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email
Airmail: The Email App That Tries to do it All

It was a fateful Thursday late last July when Sparrow announced they’d been bought out by Google. The indie email app that’d taken the Mac by storm, Sparrow was a fast favorite of anyone who wanted a more modern email experience — one that was fast, minimalist, and integrated with cloud services. It hit all the right spots, soared in popularity, then nearly as quickly was taken from us. Sparrow still works, but it’s a zombie without much, if any, of a future.

The Sparrow-shaped gap on the App Store has yet to be filled. There’s tons of promises of new email apps, but few have made it onto the scene yet — at least on the Mac. There’s the old standby alternates like Outlook and Postbox, but they don’t replace the minimalist approach to email that Sparrow embraced. The iPhone can claim Mailbox, Triage, and numerous other new email apps, but on the Mac, most Sparrow fans have stuck with the aging app, while others have taken a look back at Apple’s admittedly nice Mail.app.

That’s changed this week, though, as Airmail was released to the App Store. We’d taken a look at it months back when it was still in beta, but now that it’s fully released, can it replace Sparrow for diehard fans?

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Minbox: the Fastest Way to Share Large Files, Privately

Email nailed communications, and tiny file sharing. Dropbox nailed syncing folders between colleagues. CloudApp and Droplr nailed small file sharing. But none of the above helped us send large files (RAW photos, and videos, and such) quickly.

Oh, there’s ways to send large files. You can FTP them to your server or put them on S3 and let your colleague download them later. If you both have large enough Dropbox accounts, you could just sync the files over Dropbox. But either way, you’ve got to upload the files, wait for them to upload the whole way, and then remember to go email your colleague that the files are sent. Oh, and once they’ve downloaded/saved the files, you’ll likely need to go delete them to clear up space.

How about something that’ll let you send files of any size within seconds of realizing you need to send them? No waiting for uploads, just drag-and-drop the files — of any size — and send the message, then forget about it.

That’s exactly what Minbox lets you do.

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Say what you want about the heralded eventual doom of email, I don’t think it’s going anywhere fast. And since it seems to be hanging around, developers are trying to rejuvenate it: adding to its features, bending and tweaking and overall making it a more enjoyable, convenient experience.

Mail Call contributes to this vein by putting the mail right in the menubar. But how easy is it? Let’s find out.

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After Sparrow dropped its steady development, many users included a new item to their wish lists: a replacement to the dear mail client. The spotlight was turned onto projects that pledge to revolutionize the way we work through our inbox, using existing apps or brand-new apps. However, revolutions take time.

Airmail is a mail client that retains the simplicity which made Sparrow such a appreciated application. Because, sometimes stripping a resource to the bone is the real shake-up we need.

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I’m a die-hard fan of Gmail’s web service. I just can’t get myself to work with Mail.app, I’m not used to it and I’d much rather take advantage of Gmail’s labels and filters directly from their web mail. Still, there are a few things that I like about Mail.app, like the notifications for new messages.

Some time ago, I had a menu bar Gmail notifier that solved this problem and worked wonderfully called Notify. Eventually it stopped working and the developer ceased developing it. I started searching for a similar app, but I couldn’t find anything worthwhile. Well, it’s been a while since then and some new alternatives have come out that I’ve found just as good if not better than Notify. Want to check them out?
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In 2012, the Mac community lost one of the Mac OS X mail clients that many considered to be the best on the market: Sparrow. Development has stopped (which doesn’t mean you can’t still use this app, though, at least for now) since the team has been acquired by Google.

Some claim that the whole email concept needs a refresh and solutions are offered, and the previously reviewed Mail Pilot and its upcoming Mac client, or the upcoming .Mail app are proof of that. Others still prefer to use web-based apps like the popular Gmail.

I, for one, still think that Mail.app, since its OS X Lion revision, is the best. It’s built-in, offered at no cost, and is completely integrated with OS X. I’ve customized it to fit my needs and developed my own workflow to deal with emails.

In my humble opinion, you should be able to jump into your emails, process them quickly, and then get back to work. A mail client, for me, is just a way to send and receive emails, not a big messy, clunky, filing cabinet with hundreds of manually created and sorted folders. Read on to find out why, in that case, Mail.app is the best for me, even when processing hundreds of incoming messages per day.

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After being featured on TechCrunch as well as being tweeted by our fellow sister site MacTuts, it seems that Inky has enjoyed an unexpected surge of interest this week, despite having been around since May of this year. The interest was generated after a random post on Hacker News generated a fair bit of chatter among users and gave the app a fair bit of attention – something that the Maryland-based developers certainly weren’t expecting as they’ve never really actively sought out press coverage before.

Inky promises to reinvent email – and this time it’s for good (none of those wishy-washy promises like from other companies) – and any company or software product that promises that instantly grabs my attention. So I thought it worth to take a quick look at Inky (it’s currently in the public beta stage at the moment) to see what all the fuss is about.

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The best and worst thing about Gmail is that it’s web-based. Keeping a browser tab open for it is both convenient and annoying. You can set it up with your desktop mail client of choice, of course, but that comes with its own baggage and issues. I like the idea of something in between the two — an app that I can install on my computer that isn’t overloaded with features I don’t use and segregated from my web browsing. MailPop Pro is just the ticket.

It lives in your menubar, is instantly accessible at all times, and improves upon the Gmail web app in a multitude of ways (with one big caveat). Let’s dive in. (more…)

If your day looks anything like mine, you probably spend a fair amount of time requiring some sort of time-sensitive response. Perhaps you need a file for work, an rsvp for an invitation or any myriad of responses. The problem, of course, is that once you hit send it’s qutie easy to forget about the message. An app to track replies to the message, then, is a great idea – and that’s where RSVP comes in.

RSVP is a unique Mac app. It integrates with Apple’s mail app via a menu-bar application and allows you to set reminders. The reminders track any responses to an email within a given time-frame, and send you a reminder at the end of the time frame if no one has responded to the message. It’s a simple app, but quite an ingenious idea. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about how the app works and what I thought of it.

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This past weekend, the Sparrow team shook the Mac app world by announcing they had been bought out by Google and wouldn’t be adding any new features to their popular email app. Sparrow was a great example of the amazing Mac-only apps you can get from the App Store, an app that was lovingly created by a team that really knew what they were doing. Now, the team’s moving to work on Gmail, and odds are Google will totally forget about the Mac app the team had built in the first place.

For those of use that use email all the time, many of us exclusively use Gmail or Google Apps on our own domains. However, we usually don’t use Gmail online, preferring instead to use Mail.app, Sparrow, or other 3rd party email apps to manage our email workflow. Sparrow was an especially good choice for Gmail users, as it supported Gmail’s features in a brilliant Mac interface, and just worked so good.

It’s not like Sparrow quit working overnight, but most of us are seriously considering alternate email apps now that Sparrow won’t be in active development going forward. That’s why we’re wondering if you’re going to keep using Sparrow, or if you’ve switched to another email app. We’d love to hear what email app you’re using, and why, in the comments below!

Special thanks to @CoolD78 for the poll idea!

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