Tag: mail client

Foxmail, An Email Client for Your Desktop

Foxmail is a desktop email client for both Windows and Mac operating systems, provided by the popular Chinese company Tencent (creators of QQ IM service along with other internet based products).

Foxmail has all the basics you need in an email client, along with added extras such as a calendar view and optional threaded conversations layout. Installation on the Mac is as simple and painless as ever, and setting up various accounts takes only a few minutes. The Windows version, however, is only in Chinese. This is clearly a detriment if you don’t speak or read Chinese, and I was surprised to see that instead of an English varient, as advertised on their website.

Despite the rather obvious language barrier, what I did glean from the short time I had Foxmail open was that it houses a number of features that eclipses its OS X counterpart (Foxmail 7.1 on Windows, and 1.2 on OS X). On top of the aforementioned calendar, there is a contacts area and (what I assume is) support for better encrypted email. Of course, I can’t say for certain so I could very well stand corrected.

The Mac version, as mentioned previously, has some of the above though less to offer. Within the settings, you can easily edit your email signatures and multiple accounts. You can even set photos for each one. One seemingly random but cool feature is the ability to take a screenshot — either of parts of your desktop or the client window — and lightly edit it. ‘Seemingly random’ being the key words, as upon further inspection of Foxmail’s homepage, there is also the option to download their free screen capture tool, Snip, available for OS X10.6.8 and higher.

Included in Foxmail’s capture tool are a circle, rectangle, arrow, freehand, and text tool with 6 color options. You can resize the edits you’ve made and move them around the screen freely, making it easy and fun to use. Though bafflingly enough, I could not find where the screenshot saved at all. Chances are that in order to access them, you may have to download their full screen capture program, mentioned above.

The biggest issue I take with Foxmail is the false advertising when it comes to the Windows version. While the site has a screenshot of the program in plain English, the download is in Chinese. This is extremely off-putting, and if there does exist an English-language download, it should be labeled clearly on the website. Across the board, a lack of unified inbox isn’t the worst in the world, but it is worth noting. There are, of course, hotkeys to switch smoothly from account to account.

Overlooking the cons, Foxmail as a desktop email client is capable and clean, leaving no room for pretention. The layout is intuitive, the program itself a dream, and it gets the job done well.

Foxmail is available for Windows and Mac OS X 10.7+.


You’ve Got Mail: Taking a Look at Opera Mail

Once a part of Opera’s web browser, with the switch over from their self-created Presto engine to Chrome’s Blink, Opera and its mail suite are now  their own entities. If you’re familiar with Mozilla Thunderbird — arguably the most popular desktop email application across Windows, OS X, and Linux — then you’ll feel right at home with Opera’s now-separate mail client, fittingly named Opera Mail.

Unlike Thunderbird, however, Opera Mail has a sleek and modern design that leaves room for plenty of customization. Elements on the sidebar can be adjusted, hidden, or added, and the mail view itself can be expanded or contracted at will, with options for two or three panes. When new messages arrive, a pop up informs you without lingering too long on the desktop, and for OS X, there is a small number badge in the corner of the dock icon, much like the built-in Mail.app.

Setting up your email is easy, too. Again, if you have any familiarity with Mozilla’s Thunderbird client, then you’ll see the similarity between the two where this is concerned. With only three steps (name and email, password, and choosing between IMAP and POP3), your accounts will be up and running within moments. The entire program is light on resources, as well, no matter how many email accounts you add.

As with many good programs, there are a few drawbacks. One is forgotten passwords for certain email accounts. This occurs every one or two weeks, and while that isn’t too horrible, it does become a nuisance especially if you have more than one email to track. I’ve noticed this occurs more on Windows than it does on OS X.

Another con is unsent emails, as I’ve recently discovered a few days ago when trying to send myself a message with some important documents attached. The email sat in the outbox for hours, while the bar at the bottom read “sending messages”. Annoyed, I cancelled everything and removed it from the outbox. After the fact I realized that it was hindered by the rather large attachments (as one was a zip file weighing in at a hefty 53MB). Other messages with much smaller attachments, or none at all, sent swiftly and quietly.

The last, and perhaps most pervasive, is the automatic signature that Opera Mail tacks on to any message you write from the client. It took me a short time to find and change this. It can be removed or replaced by going to “Compose”, clicking on the grey settings cog, then to “Signatures” and deleting the predefined text. This can be applied to all email accounts with a simple check box within those settings, as well.

It’s still evident that Opera is working to get its mail client back on track. Despite the hiccups along the way, Opera Mail proves to be a solid and functional desktop email application. With good looks and a solid base, it’s secured its permanent spot as my email aggregator of choice.

You can download Opera Mail from their official website here.