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How I’d like to see Apple Mail improve

It’s just crashed. Again. Apple Mail on the Mac is one of the most infuriating pieces of software I use on a daily basis. Why do I put myself through this pain? Because it is installed by default on all of my devices and, sometimes, I’m a bit lazy. But I do wish it was better.

I’ve already made my feelings about iTunes clear. I don’t agree with the likes of Walt Mossberg, who thinks Apple’s desktop media management client is ‘bloated, complex, and sluggish‘. I simply don’t think it is widely used enough to be an issue.

Mail, on the other hand, is.

It doesn’t need much, I promise. But the inherent failings and poor design within Mail, if not addressed, will eventually force me to look elsewhere. And I really can’t be bothered with an email client hunt – surely one of the most joyless and depressing endeavours available to humanity.

So, here’s what needs to be done.

1. Less crashing – MUCH less crashing

Software crashes – I know that. It shouldn’t crash consistently, though, for if it does, there is clearly a problem which needs to be resolved. My Apple Mail client closes itself once a day for no reason. It also often gets its knickers in a twist whilst I browse and interact with mail (a rather common practice in an email client); slowness creeps in and all manner of ‘wait, I’m catching up!’ calamity ensues.

Fix it, Apple.

2. A modern editor

I’m not particularly keen on Microsoft Outlook either, but having used it in enterprise for many years, I am appreciative of its user interface and, most importantly, its email editor. Microsoft’s decision to effectively embed Word within Outlook for this task was a stroke of genius. Apple could technically do the same with Pages. As it stands, we’re dealt a very one dimensional experience with limited formatting ability. It’s 2016, not 1998, Apple.

3. Better signature support

Oh, the hours I’ve wasted getting email signatures to work in Mail. Admirably, the application attempts to synchronise signatures via iCloud, but the result has been nothing short of catastrophic in my experience. Formatting is lost, links disappear and images fail to load. It is bum-clenchingly frustrating.

Again, just like Outlook, can we have a proper editor for signatures please, Apple? Please? I shouldn’t have to right click to add a hyperlink. Ever.

4. Better Gmail support

I’ve included this because everyone else moans about it, therefore it must be an issue. I have a Gmail account but rarely use it, so have limited experience of Mail’s apparent disregard for one of the world’s most popular email platforms. From what I hear, it is pretty terrible, and Apple’s lacklustre attempts at fixing it smack of corporate handbags. This is silly. Get over yourselves and sort it out.

I’ve been sitting here desperately looking for a fifth problem, but I can’t find one. So, there you have it – the definitive bug list for Apple Mail on OS X. Get to work, Apple.

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