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Back in July, Eightloops finally released and started taking sign-ups for the beta version of its email client, Unibox. Though the developers are still working out the bugs, I have found Unibox to be mostly stable, clean, and above all different type of experience when it comes to reading and managing emails.

The number of email clients for both iOS and Mac platforms are about to explode, and personally I welcome the choices. Over the last year, the release of iOS mail clients like Mailbox Take Your Inbox Box To Zero With Mailbox For The iPhone Take Your Inbox Box To Zero With Mailbox For The iPhone The default Mail client for the iPhone has become in my opinion outdated, or it's certainly not as advanced as the hardware it resides in. Mail is not fun to navigate, and its latest features... Read More , Triage, Mail Pilot, and Cloze Free App Cloze Filters Your Inbox & Social Networks For What's Most Important [iOS] Free App Cloze Filters Your Inbox & Social Networks For What's Most Important [iOS] I've said it before, checking email can turn into an hour-long chore. I'm constantly looking for ways to reduce how much time I spend in my inboxes—clicking, tapping, reading, and deleting messages. Though Triage is... Read More  have made checking email less of a chore and easier to manage. Any one of these apps, except maybe Triage (which is still my favorite) can effectively replace Apple’s default iOS Mail client without a problem.

The same change is starting to happen with the OS X version of Mail. Despite the new features added in Mavericks, Mail pretty much looks and feels the same. But now third-party mail clients like Airmail Airmail for Mac OS X Is Making Email Beautiful Again Airmail for Mac OS X Is Making Email Beautiful Again When I first heard of Airmail, I must admit I questioned if I really needed a new way to check my email. Like many people, Mail.app satisfied all of my email requirements, and I struggled... Read More , Unibox, and the soon to be released desktop version of Mail Pilot, are going to make Apple’s Mail seem outdated for many users. Let’s check out what Unibox has to offer.

Unique Layout

The first thing you notice about Unibox is that it doesn’t feel like a crowded mailbox of messages. Its two column design sorts emails by days of the week, with a left-column view listing the names of senders and their profile photos, if available.

Unibox 2

Unibox groups all incoming mail by sender so you don’t have to hunt for previous or related emails. Messages appear in the wider right column where you can easily scroll between them. This presentation takes a minimalist approach with each individual message designed almost like a postcard. You can click on the “three dots” icon to reveal the quoted text from the original message, and the More icon for content in longer messages.

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Unibox attachments

The menu bar of Unibox is not crowded with buttons and features. In addition to the Messages view, you can also select to view messages in a traditional list form, and there’s a preview view for messages that include attachments. I find it easier, however, to use the Quick View feature for attachments in emails, which can be done by simply selecting the attachment and pressing down on your space bar.

Managing and Sending Emails

In addition to the Inbox, you can also filter messages by Sent and mark and send messages to the Archive, Spam or Trash folders. I use the handy BetterTouchTool Power Up Your Mac With Advanced BetterTouchTool Automations Power Up Your Mac With Advanced BetterTouchTool Automations I started using BetterTouchTool back in 2011, and since then it has become one of the top three Mac applications for boosting my productivity and streamlining my workflow. Though BTT can be used by any... Read More to archive and trash messages with a single click on my trackpad; otherwise, it’s a two-step process each time you want to archive and or delete a message. There are also keyboard shortcuts for moving between messages.

Unibox boxes

When you add a new email account to Unibox, it will attempt to auto-detect your mail server settings to see what folders and Gmail labels you’re already using. You can click on the folder icon at the bottom of a message to send it to an appropriate folder.

Unibox labels

In the Preferences panel, you can also create folders for where you want to save emails outside of the Inbox and Archive folder.

As for sending or replying to emails, Unibox makes the process feel less arduous. I like how the new and reply messages drop down at the top of the Messages column, instead of popping up in a separate window, which sometimes gets in the way of the original message.

Unibox_6

In a new message, you can also drop and add attachments, and change the email account you want to use for sending the message. For new messages, the Subject field is set at the top of the drop-down window, which is a bit different and quite neat.

Customization

As you might expect, Unibox can handle Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, Yahoo! Mail and Self-hosted IMAP accounts. In the application’s preferences you can select to hide the avatars in the contact list, create signatures for individual mail accounts, log mail traffic, and enable or disable mailing groups.

Unibox preferences

Conclusion

Personally, I’m very impressed with Unibox, and I prefer using it over Apple’s Mail. Though Unibox doesn’t have Mail’s smart mailbox feature or VIP filtering, I feel as though I get through mail a lot quicker in Unibox. It just feels less cluttered.

Unibox requires Mac OS X 10.8 or higher. You can’t buy the product just yet, but Eightloops is still taking (free) requests for the beta version, so head over now and get in line.

What do you think of Unibox? Have you managed to get an invite? What is your favourite OS X email client? Have your say, below.

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