Mail enhancements

evoevo
Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
What Mail enhancements would everyone like to see for (hopefully) Mac OS X Tiger?



Here's what I would like to see:



- New Icon. That flying eagle needs to take a rest. Mail's had the same icon since 1.0, hasn't it? It's really due for a refresh.



- Separate signatures for each email account. I have 4 email accounts setup in Mail and only 1 of them needs a signature. It'd be nice if Mail knew that and put the signature in only when I'm composing from that account.



- Better Exchange support. This would needs to coincide with proper (and overdue) Exchange support in iCal. Currently, Mail hides all notes, calendars, and invites in Exchange folders, right? It sucks that nothing on the Mac has full Exchange support. Entourage 2004 doesn't even sync Tasks, Notes, or Invites.



- Improved Threads. It's nice being able group message into threads by subject, but how about grouping them by to or from?



- A Bcc option when composing. I'd like to use Bcc sometimes, instead of regular Cc.



- HTML option for Format. Mail can obviously read HTML emails, but it's very strange that it can't compose in HTML format.



- Categories. This Entourage has had this for years, why hasn't Mail? Currently, I have to tweak my Rules so that Mail will change the background color of messages from various accounts (Work, School, Personal, Family, etc). This would coincide with (I'm hoping) a Project Manager app in Tiger. Ability to create global projects, and link emails, iCals, iPhotos, you name it, to a project. Then you could track all your projects from the Project Manager app. More integrated and streamlined than Entourage's Project Center.



- More sound options. Needs I say more? At least give us a better sound set.



- Minimum font size. This is badly needed. Currently I have to tweak my Mail plist to not display fonts smaller than a certain size (it already supports it, just needs an option for it in the Preferences).



- Alternating background color for message list. I don't know why they haven't turned this on. I did it by just opening the right NIB and checking the option. Makes reading any list of text much easier.



- Default "Date Received" column should have new messages at the top. Who wants all of their new emails to show up at the end of the list? This would also make deleting easier. When the column arrow points up, and you delete messages one-by-one, it will display the message below it, which is what I want. Currently, with message list viewed as newest messages on top and the Date Received arrow pointing down, the messages above the one I just deleted are left selected. Very awkward.



These are all the things I'd like to see in Mail. What else would you guys like to see?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by eVo

    What Mail enhancements would everyone like to see for (hopefully) Mac OS X Tiger?



    Here's what I would like to see:



    - Better Exchange support. This would needs to coincide with proper (and overdue) Exchange support in iCal. Currently, Mail hides all notes, calendars, and invites in Exchange folders, right? It sucks that nothing on the Mac has full Exchange support. Entourage 2004 doesn't even sync Tasks, Notes, or Invites.



    So gripe at MS about Entourage. :P What sense is there in Apple helping MS perpetuate a proprietary format?



    Quote:

    - Improved Threads. It's nice being able group message into threads by subject, but how about grouping them by to or from?



    - A Bcc option when composing. I'd like to use Bcc sometimes, instead of regular Cc.



    View -> BCC Header or, Cmd-opt-B.



    Quote:

    - HTML option for Format. Mail can obviously read HTML emails, but it's very strange that it can't compose in HTML format.



    Not really. HTML is an iffy system for mail layout, not to mention extreme overkill... and oh yeah... a security hole. Why perpetuate it? If you want something new to be supported, let's try and get a simple email CSS in place first.



    Quote:

    - Categories. This Entourage has had this for years, why hasn't Mail? Currently, I have to tweak my Rules so that Mail will change the background color of messages from various accounts (Work, School, Personal, Family, etc). This would coincide with (I'm hoping) a Project Manager app in Tiger. Ability to create global projects, and link emails, iCals, iPhotos, you name it, to a project. Then you could track all your projects from the Project Manager app. More integrated and streamlined than Entourage's Project Center.



    This is undoubtedly waiting for system-wide metadata utilities. No sense doing it hodge podge in each app, and just reinventing Microsoft's approach...



    Quote:

    - Default "Date Received" column should have new messages at the top. Who wants all of their new emails to show up at the end of the list?



    Um, I do. Click the little triangle widget, and off you go.



