TidBITS’ review of Mailsmith 2.0

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
July 30th, 2003 • 11:16 pm

The latest issue of TidBITS has a new review of Bare Bones Software’s email application Mailsmith 2.0, by Matt Neuburg.

I agree with many of the points that Matt makes, especially about people’s strange relationship with their email program. But the article has serious flaws, which I am afraid are symptomatic of Matt Neuburg’s own writing and TidBITS’ content in recent years.

Matt claims that Mailsmith has filtering features to die for, which is true to a certain extent. But how can he justify not mentioning the fact that, while Mailsmith 2.0 finally integrates with Mac OS X’s Address Book application, you still cannot create a simple filter with a criterion such as “Sender is in Address Book GROUP XXX“?

Then Matt admits that [m]any common simple actions, such as deleting a message, can’t be reversed by Undo. This is something that is unacceptable in a version 1.0 application — let alone a 2.0 application that is already several years old!

As much as I like the many improvements in Mailsmith 2.0, until such fundamental issues are addressed in full by Bare Bones Software, I cannot recommend the application to anyone. And I am afraid I have to stick with Mail, which has many of its own flaws — you can undo deleting a message, but not transferring it to a mailbox — but at least provides the basic filtering criteria that people would expect to find in a reasonably advanced email program.

9 Responses to “TidBITS’ review of Mailsmith 2.0”

  1. Stephen Hryncewicz says:

    Yes! I agree with you, entirely, regarding the address book flaw. It is a glaring omission. Based on that flaw I decided to try out PowerMail and now that I have used it for a week, probably buy it at the end of the trial period.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    That’s strange, because last time I checked it out, PowerMail didn’t integrate with Mac OS X’s Address Book at all.

    Did I miss something?

  3. Stephen Hryncewicz says:

    Sorry. A misunderstanding. I was refering to PowerMail’s built-in address book (lowercase) not Apple’s Address Book.

    I base my junk filters on the simple test – is the addressee in my email client’s address book or not. If it is, then the mail gets put in one folder, if not, then it goes in a junk folder to be checked later.

    I hope that clears things up.

    BTW. I just stumbled on your blog, today and found it a very interesting read. I hope you continue to post your views.

  4. Stephen Hryncewicz says:

    BTW. PowerMail is able to synch with Apple Address Book, in one direction or both ways. A very nice feature for me, as I like to keep my email address book separate from my full address book, which I synchronize with my PDA.

  5. Pierre Igot says:

    Thanks for the kind words :).

    I personally need FULL (dynamic) integration with Address Book. Mailsmith will definitely become an interesting product for me when it finally takes full advantage of its Address Book integration.

    As for filtering junk, we each have our own strategies. I cannot afford to block people who are not in my address book, simply because I frequently receive important email from people that I have never corresponded with before.

  6. Paul Bradforth says:

    You said: “But how can he justify not mentioning the fact that, while Mailsmith 2.0 finally integrates with Mac OS X’s Address Book application, you still cannot create a simple filter with a criterion such as ” Sender is in Address Book Group XXX “?”

    …and I just thought you might like to know that, as of about a week ago, you can now. There’s been an update (2.0.1) which includes this facility.

  7. Pierre Igot says:

    Thanks… But see:



  8. Paul Bradforth says:

    Well, http://www.betalogue.com/index.php?p=113 seems to be a comment about type prefs rather than the address book… I think the ‘Papyrus’ reference is not meant to be facetious, just BareBones’ humour, by the way.

  9. Pierre Igot says:

    The blog item is about both changes, although it dwells more on the type prefs one. The ABook support improvement is just as essential, if not more, AFAIAC. And I realize that the Papyrus reference was meant to be humour, but it just didn’t seem to me that it was particularly successful in that respect :-).

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