We have seen it one too many times: an indie developer creates a popular app and is bought out by a bigger company. That was the fate of the developer Sparrow, whose app of the same name was bought by Google. The app is no longer in active development, and since then I have been looking for a Sparrow replacement. Is Airmail the app I am looking for?
Airmail is a brand new email client that draws inspiration from Sparrow. The look of Airmail isn’t exactly the same, but it is close in many ways. This is great since Sparrow had visual appeal.
Airmail is very easy to set up. Adding accounts generally just requires entering in your email address and password. There are many types of accounts supported, including AOL, Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, Yahoo, and generic IMAP.
The main window is broken up into a few different panes, the accounts listed on the left, mail folders in the next column, a listing of your emails, and then a big area to view an email and the conversation. It is very easy to view a conversation without getting overwhelmed with too many emails.
The settings are plentiful. Settings can be tweaked per account, such as folder mapping, custom signatures, and font selection. There are many more there to change.
Dropbox support is built into the app. Any time you want to attach a file, you can hit the Dropbox button in a compose window, choose your file, and the file is then ready to send. The email shows the name of the file and a link to download the file. This is great to use because some email providers block large attachments.
Users will be pleased to find out that some Gmail shortcuts are supported, including compose, move to older or newer conversations, and search. Being able to go through messages with shortcuts makes viewing and dealing with emails much easier.
Would people like this over Apple’s Mail application? If you feel that Mail is bloated, slow, or lacking customization, Airmail is for you. The only downsides to Airmail are a lack of support for Exchange, rules, and smart mailboxes. (Those features are included with Mail.)
Overall, the app works well. I had no problems using the app, with no crashing issues even though it was just released. If you are looking for an alternative to Mail, I would try this one out. It is only $1.99 and is available from the Mac App Store now.