Mimestream: The perfect email app for Gmail users on Mac

I’ll spoil this review for you right at the start. If you mainly use Gmail and work on a Mac, you should try Mimestream now. It offers the core Gmail experience wrapped in a thoughtfully designed native Mac app. If you spend a lot of time on other devices or don’t have Gmail accounts, the call is more difficult, but that’s exactly my situation, and I think Mimestream is still the best Mac email choice for most people . Here’s why.

I have four primary email accounts. Two are work related and two are personal in nature. All but my iCloud email is connected to Gmail, making me a pretty good candidate for Mimestream, which launched this week after a few years in beta.

I’ve been using Mimestream off and on for over a year and will be back at the end of January after briefly trying out Missive. What drew me back to Mimestream was the app’s native design, tight integration with Gmail, and open roadmap. The app doesn’t offer everything I expect from an email client. However, since I process most of my email on the Mac and most of what I would like to integrate into Mimestream is planned or considered for future updates, this is how I manage the majority of my email now.

As I mentioned at the beginning, Mimestream is only available for Gmail and Mac. So I continue to use Apple Mail for my iCloud email address, which isn’t a big deal since it’s not an account I use for a lot of things anyway.

The bigger thing is that Mimestream isn’t available on iOS or iPadOS. In general, I don’t like using different apps on different platforms to do the same thing. That’s one of the reasons I prefer Logic Pro for iPad over Ferrites, for example. However, there is an exception to every rule, and Mimestream is one of them. The app is too good not to use. Also, I do most of my email on the Mac anyway, so switching to Apple Mail on my iPhone or iPad isn’t as difficult for me as it is for others.

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Aside from these limitations, Mimestream does everything you’d expect:

Multiple email accounts, whether they are Gmail accounts or custom domains managed in Gmail. Undo sending for up to 30 seconds Gmail, Google Calendar, Contacts and Gmail Settings Gmail message categories: Social, Promotions, Updates, Social and Forums A holiday helper Tracking prevention Customizable signatures for each account, the new messages and responses may vary An experimental client-side message snoozing feature

The app also includes labels, another Gmail staple that I don’t use often, but are so easy to apply and edit in Mimestream that I’ve started experimenting with them for messages that need to be tracked. Messages can also be flagged and marked as important.

The app is organized in a three-pane window that you’re probably already familiar with from other email clients. The leftmost column organizes your messages by inbox, including unified inboxes, categories, and labels.

There’s also an account-based top-level organization scheme that allows you to create profiles, which appear as buttons with their own icon, label, and message count at the top of the left sidebar. I have set up a personal profile for my personal Gmail account and a work profile for my work addresses. I’ve found it to be an excellent and hassle-free way to separate business and personal messages. However, you are not limited to two profiles, you can set them up in any way that makes sense to you. You can also set up notification schedules for each profile so that you are not bothered by personal messages during working hours, for example. Also, profiles are linked to macOS’ focus filters, allowing you to completely hide a profile’s messages based on a focus mode you set up.

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The middle column of Mimestream is the message list, which can be displayed in a compact or expanded format. Mimestream also supports customizable swipe gestures. Swipe left or right on an item in the message list and you’ll see an action you’ve assigned in the app’s settings. The options include the following:

Unread/Starred Archive Trash Trash/Spam Move to… Label… Snooze None

The message area includes a customizable toolbar with options for the most common actions you can take on messages, and a search box for searching your messages. Because Mimestream uses Google’s Gmail APIs, I’ve found the search to be fast and reliable.

The headline of the messages includes a star and reply button, as well as a three-dot “More” button with more options. I especially appreciate the ability to copy the Gmail URL for messages, which I often paste into tasks in things when I think a task requires a reference to a message I’ve received. That’s handy, but I’d prefer a deep link directly into mimestream since the Gmail URL opens Gmail in my browser instead.

Mimestream has its own extensive set of keyboard shortcuts, but you can use the default Gmail or Apple Mail keyboard shortcuts if you prefer. The app also implements Gmail’s filtering system. In the settings you can apply actions based on metadata. Triggers include:

From To Subject Contains the words. Has no size. Has appendix. Don’t include chats

As for actions, if a message meets all of the criteria you’ve selected, you can do the following with a message:

Archive Mark Read Flag Apply Label Forward Delete Never Spam Set Importance Categorize

It’s a powerful system that has helped me keep track of messages, for example by flagging or marking as important messages from specific people or on specific topics.

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As useful as mimestream filtering is, the system only works within the four corners of the app. I would also like the app to support shortcuts so it could be used better with other apps and workflows. Actions that allow users to interact with attachments, save PDFs of message threads, and deep-link to Mimestream or Gmail on the web would be a good place to start, along with actions that match those in the app’s filtering system.

Only the perfect email client is harder to find than the perfect task manager. There’s a good reason for that, too. There are almost as many ways to use email or a task manager as there are people using them. If you’ve found the perfect email solution for you, that’s awesome, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that the search for the perfect email app is futile — so far, at least.

Despite my desires for Mimestream, it’s head and shoulders above any Mac email client I’ve ever used. I still wish I had an iOS app, shortcuts support, deep linking, and support for my iCloud email account, but I’ve decided to be patient. Mimestream has seen steady improvements and additions to its core features over the two or so years it’s been in beta, and the company has a public roadmap, which gives me some comfort that most of what I love about the app would see added, is planned or at least contemplated. I’m not usually that patient with apps, but mimestream is so good.

Mimestream is available directly from the company’s website for $49.99/year, however there is currently a special introductory offer available. Through June 9th, you can get the first year of Mimestream for only $29.99.