Two email apps to replace Apple’s Mail

“Yes, email is the app we love to hate. Email is the killer app of the internet (ostensibly because we’d like to kill, it, or, because email could be the death of us),” Tera Thomas O’Brien writes for TeraTalks.

“Apple’s Mail app is decent, packed with useful features to the point of visual clutter, and might be the Mac’s most unstable, unreliable app in the 21st century, but all of us need and use email so what’s the alternative?” O’Brien writes. “All of my email accounts can be loaded up in a browser window and that actually works well; from Gmail to iCloud to company to personal email. In a browser window? Yes. That also means you don’t get all the features available in Mail, so, again, what’s the alternative?”

“Here are two you might like. One free, one not so much, both chosen because, like Mail, they run on Mac, iPhone, and iPad,” O’Brien writes. “First Free – Polymail is, at least for now, a free and very special email app… Second, Not Free – CloudMagic looks, feels, and works like the lightest featherweight email app you’ve ever used. It’s pristine. It’s clean.”

More info and links in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you use or have tried either, let us know your verdict below!


  1. ” … might be the Mac’s most unstable, unreliable app in the 21st century”

    Really?? I’ve been using Mail on Macs, iPhones and iPads since it became available and I can’t ever recall any instability or other issues.

    On my Mac, I used to use Eudora and once I switched to OS X, Mail replaced Eudora for my purposes with no problem at all.

    1. Yes it certainly one of the most unstable apps. Just look at the apple forums for help trying to fix that. Gmail accounts don’t work hardly at all. The constant asking for stored passwords is ridiculous. At times apple mail becomes unusable even after you entered your stored password. Thunderbird has no such issues, which tells me it’s just poor Apple coding. Tim Cooke quality and no fixes on the horizon.

    2. I’ve been using Mail since day one, Public Beta. Along the way when things felt weird I tried Thunderbird a couple times but always switched back to Mail. It has been very consistent and a pleasure to use since I spend so much time in Mail.

      However, you would think that after 15 years the app would get more stable rather than less. Yes, it definitely has some stability quirks and issues. But I see these same issues across several built-in apps, with Reminders being the worst, so I don’t think this is specifically an issue with Mail.

  2. I’ve used it for a while. The problem I have is when I try too add an iCloud account I get this message: “Adding iCloud accounts is temporarily disabled.” I tried my app-specific password but it still gives the error. Worked fine with Gmail and Ooutlook, though. I haven’t pursued a fix for the iCloud issue at this point.

    1. One-star vote already, eh?

      Here’s the Polymail story on iCloud: “We’ve recently become aware of syncing issues for certain iCloud accounts ☁️ and are working with Apple to find a solution. At this time, we do not have an ETA on when it would be resolved by and have, hence, disabled the option. Sorry for the inconvenience and we’ll keep you posted about our progress.”

  3. First, I’ve never had an issues with the Mac mail application.

    Second, I would NOT have a Gmail account…..ever.

    Personally, the alias’ that you get with the iCloud account are great. I use .mac .me. iCloud extension and change the account names often. I do have a couple other email accounts for work that also come into my Mac mail. Those also work without issue.

    What’s the point for installing another email application?

    1. I maintain what amounts to an inactive Gmail account only for the point of having one in order to access a few Google services.

      Regarding Apple Mail: I run into occasional goofy bugs and end up force quitting the app maybe once a month. Otherwise, it does what I need for my purposes. One thing I do every day is clean up (‘vacuum’) the Apple Mail Index. Apparently, this is the secret to my success. The Index clean up can be done with a variety of utilities. I like using MainMenu Pro because of its simple automation of tasks.

        1. The star voting system is an abject failure, for the following reasons.

          It easily can be, and has been, hijacked and thus rendered Into a malevolent tool of condemnation.

          It is a passive and therefore inferior method of social interaction. Pre-star, getting a plus one or a supportive comment was a real accolade. Stars have no substance or context.

          Star votes are not tagged with voter IDs, as they are for example in Disqus. Thus unregistered trolls carry the same weight as long-time users. More, since some of them pretend to be legion.

