Failed Attempt to Switch from Gmail Web Client to Mail App (Yet Another One)

February 7, 2013
gmail mail_app email

While doing tremendous efforts not to study, I persuaded myself to give Mail App another try over Gmail web client.
After two days, I decided today to stop trying and go back to the ease of use of Gmail, thinking at the same time the pros and cons of the two applications and why did I choose Gmail at last (once more…).

I’ll try here to spot, at least from my perspective, the things that believe really matter in each mail client.

First of all, I’ll start with my beloved Mail App.


  • Pretty nice UI, has a nice list of all your emails on your left and a nice preview space on the right
  • Fast switching between emails, come on, it’s a native application and nothing can beat that
  • Keeps an offline copy of emails
  • You can easily switch between different signatures for different emails addresses
  • You can integrate multiple email addresses


  • Pretty slow if the connection is wonky and no offline copy is available
  • Bad syncing in drafts, sent messages and so on
  • Absence of consistency if you do not have an iPhone (common Apple!)
  • Pretty bad compatibility with Gmail’s Archive feature - it really kicks ass!
  • No compatibility with Gmail’s tags, folders is not an option
  • No compatibility with Gmail’s great features like Important emails, Starred and Marks saying that a message was sent personally to you or to a list
  • If your not on your computer, you’re doomed!


Last, but definitely not least, Gmail


  • Also a really nice UI, it is easy to read and is pretty neat and clean
  • You can easily theme the UI to the colours you prefer for reading and also use custom images as a background, if you want to
  • A lot of great features like Important emails, Starred, Marks saying if the message was send directly to you or from a list that really rock and are integrated directly into inbox, having different lists for different rules (like Starred, Important and Everything Else which is the one I am using)!
  • Important emails feature integrates machine learning and really understands the way you treat your inbox
  • Great use of tags over folders, this is a great feature and the way it is displayed using colours and text makes it really unique
  • Supports offline use, with Gmail Offline app for Chrome and with addons for other browsers (I have not tested anything except Gmail Offline for Chrome though)
  • Great, and when I say great, I mean really great, compatibility with mobile client for both Android and iOS - all applications just rock!
  • Availability from any computer with a browser, with two step verification and https for extreme security


  • It is web based, making it difficult and slow to work with a wonky connection, since even opening a new message or going back to the inbox needs basic communication with the Gmail server
  • Might have multiple default signatures for different accounts, but it does not support multiple signatures for a single account - there is a lab addon that gives a solution, but I hate it enough to prefer having just one signature for every account
  • Gmail Offline misses a lot of the nice features of the web client, it is just for minor offline use
  • Having multiple accounts is possible, but needs some good planning in advance to keep your emails organised (using tags and filters for optimum results)

As a result, I believe Gmail web client really rocks, but I have to admit that choosing your email client is a matter of taste.
I am really used to using Gmail web client and I do not think I can easily switch to another email client, at least for now.

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