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Mac Mail – still the best?

despite the competition, I still love the native Mac Mail app

Mac Mail

Email is very nearly 50 years old. It is the one app, on a Mac, that every user will open and check multiple times per day. A staggering 98.4% of Mac users will open the mail app daily. The sheer volume of mail is increasing too, with an estimated 269 million emails sent daily, causing our inboxes to overflow with mail gagging for our attention. With that level of mail, choosing a mail client with which you are happy and confident is crucial.

Email is not especially private. That email, you have just sent, could very well be bouncing between numerous servers before arriving at its final destination. Email also happens to be the most abused form of communication existing, with Spam (junk mail) making up about half of all email sent every day. Therefore, security also needs to be a consideration when picking your email client.

Doing more than you think

In the background, your email client is actually making many mighty powerful choices on your behalf daily. It downloads and synchronises your email with a server, using a variety of protocols such as POP, IMAP, and Exchange. And that is just for incoming mail. It will also use SMTP for sending your mail. IMAP is a very popular protocol currently, as it performs impressively over many devices. We read 66% of our email on a mobile device, and most of us have multiple accounts we load on to our phones and tablets as well.

As mail has become more and more important, developers, too, have had to move with the times, helping us deal with our burgeoning inboxes with features such as swipe gestures and conversation views. And my Apple Mail seems to be holding up pretty damned well, you know. Particularly regarding privacy.

Apple & privacy

As with all things Apple, privacy is front and centre. At last year’s WWDC, Mail Privacy Protection turned out to be quite the game-changer. It was among a raft of measures unveiled to help users monitor and control the app’s use of data. One headline was that Apple Mail would now prevent senders from knowing who opens their email.

Why the fuss?

This headline got email marketers talking feverishly among themselves, discussing the implications it would have on campaigns. In their official release, Apple stated it would stop senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user, masking their IP address and also making their location impossible to detect. The protection offered is not just Mac based, either. The same set of rules will apply to mail you send from your iPhone or iPad.

A marketers’ nightmare

In short, marketers will no longer be able to track email open rates, which for the longest time has been the go-to metric in measuring the success of a campaign. And whilst open rates may not be perfect in the data they supply on a campaign, without it, well, it could play a massive part in future email campaign strategy.

Apple Mail – a natural choice

Every single Mac comes with its native, in-built, mail client – namely Apple Mail. You can rapidly set up multiple accounts, it’s easy to use, and the integration with Spotlight (the global search function on Macs) is second to none, making finding mail on a Mac simple.

For some reason over the years, Apple Mail seems to have eschewed by many Mac users in favour of other mail clients, and I am at a loss to know why. I may not be the heaviest mail user out there, but from the experience I have had with other services over the years, I am still more than satisfied with what Apple Mail offers me.

And, if you subscribe to iCloud+, there is another feature which I have grown to adore as well—namely, Hide My Email. I would say 99% of the time now, when signing up to new, online accounts, I use this feature. Mail and Safari will create an email address for you, which will be logged in your KeyChain for future use. The company will never know your actual email address, making the possibility of spamming in the future almost impossible. If you have not already, try it.

Another fact I have grown to love with Apple Mail is the simplicity with which it transfers to a new device. Those bad old days of trying to get mail to come down on your new Mac, well, that is now a thing of the past.

The glory boys

So, whilst apps such as Music, Podcasts, and Safari continue to grab the headlines, when you next pick up your phone or sit down at your Mac, just remember, one unsung hero is working tirelessly for you in the background. Delivering your mail day after day, whilst keeping you safe from the unwanted attention of mail marketing assaults and spam.

Mail is sitting right there for you to use. Use it—its just waiting to become your best friend.

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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on February 15, 2022.

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