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AltaMail email for IOS

by Kerry Dawson

I am not a big fan of the third party IOS email clients that have been emerging. Generally I find them buggy, non-standard and sometimes completely off the wall in the way they approach email. I am definitely all for anything that improves one’s management of email or for that matter anything. A lot of these third party IOS email clients though do not deal with standards based systems such as IMAP in any standards way. Frequently, they tend to add chaos to the whole email process as opposed to improving it. And by running only in IOS in a very non-standard way, the switch back to OSX where mail takes a more traditional yet progressive approach to improving one’s management of mail just causes learning shock.

AltaMail is a solid Third Party IOS email Client

The AltaMail email client is the only client that I have found that handles mail well and could be a replacement for Apple’s mail app. Although it approaches mail differently than the desktop mail systems, the shift is not so dramatic that you necessarily go into learning shock. Let me warn you though that this client has a lot of power and thus a learning curve associated with it should you decide you want to tap into its more advanced functions.

The one thing I quite like about AltaMail is it handles standard mail based IMAP systems appropriately. You are able to access all the folders of an IMAP system and function with one in a normal fashion. In addition though, you can have numerous backends working on AltaMail. So you could run your Gmail, Outlook and iCloud account on AltaMail all at the same time. I run my Exchange account on AltaMail without problem.

The Benefits are Sound

This is all well and good and the product is off to a great start but what does it add that would benefit the end user. To start with, it adds a pleasing user interface. It’s also fast. Finally, AltaMail works towards the current philosophy of inbox zero but it does this in such a manner it doesn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

You’ll find in AltaMail that a swipe to the left will bring up a certain set of menus pleasantly displayed in easily understood graphical form. A swipe to the right will bring up a different set of menus. You can get quite fast with this approach and really achieve inbox zero.

Other functions are supported such as delay or defer an item till later. Loaded with options this is handy as often you‘re just not ready to deal with a piece of mail now. The system also supports quite elaborate rules. This helps just in the processing and managing of mail. Although it takes a bit of time to learn these rules based approaches, it is worth it in the long run as you can really put them to good use in the management of a busy inbox.

AltaMail is the Client to beat for IOS

Based on AltaMail’s solid support for standards based mail and protocols yet its effective use of advanced techniques to manage mail I can easily recommend this as an alternative client to Apple’s mail. It’s actually fun to use but it’s not so dramatically different that it induces chaos to your management of mail. I’ve always said about this whole inbox zero approach to mail that it’s great you’ve been able to clear out your mailbox so fast but what happens to the person at the other end that you didn’t bother to answer as you aggressively swiped your mail out of your system. Yes, there is an email client that advertises itself as aggressively attacking your mail. That’s great until the day you have no clients left nor friends. However, you’ll be able to sit back and say well my inbox is clean.

AltaMail won’t do this to you. It allows you to methodically think about your mail while at the same time giving you the tools to handle the mail quicker than the traditional client such as Apple’s mail. With this is mind I’d say give it a go if you’re in the market for an alternative email system for IOS. It is as rock solid as they come yet the system will help you get a handle on your email.

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