every application, and can help protect computers from viruses, malware, Trojans, ping floods, port scans, privacy intrusion and simple unauthorized program activity. The software acts as a two-way firewall meaning it can help prevent malicious access to a computer from both internal and external network sources. The update has added several new notifications and a new set of rules for default applications. [Download - 3.1MB]
Filemailer 2.1 ($15) is a utility that helps users share files between computers. Content can be dragged to the desired recipients name and the software will then automatically compress the file, enter its information in the subject line, insert a pre-composed message into the body, and send the file. Version 2.1 now offers support for drag and drop over the application icon and includes a new feature to simplify the creation of SMTP accounts. [Download - 4.2MB]
Multiuser Pro, TypeIt4Me
Filemailer 2.0 ($15) is a utility that helps users share files between computers. The content can be dragged to the desired recipients name and the software will then automatically compress the file, enter its information in the subject line, insert the pre-composed message into the body, and send the file. The 2.0 update now features support for TLS authentication, and includes a new option to organize contacts into groups for sending to multiple recipients. [Download - 4.2MB]
Speed Download, Wallet
Entrance 1.3 ($50) is a browser for MySQL database that uses data to draw histograms, line charts and more. Entrance also supports an new data mining feature dubbed "data painting" and an explore tree with drag and drop support for tables, queries and scripts. The SQL script editor also features a built-in error detection feature and lets users edit and run SQL scripts against their data. With the update tabs can now regenerate reports and charts automatically based on timer delays. A new online guide is also available to help users make charts with the software. [Download - 2.7MB]
Mailings 1.9.45 ($25) is a batch emailing application that can send any web page or plain text document with attachments to several recipients. Mailings simplifies the task of bulk emailing and has features such as logging, progress monitoring, scheduling, error recovery and throttling. The update has addressed a bug that caused an aborted mailing to occasionally remain scheduled to send again. [Download - 4.8MB]
Publog says the newest version of MailSteward and MailSteward Pro includes the ability to index "any and all fields" in the product's database. The company says v8.05 is the "ultimate email archiving solution for the Mac" -- and could prove especially useful for schools. Under a 2006 US Supreme Court ruling, companies, government agencies and public school districts must maintain systems for storing and retrieving e-mail for possible use in court cases. Prolog says MailSteward provides a less expensive, easier-to-maintain solution for schools and other users who must maintain archives.
Gmail server downtime
Many Gmail users were unable to access their accounts Wednesday, confronted instead with a "502 server error." Although the problem was a minor inconvenience for some, certain businesses complained of significant setbacks to their overall operation until the problem was fixed. Representatives for Google were reluctant to give a solid time frame for a resolution, but reminded users that they were working diligently toward a solution.
Sp@mX replaced by Purify
Hendrickson Software Components has replaced Sp@mX, its spam tracing and reporting utility, with Purify. Purify can filter email, forward validated email, and both trace and report spam. It can support single users or a workgroup from a central computer and its spam-filtering can be used with Hendrickson's email-archiving Compass software. The software works with virtually every email client (Apple Mail, Outlook, etc.), and supports POP, POP SSL, IMAP and IMAP SSL. Purify can filter e-mail using a statistical Bayesian filter, by country of origin and filter, accept, or ignore e-mail based on user-defined phrases. It can also accept e-mail from an imported friends list and forward valid e-mail to an iPhone. Purify filters image spam and e-mail that is not addressed to the user or uses an incorrect proper name, and it will report spammers and phishers to their ISPs. Purify is AppleScript-capable and has been tested on Mac OS X 10.5. Purify costs $30.
Mobile me FAQ
As Mobile Me nears its unveiling, Apple has written an FAQ support document for current .Mac customers who are curious about the impending transition, while a user has informed MacNN some unofficial good news regarding "@me.com" email addresses. The FAQ addresses many questions from users regarding whether or not services will be available, or whether user input is required for the process, most of which is revealed to be automatic.
Compass 1.0 archives email
Hendrickson Software this week released Compass 1.0, an automated email archiving and viewing tool. Available for Windows, Macintosh (Universal Binary), and Linux, the company claims that Compass works with virtually every email client and that future versions will archive and view Office documents, PDF files, and more. The software offers selective, automated email archiving with Purify, or AppleScripts and the ability to define Compass message stores for email messages grouping using criteria such as "from" address or user defined phrases. Users can also preview HTML and attachments using the built-in email browser and quickly backup the archive with a click of the button.