The Bottom Line
While Mail's smart spam filter gets rid of practically all junk mail, the fast and precise search and smart folders make finding and managing good mail a snap. The auto-populating folders could be even smarter, however, and support more filtering criteria.
- Mac OS X Mail lets you manage mail with efficiency and comfort
- Mail cans spam with an effective, learning junk mail filter
- OS X Mail includes fast search, smart folders and enticing stationery
- Mac OS X Mail does not offer rules or smart folders that learn from example
- Flexible message templates and truly free-form labeling are missing from OS X Mail
- OS X Mail's smart folders could use more criteria (message categories, for example)
- OS X Mail lets you manage multiple POP, IMAP, Exchange and iCloud email accounts.
- You can send plain or rich text messages, using stationery as a starting point if you wish. Text substitution inserts snippets fast.
- Spotlight-powered search finds mail and attached files fast, and smart folders automatically collect relevant messages.
- Conversation view collects messages that belong together and hides superfluous text (e.g., signatures or quoted passages).
- Incoming mail filters can organize and color-code messages for you, send automatic replies, and more. A VIPs folder automatically collects messages from key senders.
- Mac OS X Mail includes adaptive (Bayesian) spam filtering that moves spam out of the way effectively.
- Integration with Notification Center offers desktop alerts and a history of notifications; you can choose the kind of mail to trigger alerts.
- Support for S/MIME email security lets you sign and encrypt messages in Mail, and parental controls allow you to restrict with whom a Mac OS X Mail user can correspond.
- Using iCloud, Mail settings, rules and smart folders are synchronized across computers.
- Mac OS X Mail supports OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Guide Review - OS X Mail 6.0 - Mac Email Program
OS X Mail sports a clean, easy to use interface to its powerful features. With great support for multiple POP, IMAP, Exchange and iCloud accounts, versatile mail filters and a smart conversation view, Mail is flexible enough for most needs.
Additionally, Mail comes with an email program's two essential features: a smart spam filter that learns from your decisions and fast search that allows you to locate any email in seconds, no matter which folder it is in. Keyboard shortcuts abound, and make accessing oft-used folders and filing messages to them a snap, for example.
Virtual folders that automatically show you all mail matching certain criteria or searches make life with Mac OS X Mail even more comfortable and streamlined. It would be great if more criteria were available for these smart folders, though, or if they could learn from example like the junk mail filter.
To organize your mail flexibly, you can use flags (using colors and custom titles) in addition to folders and smart folders. It's a pity there are just 7, though, and only one can be applied to each message.
Of course, you can read richly formatted emails properly and securely in Mail, and compose with comfort and style, too. For graphically rich messages, choose from enticing stationery or create your own. Unfortunately, you cannot use stationery for replies or create templates that adapt to the original message. System-wide text substitution inserts text snippets swiftly, though.
Together with Keychain Access, which offers quite flexible and comfortable certificate management, Mac OS X Mail makes it easy to digitally sign and encrypt email messages using S/MIME, and OpenPGP support can be added with an add-on.
(Updated July 2012)