Why has no killer email client come out for the Mac?

Google shuts down sparrow

Years ago I discovered an amazing email app called Sparrow, then Google bought them, shut it down, and I was back to GMail. I went on a quest to try every email client I could find, I’ve tried Mac Mail, Mailplane, Postbox, Outlook for Mac (which actually is terrifyingly bad), Mailpilot, Notify, Mailmap, and the list goes on.

So I’m back to using good old gmail in the browser which is what Google wanted. As far as in-browser email clients go, Google has nailed it, but it still blows my mind that there really is not real alternative. Here’s the problem I always run-into with other apps:

– searching emails only goes back so far (and I archive a ton of emails)

– auto-complete (of email addresses I’ve emailed a million times) seems to only work “some” of the time

– third party integrations can be spotty

In 2015 it seems like someone would have to crack the email app code, right? Apparently 20% of people use Outlook but try using Outlook for Mac and you’ll instantly teleport yourself back to 2001.

I think I know the answer to my own questions – Google wants us to use gmail in the browser for a million obvious reasons, but come on, can someone please fight the ten thousand pound gorilla and make an awesome desktop email app for the Mac?

What do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Anthony May 8, 2015, 10:42 pm

    I thought you were a programmer … you have your next startup planned and ready to go … or you just don’t want to put all the work in to something that people get for free 🙂

    Use a PC and there are few “decent” apps.

    Actually the best app is a iPad and the apple mail app pre-installed …

    • Morgan May 9, 2015, 7:46 am

      @Anthony – haha, every programmer I know uses a Mac, go to Facebook or Google and you’ll see most of the devs using Macs. Mail for iOS is “okay” but try searching and you’ll find it has a very limited search history. I use the gmail app and it can actually searched archived messages a lot further back.

      Here’s a good Quora thread on why most devs prefer Macs over PCs –> http://www.quora.com/Why-do-most-professional-programmers-prefer-Macs

  • Joe May 9, 2015, 4:56 am

    Hi Morgan,

    Read your posts and see that you have not included this application is fantastic here I give you the link https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/installing-thunderbird-on-mac

    Good weekend.

    • Morgan May 9, 2015, 7:41 am

      @Joe – I used Thunderbird years ago, happy to give it a shot again!

      @James – thanks for the suggestions, I haven’t heard of Fastmail but I’ll definitely check it out

      • Morgan May 9, 2015, 7:47 am

        Joshua Baer, one of the leaders of the Austin startup community and the founder of a couple successful email startups wrote a very solid article about this issue, I highly recommend everyone give this a read –> http://www.austinpreneur.com/my-email-rant/

  • James Tuplin May 9, 2015, 6:23 am

    I heartily recommend Fastmail. Powerful search, iPhone / android apps, push compatible. Can use own domains and set up advanced filtering and segmentation e.g file emails folders . Personas allow you to send emails from any given email address or a choice of many Fastmail owned domains. I’ve used it for years, would never use anything else. archiving / spam protection as standard. It’s a paid product but you get what you pay for and then some!!! Let me know if you decide to give it a try!

  • Khash May 9, 2015, 12:28 pm

    I have been exactly in the same situation and I switched to Mailmate 6 months ago. Best Mac email client I’ve found so far but still the search leaves a lot to be desired.

    • Morgan May 10, 2015, 11:50 am

      @Frank – interesting, maybe I’ll have to give Thunderbird another shot, I do like the idea of using PGP with an email client for enhanced security.

      @Khash – thanks for sharing, I’ll have to take Mailmate for a test drive as well, adding it to the list!

  • Ace May 9, 2015, 1:27 pm

    I had the same issues, until I found AirMail

  • Frank Michlick May 9, 2015, 4:13 pm

    While Outlook may be the go to mail client for windows, it’s very far from being a killer app.

    I use Thunderbird on my Mac with Engimail for PGP encryption of mails. My mail is stored on a friend’s mailserver, so storage place is not an issue and searching through email works fine with IMAP as well – I have about 14+ years worth of mail now (I do not keep everything though, but a lot).

    I also use a bunch of addons, i.e. one to send mail later, when I want to write a response right away but not send it until later.


Leave a Comment