|This article is missing information about the watchOS (Apple Watch) version of the software. (September 2015)|
|Stable release||9.2 / December 8, 2015|
|Operating system||OS X|
|Stable release||9.0 / September 16, 2015|
|Operating system||iOS, watchOS|
Mail (also known as Apple Mail or Mail.app) is an email client included with the operating systems OS X, iOS and watchOS by Apple Inc. Originally developed by NeXT as NeXTMail, a part of their NeXTSTEP operating system, it eventually became Mail after Apple's acquisition of NeXT.
The current version of Mail utilizes SMTP for message sending, IMAP for message retrieval and S/MIME for end-to-end message encryption. It is also preconfigured to work with popular email providers, such as Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, Gmail, Outlook and iCloud (formerly MobileMe) and it supports Exchange. iOS features a mobile version of Mail with added Exchange ActiveSync support, though it notoriously misses the functionality of attaching files to reply emails until the release of iOS 9. The iOS version of Mail is the most popular email client in the world by market share.[unreliable source?]
- 1 History
- 2 Problems
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Mail first shipped as NeXTMail, the email application for the NeXTSTEP operating system. NeXTMail was innovative for its time,[according to whom?] supporting rich text formatting with images and voice messaging. It also supported MIME emails, along with plain text to allow for backwards compatibility. The default message found in the inbox when the user first opened NeXTMail included a voice recording of Steve Jobs.
When Apple began to adapt NeXTSTEP to become Mac OS X, both the operating system and the application went through various stages as it was developed. In a beta version (codenamed "Rhapsody") and various other early pre-releases of Mac OS X, Mail was known as MailViewer. However, with the third developer release of Mac OS X, the application had returned to being known simply as Mail.
Included in all versions of Mac OS X up to and including Mac OS X Panther, Mail was integrated with other Apple applications such as Address Book, iChat, and iCal. Some of its features that remain in the most recent version of Mail include rules for mailboxes, junk mail filtering and multiple account management.
Mac OS X Tiger
Additional features were:
- "Smart mailboxes" that used Spotlight technology to sort mail into folders.
- The ability to flag messages with a low, normal or high priority and to use these priorities in mailbox rules and smart mailboxes.
- Tools for resizing photos before they are sent to avoid oversized email attachments.
- The ability to view emailed pictures as a full-screen slideshow.
- Parental controls to specify who is allowed to send email to children.
- HTML message composition.
The new version also changed the UI for the buttons in the toolbar. Whereas previous buttons had free-standing defined shapes, the new buttons featured shapes within a lozenge-shaped capsule. According to many users, and even Apple's own human interface guidelines at the time, this was worse for usability. An open-source third-party application that reverted the icons to their former shapes was available. Nevertheless, Apple updated their guidelines to include capsule-shaped buttons, and the new UI persisted.
Mac OS X Leopard
In Mac OS X Leopard, Mail included personalized stationery, handled in standard HTML format. In addition, version 3 offered notes and to-dos (which could be synced with iCal) as well as a built-in RSS reader. Version 3 also introduced IMAP IDLE support for account inboxes.
Mac OS X Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Lion
In Mac OS X Lion, Mail featured a redesigned iPad-like user interface with full-screen capabilities, an updated message search interface, support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Yahoo! Mail (via IMAP). Also added was the capability to group messages by subject in a similar fashion to Mail on iOS 4. The bounce function, where unwanted emails could be bounced back to the sender, was dropped in this version, as was support for Exchange push email.
OS X Mountain Lion
In OS X Mountain Lion, Mail received VIP tagging, Safari-style inline search for words within an email message, the ability to sync with iCloud and new sharing features. Notes were split off into a stand-alone application in this version, called Notes.
OS X Mavericks
OS X Mavericks threw out the capability of displaying the plain-text version of MIME multipart/alternative messages, and the option of doing so by default. Users were stuck viewing the HTML or rich-text version of multipart/alternative messages. The RSS reader was discontinued.
OS X Yosemite
In OS X Yosemite, Mail supported new features such as: Markup (inline annotation of PDF or image files) and Mail Drop (automatically uploads attachments to iCloud, and sends a link in the message instead of the whole file).
OS X El Capitan
In OS X El Capitan, Mail dropped full support for POP3 mail retrieval. In the process of upgrading to the new V3 mailbox structure, all local email folders associated with the previous POP3 inbox and sent mail are deleted, sometimes causing losses of thousands of emails depending on how the email library had been configured prior to the upgrade. POP3 can still be configured for certain mail services but only by making use of workarounds such as initially providing invalid login credentials to unlock the full configuration options.
Plain text format when message is sent
Mail has a feature that automatically sends emails in plain text format unless action is taken to format the email with Rich Text Format (RTF). This aspect of Mail can be misleading, as the default typeface for plain text is not what will necessarily show up on the recipient's side unless the email is formated with RTF.
Problems with IMAP accounts when upgrading from Mail version 4
Many users upgrading from previous versions of Apple Mail reported problems with the IMAP client implementation under certain circumstances. The problem seems to occur when the authentication in Mail's preferences is set to PASSWORD and the server is signalizing that it supports SASL PLAIN.
- "OS X 10.10.2 release date". Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- Clover, Juli (June 8, 2015). "iOS 9 Tidbits: Battery Saving Features, Search for Settings, Keyboard Changes, Email Attachments, and More". MacRumors. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
- What I think happened to Mail - A theory about what happened to Mail’s toolbar.
- Ars Technica reviews Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
- Apple Human Interface Guidelines: Designing Toolbar Icons
- Apple Support Communities - Can not receive email, password not accepted by server