Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Magic Mailboxes

Chris Hynes:

I worked on the Mail team from just before Public Beta thru Tiger. One of my proudest achievements on the team (and at Apple) was brainstorming with my team members and pushing an idea we internally called Magic Mailboxes and eventually became called Combined Mailboxes.

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For this example, I’m going to presume that a novice user has one account, probably a POP account. Here’s what it looked like in Mail.

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As you add more and more accounts, this model falls apart. With three accounts, you have 3 inboxes, 3 drafts, 3 trashes, and so on.

I’ve tried probably half a dozen alternative email clients over the years, but I keep coming back to Apple’s on MacOS and iOS. One reason has been its long-time support for unified mailboxes. I have an indefensible number of email addresses and this is essential for my use.

This is a typically great piece from Hynes. If you haven’t subscribed to Tech Reflect yet, you’re missing out an insightful behind-the-scenes look at some of the software you use daily.