Neil Jhaveri, a former Apple software engineer who contributed to the development of Apple's Mail app, has recently released a new third-party email application for Mac called Mimestream.
I became aware of Mimestream around two years ago when it was introduced as a beta version. However, I didn't extensively use it at the time, since I had not been utilising Gmail for the past two years. During that period, I relied on Hey Email for over a year and subsequently switched to Fastmail for another year. It was only recently that I transitioned to Gmail, specifically through Google Workspace, and began searching for a reliable email application.
Mimestream's standout feature is its utilisation of Gmail's API, setting it apart from other email clients that rely on IMAP. This key distinction enables Mimestream to accomplish tasks that are beyond the capabilities of IMAP-based clients. One notable advantage is the ability to configure email filter rules directly within the app, eliminating the need to visit Gmail's website. This particular capability stands out as the app's most outstanding attribute. Mimestream combines the strengths of macOS and Gmail's advanced functionalities, resulting in a unique email client experience that is unlike anything I have encountered before.
Mimestream offers several convenient Mac-specific features that are not available in the Gmail web app. For instance, it seamlessly integrates with Focus Filters and the native notification system on macOS. This allows you to configure specific profiles to send alerts during work hours and another profile to do so on weekends, providing a customised notification experience based on your schedule. These functionalities enhance the overall productivity and user experience of Mimestream on macOS, offering unique advantages over the Gmail web app.
While it is unfortunate that Mimestream currently only supports Gmail, it offers a delightful experience for Gmail users. Notably, Mimestream is a native macOS application rather than an Electron or web app packaged for Mac. This native design ensures familiarity, seamless integration with the platform, and optimised performance with minimal resource consumption. Mimestream has gained popularity among Mac enthusiasts due to its adherence to native Mac principles in terms of appearance and behaviour. While the fact that it is a native app wasn't a crucial factor for me personally, there is undeniably a certain satisfaction in using a native Mac application compared to a cross-platform or a web app. Although Mimestream has received significant acclaim for its native Mac user interface, I, personally, find it slightly lacking in visual appeal and believe it has the potential to be more visually engaging.
Neil has expressed his plans to develop an iOS app for Mimestream, which is incredibly exciting news. I eagerly anticipate the release of the iOS app. Even Google's official Gmail app does not currently support server-side email filters and other advanced Gmail features. Therefore, I'm hopeful that the iOS app for Mimestream will incorporate these functionalities. If Mimestream's iOS app delivers on these features, it would likely become the sole app capable of providing such capabilities on the iOS platform, further highlighting its uniqueness and value to users seeking a comprehensive and feature-rich Gmail experience on their mobile devices.
Mimestream is a product that clearly reflects the right intentions and thoughtful design decisions. Neil's background at Apple is evident in the app's no-nonsense approach, fast performance, and user-friendly interface, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a Gmail-focused email application. The annual subscription for Mimestream is priced at $50, and personally, I have already paid for the first year. As a beta tester, I was fortunate to receive a generous 50% discount for my initial year. The forthcoming iOS app, in conjunction with the macOS version, is what will truly justify the subscription cost for me. I have chosen to support the developer by paying for the subscription, appreciating their sincere efforts in creating a niche email client that fulfils my long-standing requirements.