    Quote:

    This would also make deleting easier. When the column arrow points up, and you delete messages one-by-one, it will display the message below it, which is what I want. Currently, with message list viewed as newest messages on top and the Date Received arrow pointing down, the messages above the one I just deleted are left selected. Very awkward.



    These are all the things I'd like to see in Mail. What else would you guys like to see?



    Not make it an Outlook or Entourage clone.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I just think that the way mailboxes are handled could be simpler (in terms of GUI at least) and that the drawer for mailboxes should be turned into a now-standard source pane. The drawer is inappropriate IMO because many if not most users just keep it open all the time.



    Oh, and we've already mentioned "smart" mailboxes, right?
  • Reply 3 of 14
    evoevo Posts: 198member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    So gripe at MS about Entourage. :P What sense is there in Apple helping MS perpetuate a proprietary format?



    I do gripe about Entourage, but this post was about Mail. Exchange may be proprietary, but I don't necessarily think it's closed. Address Book got Exchange support through iSync. Mail already has partial Exchange support. I can read Exchange emails and browse Public folders, why not go all the way (Calendars, Tasks, Notes)? A lot of us needs Exchange support, whether we like it or not.





    Quote:

    View -> BCC Header or, Cmd-opt-B.



    I never noticed that before. Thanks.



    Quote:

    Not really. HTML is an iffy system for mail layout, not to mention extreme overkill... and oh yeah... a security hole. Why perpetuate it? If you want something new to be supported, let's try and get a simple email CSS in place first.



    It's just that if you want to send a message in Mail using some custom fonts or colors, the only way is RTF. Some web-based email services don't support RTF, so any custom formatting is stripped. Virtually all email services/clients I've used support HTML emails though.





    Quote:

    Um, I do. Click the little triangle widget, and off you go.





    That's a first for me. Virtually every person I've seen use email has new messages appear at the top of the list, regardless of the client they use.



    Quote:

    Not make it an Outlook or Entourage clone.



    I don't want a bloated swiss army knife either. By just completing the Exchange support Apple started in Mail, I don't think that would make it an Outlook clone. Calendars and Tasks would be handled by iCal, Notes handled by something like TextEdit, etc... Modular integration.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    evoevo Posts: 198member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    I just think that the way mailboxes are handled could be simpler (in terms of GUI at least) and that the drawer for mailboxes should be turned into a now-standard source pane. The drawer is inappropriate IMO because many if not most users just keep it open all the time.



    Oh, and we've already mentioned "smart" mailboxes, right?




    I agree with you on the drawer. I can't remember a time when I've ever had the Mail drawer retracted.



    Smart Mailboxes... hmmmm.... isn't that just a normal Mailbox with Rules applied to it?
  • Reply 5 of 14
    chrisgchrisg Posts: 239member
    My views from the Tiger thread:



    Mail...it in my opinion needs some drastic changes..in a few areas. For one they should adopt the column UI like outlook and even now Thunderbird where it goes Folder | Mail | Mail Viewer instead of Folders | Mail and Mailer Viewer under the Mail. Of course this would just be another option so people could change it, something like View Preview Pane: Under Mail, to the Right of Mail.

    Also Folders should be removed and instead replaced with a iTunes type organizational scheme. where your inbox has all you email in it then the Folders on the left are just pointers to the various emails. This would allow you to have mail organized in multiple areas without having to copy it into separate mailboxes. This would also allow you to have Smart Mailboxes, kind of replacing rules.

    Another thing is better support for HTML email, not in composing it, but in forwarding it, If I forward say a HTML mail with 20 linked images to a PC person (even another Mac user) they end up with a RTF email with 20 huge tiffs as attachments. Do a test, forward a Apple eNews to yourself and see the crap that mail sends to you. A better solution would be to have a sheet come down when you click Send giving you 3 options. Send HTML as is (this would act like every other email client and just send it as you got it), Strip HTML (would attempt to strip the HTML and send just text), and the best solution (IMO) Send as PDF...(where the email would be converted via Quartz to a PDF then attached and sent, this would be the most compatible and the person would get an exact copy of the email as you got it.)
  • Reply 6 of 14
    loganlogan Posts: 284member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    So gripe at MS about Entourage. :P What sense is there in Apple helping MS perpetuate a proprietary format?







