For some, Mailsmith 2.0 is a necessary upgrade. Its lack of support for IMAP servers and certain languages will put off some users, and the program won’t benefit those whose simply read, write and filter. But if you need to manage messages, Mailsmith 2.0 could be a godsend.
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All email users are looking for the one feature that grabs their attention and sets their email application apart from the rest. The bling-bling of Mailsmith, has always been the ability to automate all the drudgy, soul-sucking aspects of having a high-volume email address. This legacy continues with the Mac OS X-only Mailsmith 2.0.2. Mailsmith has the same text engine as Bare Bones’ power editor, BBEdit, so you have an unequalled ability to analyze and modify text with tools such as grep. It’s also aggressively AppleScriptable. Nearly anything you can do manually, Mailsmith can do with a script. Mailsmith 2.0 has jettisoned one legacy: the profound wonkiness of its database. Its improved performance is enough to justify upgrading, but it still isn’t speedy. Mailsmith 2.0 also adds tighter integration with third-party applications. If you’re using Jaguar or later, it can autocomplete addresses from OS X’s Address Book, so you no longer need to maintain separate address books. If you’ve downloaded and installed the privacy program PGP Personal 8.0 or the leading spam catcher, Michael Tsai’s SpamSieve 1.3.1, they’ll function within Mailsmith. In fact, version 2.0.2 of Mailsmith now includes SpamSieve free of charge. The latest version also adds SSL support and support for using the Apple Address Book. However, there’s no support for IMAP, a mail protocol that makes it easier to maintain one email collection across several devices. And it can display only plain text, so pictures have to be opened as separate attachments, HTML messages are stripped of enhancements, and many non-English messages can’t be displayed at all. Also let’s just say that the interface should be the next thing overhauled. Apple’s Mail is clean, streamlined, and friendly. There’s absolutely no elegance in Mailsmith – and man, do we miss the convenience of Mail’s as-you-type spelling checker and its integrated Search filter.