Weekly Poll: Which Mac Email Client Is Your Favorite?

With Lion, Apple completely rethought the Mail.app interface, largely drawing from what they had done on the iPad. Along with the visual upgrades came some functionality boosts as well, such as vastly improved searching and a more robust tagging system.

Despite these efforts, many users are still flocking to third party email solutions. Sparrow has made a huge splash in the email world and brings a lot of innovation to this market in terms of UI. It’s simple, beautiful and still feature rich enough to use as your primary email client.

Another major competitor is Postbox, which has long held the spot as the go-to client for Mac users who want a truly powerful alternative to Mail.app. The Postbox conversation reply formatting put’s Mail’s to shame and the entire client tightly and effortlessly integrates with your favorite Google services.

The question we want to know today is, “which is your favorite?” For those of us that work at our computers, email can be something that eats up a significant portion of our week and it’s important to make sure we use a client that makes our workflow as easy and efficient as possible. Cast your vote for your favorite client and leave a comment below telling us why you use the one that you do.


  • Sigilist

    Much as I appreciate the simplicity of the standard client, and even a few others, work requires a suite integration. I use Entourage while working at home because it doesn’t required me to throw down on the latest MS Office for Mac. I’ve used a few others over time, but come back (not fully willing) to Office base email for maximum compatibility with the national and international business world. The default Mac apps can’t cut it in that arena.

  • Sean

    Though I liked using Sparrow Lite, I don’t email much more than the average person, so upgrading isn’t really worth it in my opinion. Therefore I use Apple’s Mail.app. It’s free and it does what I need it to do.

  • http://jonathangraft.com Jonathan Graft

    Sparrow all the way! I can’t stand Apple’s Mail.

    • http://www.boastboy.com Marcel Boast

      Sparrow all the way indeed! Not that I hate Apple Mail, it’s just that Sparrow rocks!!!

  • Jeremy

    Mail.app for me.

  • http://www.affonso.org Alexandre Affonso

    I could use Sparrow if it had a better spam filter or if I could use SpamSiege with it.

  • http://danpalmer.me/ Dan Palmer

    Perhaps I just don’t ‘get’ Sparrow, but I have never found it nice to use. Mail on the other hand is one of the best apps I use and I’m not really sure I can fault it, certainly under appreciated I think.

  • Blair

    I voted Sparrow as favourite, but for work it’s not featured enough (mainly Exchange). I use Postbox at work and it is excellent. At home I will use Sparrow though.

  • http://www.appjon.com Jonathan

    I’m still a die-hard Notify fan. Yeah it’s dead, but it still works (albeit with some annoying problems on Lion). I’m working on a successor to Notify, mainly for my own personal use.

    I just can’t stand bloated email apps. Unfortunately, Sparrow is touted as being quite resource friendly, but on my system it uses over 80 MB of RAM. Due to the fact that I’m on a system with just under 2 GB of RAM, I can’t afford to have an app open all the time that uses more than 20 MB (which is what Notify uses).

  • http://www.caiobianchi.com Caio Bianchi

    Sparrow all the way. (period)

  • Rob

    I use mail.app though it is not fav, still cant understand why they dont do attachments like a real mail app should (outlook)

  • Danny Tam

    Sparrow does enough for my personal mail needs. Mail is a good client, but it’s ugly and the interface isn’t the most intuitive. I do like the Smart Folders feature though.. Postbox is absolutely awesome, but doesn’t get enough attention.

  • http://kevinyank.com/ Kevin Yank

    I use Apple Mail for its tight integration with OmniFocus and its support for S/MIME. The day these features are added to Sparrow, however, I’ll switch immediately for the more enjoyable user experience.

  • Adrian

    Postbox is a very great client but the integration with iCloud didn’t work that good. I had to google things on how to get this thing working just to send attachments which drew me back to Mailapp. Postbox is really great app with updates I’m looking forward to in the future. Until then, Mail is great for me. I can send, receive, forward, and make folders. It does what it’s supposed to do.

  • Ludovico Canoli

    I use pigeons.

  • Mr. X

    I recently switched to GyazMail after 10+ years of using Eudora. GyazMail doesn’t have the Mail idiosyncrasies that drive me nuts. And it never forgets account passwords. Creating and using multiple accounts is a breeze. GyazMail is worth every penny of its $18 license fee.

  • http://nataliav.me Natalia Ventre

    Mail.app is very good, but my primary email account is Gmail, so I prefer Sparrow because it lets me use tags.

