Giving Airmail a second chance

SmallCubed Twitter has been dormant for 172 days. I wonder if they’ve even launched it in Xcode within the last 30 days. That’s being said Apple hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire with their mail client and extensibility.

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I’ve used the free version of ProtonMail; it works fine, but I found it to be restrictive because I normally use S/MIME for secure email rather than PGP (ProtonMail is a PGP implementation).

Airmail allows S/MIME configuration on Mac and iOS. Apple Mail does as well. When I tried Spark, it did not support S/MIME.

I am currently using Airmail. Time will tell if I stick with that or revert back to Apple Mail when my 6-month “loyalty” phase passes with Airmail.


Anyone considering trying Airmail should be warned: it has (for me at least) one showstopper downside - as I found to my cost. It has no means of exporting the messages it holds, so once you’ve started using it you can never get rid of it unless you are happy to lose al the messages you received whilst using it And so far as I can tell, this is no mere oversight. It seems to go to great pains to hide the content of the message base, or the files holding it - I have seen quite a long time searching my file system for text from emails held by Airmail, with absolutely no success. There seems to be no automated way to extract your messages! This looks suspiciously like a deliberate attempt to tie users in. For that reason alone, and however great Airmail was (and, frankly, I wasn’t that impressed, even though it does have some nice features) I would never use Airmail again.

Surely if you’re using IMAP this is a non-issue?


I second @rosemaryorchard - I use IMAP and have dived in and out of Airmail at complete will without any consequences whatsoever. I could get out tomorrow with all my messages intact and use any other app - I could even use any other app in parallel of it.

I have found the same. I use Airmail on iOS and Apple Mail on the Mac. All my accounts use IMAP. If I send a message on my iPhone it goes into the sent mail folder for that account. If I open Apple Mail on the Mac and go to the sent item folder the same message will be there.

Have you checked the folder mapping settings for your mail account within Airmail? Double check it is saving messages to the correct folder on the mail server.

Here is an example for a Google Apps account in Airmail

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The amount of mail I get very rapidly fills up my IMAP space, so I am obliged to transfer messages to local mailboxes. If it works for you, fine - but I wouldn’t knowingly do business with any company that attempts to lock its customers in - and so carefully hides their own data from them - the way Airmail does.

This is unwarranted criticism of the app – to say they “attempt to lock customers in” – when you can readily move messages, within the app, to the standard IMAP protocol from where you can do whatever you please with them. If your use case is not adapted to what Airmail provides, that’s totally cool, and I am the first to say that the devs have many faults to atone for, but locking customers in certainly isn’t one of them.


Gave up on airmail a good while ago, currently using Mailmate on the macs and just plain old apple mail on iOS. I leave Mailmate open on my MacMini and have rules which process mail as it comes in so I really do not miss too many whizzy iOS features most of which I can do without anyway.

Oh just wanted to mention Mailmate is the only (I think) third party email that integrates with Spotlight , if set up in a certain way allowing HoudahSpot searches.