    View -> BCC Header or, Cmd-opt-B.







    Not really. HTML is an iffy system for mail layout, not to mention extreme overkill... and oh yeah... a security hole. Why perpetuate it? If you want something new to be supported, let's try and get a simple email CSS in place first.







    This is undoubtedly waiting for system-wide metadata utilities. No sense doing it hodge podge in each app, and just reinventing Microsoft's approach...







    Um, I do. Click the little triangle widget, and off you go.







    Not make it an Outlook or Entourage clone.




    First of all, no offense intended. But I'm sick of people always trying to defend Apple and their apps when someone suggests change. Apple is better than MS, there's no doubt in that, but extra features are GOOD. Don't act like Mail is flawless, it's not. And don't try to divert attention to Entourage or MS when were talking about Mail. It's not perfect, we know that, were just simply suggesting that it could be.



    Understand you didn't do it as much as some other people I've seen, and that it just annoys me, not you in particular.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    telomartelomar Posts: 1,804member
    There's actually one thing in Entourage that I always wished Mail had and that was the option to rewrap text when the formatting is out of whack or modify received emails.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    drumsticksdrumsticks Posts: 315member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by eVo

    Minimum font size. This is badly needed. Currently I have to tweak my Mail plist to not display fonts smaller than a certain size (it already supports it, just needs an option for it in the Preferences).





    How is this done? This is my main problem with mail. I manually changed the minimum font size in mail using

    Code:


    <key>WebKitMinimumFontSize</key>

    <integer>12</integer>





    But it keeps resetting itself to 9! Am running the latest version of everything (except for hardware I don't own, of course)...
  • Reply 9 of 14
    evoevo Posts: 198member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by drumsticks

    How is this done? This is my main problem with mail. I manually changed the minimum font size in mail using

    Code:


    <key>WebKitMinimumFontSize</key>

    <integer>12</integer>





    But it keeps resetting itself to 9! Am running the latest version of everything (except for hardware I don't own, of course)...



    There's a good article on that here.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    loganlogan Posts: 284member
    I'd like to see some more cool plug-ins for mail, like the kind you get if you have Outlook on Windows. Maybe there are some now? if so which are they?
  • Reply 11 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 525member
    How about being able give your message a priority? Right now you have to install a third-party plugin.



    I second the idea of attaching a signature to certain account.



    I also miss the List Server functions of Entourage.



    I'm not sure I like the idea of forgoing the folders on the left and making it one big list of emails - that would make my list VERY long - unless it was done right.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by eVo

    Smart Mailboxes... hmmmm.... isn't that just a normal Mailbox with Rules applied to it?



    That's what I thought until others pointed out to me that you can do things like have messages in more than one place at a time. (Bah, I can't find the old thread at a quick glance.) For example, you could have an e-mail in your AppleInsider folder as well as your Recent folder. I can't recall the other examples offhand. It's mainly a change in UI, not features, to match other Apple apps but there are some advantages over standard rules too (and likely some disadvantages too).
  • Reply 13 of 14
    foadfoad Posts: 697member
    There have been a few really interesting suggestions. These are the things that peeked my interest so far.



    - Smart Mailboxes



    - HTML handling, not composing but forwarding



    - Much better Exchange support. This is to help switchers and users of corporate environments. A good amount of corporations still rely heavily on this and if lack of proper Exchange support is preventing hardware sales, which I am sure is the case, then they have better support on all fronts. Entourage won't ever have proper Exchange support in my opinion because the Windows side of guys don't want you totally being comfortable on your Mac.



    - More sorting options for threads



    - New Source view using the now standard way instead of the drawer





    Now to one thing that I would like to see in mail..



    - Mail not crashing when either saving large attachments or when trying to attach something to an email. Mail has crashed on me more than a handful of times.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    curiousuburbcuriousuburb Posts: 3,325member
    I used to get a lot of spam about this...



    usually offering 'enhancement' or 'enlargement' via pill, creme, oil or powder.



    Bogus.



    Only improvements to the original matter.



    </homonym humour>
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