Just when I thought it was time to throw in the towel for my .Mac account, Apple pulls a rabbit out of the hat with something new. Email.
Not just any .Mac email. .Mac web mail that looks like OS X Mail.
Isn’t that a great reason to keep your .Mac account? Now, .Mac web mail looks and feels like your Mac.
I’m a great fan of web mail because it’s usually easy to find a PC connected to the internet.
Most web mail applications are clumsy, bare bones, sterile replications of desktop email applications.
Apple’s .Mac mail was not much different, but is much different now. It’s so different, that it’s the same…
It’s the same as Mail in Mac OS X. Seriously.
.Mac mail looks more or less like Mail on your Mac. The buttons across the top look the same.
The left hand column looks nearly the same, though there’s a new Search Address Book function.
.Mac Mail’s interface can be set up for two pane or three pane; even small mailbox icons can be used.
Preferences are not as thorough as you’ll find in OS X’s Mail, but perfectly acceptable considering you’re in a browser window.
There’s a View Messages section which limits the number of messages visible in each pane; even an option to view HTML messages.
The Composing Messages section is standard, and includes the Show Bcc field, and encode using UTF8.
.Mac Mail also lets you check mail from an external, non .Mac POP email account—right inside the browser window. That’s handy.
The signature can contain a photo, a signature, and there’s a dictionary to check your spelling.
If you have .Mac Mail set up with multiple aliases, you can edit those in the browser, and send mail accordingly.
In short, what Apple has done is make the web mail feature of .Mac Mail look more or less like the Mail in Mac OS X.
Frankly, that’s handy and a move forward even if it’s not earthshattering as a technical feat.
Is this the kind of bell and whistle that’ll keep me forking over $100 a year for a .Mac account?
I am officially on record as saying “I’ve Had It Up To Here With Apple’s .Mac.”
A snazzy new interface to .Mac web mail isn’t going to change my mind.