BDEmailer: This App Doesn’t Do What You Think it Does

Engadget, Gizmodo, and 9 to 5 Mac seem to be puzzled about an app called BDEmailer, and why it’s allowed on the App Store. I think this is because they’re giving the app more credit than it’s due.

Engadget says Apple “violates its own policies” because the app’s SMTP feature “duplicates an exact function of Apple’s Mail application on the iPhone and touch.” I disagree. The product’s own demo video states that if “there’s more than two [email addresses] it will send them to Apple’s Mail, the SMT[P] only sends one address at a time.” That’s hardly a duplicate of Mail’s send feature. 
Gizmodo says Apple’s app store policies are a “crap shoot.” This may very well be true, but I’m not sure you could prove it by this app. They want to know “just what the hell is going on.” Well, what’s going on is this: BDEmailer is an enhancement to Apple’s Mail, and there are already plenty of those on the app store (e.g., Easy MailTouchType).
9 to 5 Mac says the app “goes up against Apple’s own email app,” which is the furthest from the truth because this app relies on Apple’s Mail app. 
In addition to SMTP, I believe some confusion stems from the app’s write-up in the app store. It talks so much about what you can do, it can give the impression it’s a Mail replacement. But it does not receive mail, and the limited sending is obviously an issue. Bottom line is that while this Mail enhancer seems more extensive than others — which duplicate some of BDEmailer’s features — it’s still just a Mail add-on, not a replacement.
Finally, none of this is meant to judge the app itself, or its potential usefulness as a Mail helper. This is not a review; I leave it to readers to use the app or read existing app store reviews and make their own determination. I’m simply responding to articles questioning why Apple did not disallow this app from the Store.

Break Away From MobileMe: 7 Free Services to Help You Make the Move

Apple’s replacement for .Mac has had a very rocky start, and has a long way to go before its ready to compete with free alternatives. Many users do not want to move away from MobileMe because of the deep integration with the Mac desktop, while others are reluctant because its hard to find another single service that provides all of the services that MobileMe does. If the latest outage has you ready to jump ship, here’s a guide to making the break.

Mail: Gmail

Making the transition to Gmail is very easy. Gmail allows you to use POP3 to download all of your existing mail from MobileMe into Gmail, and Gmail also allows you to send email as [email protected] allowing you time to migrate slowly. With instant search, integrated chat, nearly infinite storage, and an extremly fast interface, making the switch to Gmail not only replaces MobileMe Mail, it makes your email overwhelmingly more enjoyable.
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How-To: Moving Email Between Macs

Moving Mail MessagesOf all the information I have stored on my Mac, email is by far the data I hold with highest regard. I choose not to use a web based email service such as GMail or MobileMe Mail — rather using the basic Mail application bundled with OSX. While my various accounts do utilize IMAP, all my archived mail messages are stored locally in various folders.
When recently moving to a new Apple machine, I needed to quickly and easily move all my email account data, messages and attachments, along with the data I’ve collected for my spam filtering application, SpamSieve. This process can be very straight forward when you know how.
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Smarts in Mail?

The upgrade to Leopard has improved more than just the OS – it made Mail, in my opinion, much more usable.

One of the best features is the data detection in the mouse pointer. Running your mouse over a date produces a small drop-down arrow that gives you the option to add it to iCal. The menu for addresses offers to find them in GoogleMaps, and names offer to add to Address Book, or show the Address Book entry, if one already exists.

The date feature can even recognize fuzzy dates, like ‘Wednesday after next’ and add them to iCal, complete with time, if that was included in the email. This effectively brings the link between Mail and iCal full circle, with the other half being reminder emails from iCal.

It’s got its flaws, sadly. For starters, it’s convinced that there is someone named “Rhode Island” who keeps emailing me and who desperately needs to be added to my address book. And, of course, it doesn’t do this in all parts of the OS. But the rest – it’s the little things that keep many Mac users using it, as opposed to the various other flavors of *nixy systems or even, gasp, Windows. This is a very elegant little thing.

