Outlook vs. Mac Mail
April 23, 2015 9:36 AM   Subscribe

I use Gmail and I'm running Yosemite on my Mac. What's the difference between using the newest version of Outlook vs the Mail app?
posted by Triumphant Muzak to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
If by "newest" you mean the Office for Mac 2016 Preview, it does not work with gMail right now (or at least, I have not been able to get it to).
posted by karbonokapi at 10:13 AM on April 23, 2015

I tried running Outlook 2014 (or is it 2015? the one with the blue icon), and it seemed to tax the processor of my 2011 MBP to the point where the fans were running constantly. So I went back to Outlook 2011 for Mac. I've tried the native Mail app several times, and always end up switching back to Outlook 2011 for no real reason other than personal preference.
posted by slogger at 10:23 AM on April 23, 2015

I believe the Apple-supplied Mail app still stores mails in maildir format, which is essentially plain text; it's a much more robust format than the monolithic binary blob of an Outlook PST file, as well as allowing mails to be filed and searched with standard system tools.

Personally, I avoid Outlook wherever possible - partly because of its historically problematic data storage format, but mostly because the current "ribbon" UI fills me with even more rage and hatred every time I sit in front of it than the considerable quantity the older versions managed to engender.

Thunderbird is free, mature, cross-platform, stable, less troublesome than either of these commercial clients in my experience, and works very well with Gmail. It also uses a plain text storage format, though not one specifically designed to fit in well with Spotlight; if searching mails is your thing, you'd need to do that using Thunderbird's own inbuilt search facility.
posted by flabdablet at 10:56 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have no problems running Mac Mail Yosemite with 2 gmail accounts, and an additional two Google Apps for Business accounts with different domains.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:13 PM on April 23, 2015

Unless you need to work with an Exchange-based email system and do calendaring, event invites, etc., there is really no compelling reason to use Outlook as a mail client. Apple Mail is head and shoulders better as a pure-play email tool, and frankly so is Thunderbird (it's more flexible, but still rougher around the edges, at least as of whatever version was current 9 mos ago).

I cannot fathom using Outlook just to access Gmail, unless you were already so familiar with Outlook so as to not be asking the question because using it was a must.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:41 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Speaking as an admin of a 60+ machine mac-only network, with about as many Mac OS X mail clients synced with GMail... I will say avoid Mail.app if you can. It's a fine mail client, but once you get up to a certain number of messages it starts doing weird things. Not receiving new mail, search stops working, messages disappear, etc. There is a solution to this, that is to select the offending folder (usually the Inbox) go to the mailbox menu and select "Rebuild" then wait a few minutes, but most mail clients don't have (or need) a menu option to repair themselves. The only reason I maintain support for Mail.app on my network is because I'm required to by management, who for some reason love Mail.app and refuse to even consider a different client. Personally, I don't bother with clients and just login through my web browser.
posted by signsofrain at 8:10 AM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

FWIW, I love using Mailplane for Mac to access Gmail. It is basically a site-specific browser, but seems to me to be easier than using Gmail in a browser all the time.
posted by 4ster at 11:09 AM on April 24, 2015

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