          Getting zero votes arouses no emotion, but getting a single one-star vote gets the blood boiling like a slap in the face. After a few more votes the average goes up, and the slight is forgotten; but the initial voter, usually reacting not to the message but to the identity of the poster, has the decisive, negative impact–and gets away with it.

          Real-time, independent testing of the vote-averaging system indicates a flaw in the arithmetic that may arise from either jiggering or bad coding, or even moderator intervention.

          The Facebook effect has infiltrated MDN: psychologically, people want to collect “Likes”, and that affects what they otherwise would have said, or bothered to say.

          Finally, voting systems are registers of attention, which is what trolls seek as validation. Not all legitimate commenters can resist responding to their provocations, which causes them to persist in their happy perfidy.

          1. The star rating system is fine. It allows people to vote down the regular asshats, like ‘peterblood’ and that curry idiot, who knows very little about anything but has an opinion about everything.
            “malevolent tool of condemnation”
            One star for melodramatic ‘herself’.

  4. Polymail – I can’t use a program that doesn’t work with IMAP accounts.

    CloudMagic – I need a program that supports automatic replies. As far as I can tell from the website, Cloudmagic doesn’t. I suggest a careful feature review before spending $20.

  5. There is an email client in the web browser SeaMonkey and there is always the free and venerable Mozilla Thunderbird.
    Both are free.
    Both still offer support for older OS X versions 10.6.8-10.8.5, as well, as more recent versions of OS X.

    1. The article was about replacing Mail on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Thunderbird, SeaMonkey and others do not run on iOS, some of the other examples are iOS only.

      Microsoft’s Outlook does, and the iOS version is quite good, but the Mac version has a hefty price tag.

  6. I use three Macs and an iPhone daily with several accounts on each, and Mail crashes once in a blue moon. Heck, it’s a more reliable Exchange client than Outlook.

    (and if you think Mail is cluttered, you’ve never been exposed to that “hoarders”-esque mountain of clutter that is Outlook.)

    Not sure what people are doing to get it to crash but I’ve never figured out how!

  7. I know that article doesn’t mention this one, but “Spark” is a great free email app by Readdle. Two of the best features are the ability to “snooze” emails until a later time, and the ability to mass delete all your “newsletters” (spam) with one swipe. It’s got a significant learning curve compared to most mail apps, but man is it good.

    1. Watch out if you talk about their advertising they will ban your ip. They are VERY quick to ban ip’s on just one post. Just install an ad blocker and if they try to ban you then just use a VPN and switch countries. I’ve complained 3 times about the amount of ads, ad words, etc as it has grossly expanded over the years. They ended up banning me 3 times. So ad blocker and VPN fixed that nonsense. Who bans people for a simple one post complaint on ads?

        1. Are we talking about the same program? Cookie was updated to v5.1 yesterday. So huh?! It works on macOS 10.11 El Capitan as well as 10.12 Sierra beta.

          Meanwhile, v4.5.5 still works great on older versions of macOS, including Safari v9.1.x. I was chatting with the developer about v4.5.5 two days ago and he’s still interested in fixing any v4.x bugs.

          The price for Cookie is certainly right considering its functionality. I can’t say the same about Cookie Stumbler, which oddly requires a yearly update of tracking cookie definitions.

  8. Another email app to consider is freeware (for now) Canary Mail, which is currently in beta:

    The developer is very active and responsive. Offer feedback as to what you want in your email client. Of what works, the feedback so far has been positive.

    Q: Why didn’t someone pick up abandoned Eudora code and carry it forward?

  9. I really hate Mail on my OS X devices. I can hear messages hit my iPhone and Mail fails to get them. I have resorted to closing and re-opening Mail which only sometimes works. Rebooting my rMBP seems to work for a bit. I’ve spent hours on with tech support and nothing solves the problem. Apple really needs to sort this out. It is terrible when I am sent a link for a conference call and I can’t get the email to join.

    1. I had the same problem but has cleared itself up in later versions. A workaround was to Take Accounts Offline, then back on again. Even added that button to the toolbar for easy toggling.

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