How To: Import RSS Subscriptions into Apple Mail

I never quite understood Apple’s decision to include RSS support in Safari, but not in Apple Mail. Other mail clients such as Thunderbird have offered this support for years, but I just couldn’t bring myself to use them. They had never offered the power Mail did, with built-in smart folders and the way it had always played so nicely with iCal.

When I first heard that Mail would be offering RSS support in Leopard my first thought was, “finally”. After installing Leopard I immediately opened up NetNewsWire and exported my subscriptions as an OPML file, only to find out that Mail wouldn’t accept it. Mail isn’t alone in missing this very important feature, Safari doesn’t offer OPML importing either.
If you have been using Safari as your application of choice for reading RSS feeds you will be fine, it’s a simple mouse click away to bring them into Mail. But Safari for the most part is nowhere near powerful or feature rich enough for most of us.
So what do I do now? Am I stuck with individually re-subscribing to all of my several hundred feeds all over again? At first this seems to be the case, but the long answer is: no. It involves a little jimmy-rigging and taking the long route but it is possible.
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Mail 3.0: Links in subject now clickable

So either no one has emailed me with a URL in the subject line since I’ve been a Mac user (a little over 3 years), or Leopards Mail 3.0 has a new “feature” (if you want to call it that).

Clickable Links in Subject
No, I don’t send emails to myself. 🙂 Someone emailed me and in the subject they had a full link, which I then in turn noticed was now clickable when you view the message. It isn’t clickable in the listing of messages…just when you are actually viewing the email.
I haven’t fully made up my mind on if this is annoying or convenient. For some reason the first that that popped in to my head is how PR folks are going to start included URLs in the their subject to try to get you to click through to the site more…a negative thing.
Your thoughts? Or is this something that’s existed for a while and I’ve just apparently been oblivious to it all this time?

How to Create/Edit Your Own Stationery

Mail Stationery

One of the new features in Leopard’s Mail is that it includes a few dozen stationery templates for you to easily choose from to jazz up your emails.

For the most part these templates are just plain ole’ fashioned HTML with a tiny bit of XML. So really the only requirements for editing or creating your own stationery is that you know a small bit of HTML. Some design skills wouldn’t hurt if you’re creating your own from scratch.

I’m not a huge fan of getting HTML email, but there are times when it’s nice. I decided to dig in to things a bit to figure out just how all of this works and was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s really quite simple.

Below is a fairly in-depth walkthrough on just how you can create your own Mail stationery or edit the pre-made stationery.
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Missing emails after installing Leopard?

This past Friday, after my little FedEx experience, I promptly backed up my hard drive and then did an Erase & Install of Leopard.

Once Leopard was installed I began moving over necessary files, including my Mail files.

To get your new version of Mail to recognize your old mail (so you don’t have to recreate all of your accounts), you need to move over the following files and directories:

  • ~/Library/Mail/
  • ~/Library/Mail Downloads/
  • ~/Library/Preferences/

I did this and about an hour later realized that when I searched for previous emails I was only getting results from the past 10 days or so and emails that were still sitting in my Inbox before the install were now missing.

So…how did I fix this? It’s actually really simple. Rebuild

After moving your Mail files over, you basically need to force Mail to re-index your mail files. To do this, simply select each mailbox and folder, one at a time, and go to Mailbox > Rebuild in the menu. Depending on the number of emails in those accounts/folders, it could take up to a minute or two to rebuild it. After that all of your previous emails should be accounted for! Stationery Pack

Equinux Stationery Pack In the new that is packaged with Leopard, there are a few dozen email templates to spice up what you send out.

Now you can have over 100 of them to choose from.

Equinux has released their first stationery pack with over 100 new templates to add to your emailing arsenal.

There are 7 different categories of templates including Business, Sports, Feelings, and others. It’s somewhat a given that in a collection this large of generic templates, not all of them are going to be great. There are certainly quite a few good ones but along with those are some that were obviously a bit of an afterthought just to reach the “100” mark.

The entire collection will cost you around $30.