Mavericks Mail Mutterings

I happily upgraded my iMac and MacBook Air to the latest OS X release, 10.9 or Mavericks, when it was released. At first there were no apparent issues, and all seemed well.

I did see some reports about issues with Mail talking to Gmail accounts, but at first there were no issues with my main email address, which is on my own domain but hosted by Google Apps, set up when that was still available for no money at all. But after a day or two, the Oddness appeared.

It’s good, this. Move a message from your Inbox into a folder. Watch it reappear moments later. Stare at it. Move it again. Watch it reappear…

It seems Apple changed some settings relating how Mail talks to Gmail’s somewhat non-standard version of IMAP[1] and got it a wee bit wrong. Some people have suggested that as a workaround you should go into the Gmail web interface and enable the “All Mail” folder. Well, I tried this, and it did have some effect. Mainly not showing unread counts on folders[2].

I figured that there would be an update sooner or later, but for the time being, I decided I had to try a different mail client to avoid the frustration of not being able to empty my inbox. So, I decided to give Outlook 2011 a try. And for a short while, it was reasonably well behaved. But it suffers from a few little problems that make it a bit too frustrating to use.

If it loses contact with the mail server it starts setting off alerts. Not just one, but a seemingly unending stream of them. It’s possible to suppress them, but it still likes to make a lot of noise about it.

Then there’s the issue with dealing with Gmail’s connection limit. Basically, it handles this incredibly badly. A single client can quite legimitately open several connections to the server at the same time, which is fine. Gmail imposes a limit, which is also fine. If the client opens too many connections, Gmail tells it to go away. A more sensible bit of software might report this and pause. Outlook pops up a dialog box and asks (despite the message it reports quite clearly having nothing to do with your credentials) if you want to re-enter your password. Tell it you don’t and the box closes only to be replaced a moment later by another one, and another, and another… In short, the boxes pop up so quickly that trying to close Outlook before the next one appears can be a challenge.

So, I’m trying something else – Airmail is available in the App Store for £1.49 ($1.99 US), which is cheap enough to give it a try. It’s intelligent enough to set up a Gmail or iCloud account given just the email address and password, and has all the usual features you might expect.

I may or may not post more about it. Will it replace Mail in the long term? I don’t know yet…

[1] Which is meant to be a standard, but never mind…
[2] I use filters to move messages from various sources into folders to keep the inbox for direct messages…

One thought on “Mavericks Mail Mutterings

  1. Pingback: Mavericks Mail Un-Mutter | Losing it

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