Apple Mail looks to be receiving some interesting new updates across Apple’s OS’s this Autumn, with new features like disposable email addresses, the ability to block various tracking methods and even custom domains. This seems like a nice little feature boost, so much so it had me doubting why anyone in the Apple ecosystem would opt for Fastmail over Apple Mail anymore.
One area currently lacking, as stated by Matt Birchler is the poor webapp experience on iCloud.com.
A usable web app 😏 pic.twitter.com/ddffKmOvvN— Matt Birchler (@mattbirchler) June 9, 2021
I’ve regularly kept an eye on the beta version of iCloud.com, so this reminded me to check it out again and see if the team at Apple were actually looking to improve the iCloud mail web experience. I was surprised to see, they are at least looking into it. If you navigate to the Email part of iCloud.com you will see a small, but noticable difference.
This is the old / current version of iCloud.com mail:
This current version is slow, ugly, and fairly unresponsive. Here’s what it looks like on the Beta site:
This new look, whilst not vastly different is a lot closer to the macOS version of the Apple Mail client. From my brief experimentation, it also feels substantially faster. It’s far cleaner, and more consistent with the App experience as well.
The way you interact with the emails themselves are also grealty improved. Currently, if you want to reply to an email it will open a new pop-up window. Now, if you press reply you get a nice drop-down, as seen below:
When you reply, there’s a nice pop-over reply window, as you can see in my reply to some spam below:
All in all, whilst these are not huge changes, they go quite a way to making the web experience on iCloud Mail far better than it was before. At least, it’s now a usable experience.
I’ve spoken a lot about where I’m going to keep my email recently. I’m keen to move away from Gmail, and have been experimenting with Hey and Fastmail, but I’ve come to realise iCloud Mail gives me all I need for my fairly basic Email needs. Privacy, essentially unlimited storage, and a good email address (or a selection of addresses with an @mac and @me address). The fact that Apple are clearly have at least some kind of focus on their mail offering is reassuring and I’m feeling even better about my decision now.