  • GalakFyarr

    I use the default client.

    I used to use Entourage (2008) for a while, but I hated the app and quickly switched to Mail. Thunderbird I also tried, but I found it horrible.

    I tried Postbox for 2 weeks last month, but frankly, I’m way too used to Mail, and I’ve set up so much things in it how I want it, that setting up Postbox was just a plain pain in the behind. not to mention eventhough importing mail and settings were easy enough, it was a complete pain to sort everything how I wanted it later.

    I also failed to see any major advantages for me to use Postbox over Mail (don’t give me feature lists, I know there’s probably more to Postbox, but I just didn’t feel it was worth my time (and 30$!) to switch to Postbox.

    Since I like starting from scratch when I get a new computer, I might consider changing my Mail client, but from the looks of what the Mail app has in the latest OS X versions, I don’t quite see a reason to do so yet.

  • laji

    What’s wrong with Mail? I guess I’m not a power email user (even though I have to manage no fewer than 6 different accounts through the app), but I’m not clear on what extra stuff a mail app needs. Or that I would use. Send, receive, sort, find. That’s about it.

    I have to use FirstClass for f/t job, but that’s another animal.

  • Jean

    Tried ‘em all. Mail, Notify, Sparrow Lite, Postbox and Thunderbird.
    For now I am sticking with Thunderbird while on the road, and an online client when at home or at the office.
    I can’t stand limited functionality some mail clients offer ;)

  • Alan

    Mail.app.

    I would LOVE to use Sparrow, but it’s a resource hog, and NO UNDO BUTTON. If either of those issues was fixed, I would probably buy it.

    I used and liked PostBox for a while, but it wasn’t compelling enough to make me pay the upgrade price.

  • Ric

    I like the simplicity of Sparrow, but I need POP3.

  • http://am0.co.uk Alex

    The Lion Mail.app almost won me back, but I’m pretty happy with Sparrow. IMAP everywhere for my email accounts, so it works a treat.

  • Peter

    I hate email clients. Mail until it stopped working with a bunch of accounts, shrugged and made the switch to Entourage despite how bulky it was. Stayed through Office 2011 when it became Outlook, finally caved under just how god-awful heavy it was to run, crashing all the time, consuming truly freakish amounts of memory. Tried Mail again in Lion, it works. I don’t like Mail that much, but it’s functional. I know Sparrow is popular, but I HATE the Twitter-style of UI, so that’s a no go. *sigh*

  • VyseLegendaire

    Postbox. Sparrow is nice and minimal and pretty resource light, however the UI is simply impossible for anyone with a 4:3 display or anyone with a smaller-ish display. You can’t scale the windows properly and you end up having to look at the massive wasted space of the inbox on the left side. Mail.app is simply too bulky and complex for me, Postbox it is.

  • WPHead

    Love sparrow but it can’t handle a lot of emails… have about 10 and keeps on crashing with support not knowing what’s wrong. Tried postbox but don’t like the junk mail filter. Right now I’m just using mailplane which works ok.

  • Terence

    I don’t mind Apples mail.app, but it sure would be nice to be able to send JPG images as attachments rather than embedded in the email.

  • Terence

    I have been using Sparrow for the last week, and while it has some strong virtues, not sure it will be my full time mail app.

    Pros…lighter footprint, you can actually attach JPG’s as attachements (that alone is why I will keep it around)

    Cons…No spam filter. This is a major drawback in my book, and why I will keep using mail.app for the most part.

  • DougK

    Sparrow. Would have stayed with Mail if not for the bizarre duplicate email issue syncing with Gmail. Prefer Outlook style combo but no confidence for that on a Mac.

  • http://garyhorsman.com Gary Horsman

    I’ve been an enthusiastic Entourage user for years. In my opinion, it’s been the best client on Mac for power users. But since Microsoft has discontinued it and replaced it with Outlook 2011, I’m guessing its days are numbered.

    Outlook 2011 has removed so many power features from its predecessor that I’ve been terribly disappointed. Plus it’s way too expensive as you can only get it through the Office suite.

    So now I’ve tested Sparrow and Postbox. Sparrow has nice features, but it’s limited and fine for the simple needs of most users. But I’m excluded since I run a freelance business. Postbox looks promising. It has good social media integration, works with Address Book, iCal, Google services and Dropbox and seems to be a more powerful cousin to Apple’s default Mail application. It may be the best client out there today for power users that has any chance of living a long life.

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