Last updated: 1999.11.26
Comparison TablesBareFeetWare develops efficient, powerful and simple collaboration and work flow solutions, whilst maintaining an open architecture and standards.
This page is part of BareFeetWare's email information web site.
A brief introduction to IMAP, extracted from a slide show presentation, is available on our training pages.
ContactThe tables below are a work in progress.Product Details
Several Mac IMAP email clients are compared. Features are tested for IMAP accounts, not POP accounts, which the program may also support.
Yellow cells indicate that the property has been tested with the latest version shown. White cells contain information from older versions. Red text indicates a significant shortcoming.
The Cyrus project and UNINETT have each performed some similar testing. Netscape have their own table in their Standards Challenge for Internet Mail Clients. The Macintosh Email Resource Page contains links to discussion lists and other resources particular to each email client.
D and E have a comparison of IMAP clients for Windows.
The tables below compare all of the known IMAP mail clients for Macintosh. a "b" indicates a beta version..Requirements
- Netscape Communicator 4.7 - Currently revising tables.
- Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0 - latest version for PowerPC - Currently revising tables. 4.0.2 was the final version for 68k, so any differences are also mentioned as "v4".
- Cyrusoft Mulberry 1.4.4 - Currently revising tables. Version 2.0 due some time in 1999?.
- CTM PowerMail 2.2. Version 2.4 will be reviewed shortly.
- Tree Star Mailstrom - last updated by developer: September 1997
- Qualcomm Eudora Pro 4.2.2. Some specs of latest version reviewed by Adam C. Engst (thanks).
- Esys Simeon. A new version, renamed "ExecMail" is due in early 1999, so the review here is suspended.
- Baylor University Mail Drop. According to the author,"Version 1.2 is definitely limited... Version 1.3 is an almost complete rewrite of Mail Drop and is far from finished."
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express PowerMail Eudora Simeon MailDrop Mailstrom PowerPC Native Yes Yes Yes Yes 68k Yes up to version 4.0.2 Yes Yes Windows Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Cost for single license Free Free 40 Free Company Qualcomm http URL www.cyrusoft.com www.microsoft.com/mac/oe/ www.ctmdev.com www.eudora.com www.esys.ca www.baylor.edu/~Carl_Bell/Mail_Drop/ www.treestar.com/mailstrom/ RAM used by app on PowerPC (MB)
1.2MB (more is better)
Extra RAM used by system on PowerPC (MB)
5 PPC, 4.0.2 68k
Mailboxes, Moving Messages and Checking mail
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express PowerMail Eudora Simeon MailDrop Mailstrom IMAP Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes POP accounts accessible while using IMAP accounts No. No POP access at all yet. No Yes Yes Yes No No Multiple IMAP accounts simultaneously Yes Yes, but must be on different servers. Yes No Yes Yes No No Change "From" account per message. Pop up and add on the fly No Yes, but part of send/receive account. Pop up set in prefs. No on the fly editing. Pop up for each message, set in prefs. Pop up or type No? But can set reply-to for each message. No Pop up for each message, set in prefs. Time to log in Access foreign mailboxes (eg ~sales) from a single login. Yes Yes, as folder of ~public. No No No. Can create duplicate accounts with different "IMAP mailbox location prefix". No. Can create duplicate accounts with different "folder prefix". No No Supports ACL (Access Control Lists) for setting access privileges. Yes, all privileges. View all privileges at once. No. Has some proprietary access system. No No No Yes, but only 4 of the 9 privileges. Only view access for one user at a time. No No Can set access for multiple mailboxes at a time No No? No No No No No No Server preference storage ACAP/IMSP No IMSP No Changeable ports for IMAP and SMTP? No Yes Yes Usenet News client No yes Yes No No No No No
Off line use
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express 4.0.1 PowerMail Eudora Simeon MailDrop Mailstrom INBOX displays at top of list Yes Yes Yes. (No for v4) No Yes Yes Yes New folder Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes New folder on the fly when moving message Yes No Yes (No for v4) No Yes Move mailbox into other folder Can't drag but can move via rename path. Yes Yes (No for v4) Yes Yes Move message to other mailbox same account Yes. Deletes original message or copy with option key. Yes Yes. Marks original for deletion. Hold option key to copy. Yes, by dragging with option down. Copies without option. Yes. Deletes original message or copy with option key. Move message to other mailbox other account Yes. Deletes original message. No. No multi accounts. Yes. Does not mark for deletion. No. No multi accounts. Fails after obvious attempt, maybe due to bug in Beta. Move onto collapsed folder to expand Yes and collapses when done. Yes but does not collapse when done. Yes but does not collapse when done. No Yes Move message from open window Can't drag. Can via menu. Can't drag. Can via menu. Can't drag. Can via contextual menu. Select "copy to" mailbox, then delete. No Fails after obvious attempt, maybe due to bug in Beta. Can optionally open next. Yes Mailboxes within a mailbox? (not just within a folder) Yes. Sub folders of INBOX are separated. Yes Yes Yes Yes View unsubscribed folders (eg to subscribe). Create a search folder. Disable "Subscribed only". Click account's icon. Preference setting to see all or subscribed. Does not appear to support Subscribe function. Checking for new mail Yes. Very fast. Menu: "Check Mail" or command L. Yes. Click "Get Msg" button. Yes. Very slow. Menu: Refresh Message List, command L. No for IMAP, yes for POP accounts. Must log out, quit, empty cache manually then log in. Yes, fast if minimal headers is selected. Auto checking Yes. Can enable checking for any mailbox. No. Only INBOX at startup. No for IMAP. Yes for POP accounts. Yes Yes Processes which can background. Checking mail. Not moving files. Checking mail. Moving files, downloading. Checking mail. Moving files (but maybe v4 forgets). Checking mail, sending. Checking mail, sending.
Owing to requests, we will complete this table when time permits.Search, Sort, Mark
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express PowerMail Eudora Copy off line No. Can't even copy locally easily? Yes No. Have to copy to local folders. Yes
.Message Editing & Content
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express PowerMail Eudora Simeon Non contiguous selection of multiple messages. Yes . Yes Yes No Hide deleted messages Yes, but have to used a match criteria. Yes. Choose "Delete immediately and allow undo" in Preferences. Yes, but have to dig through preferences. No No. Messages are transferred to a Trash mailbox. Purge deleted messages Click Expunge button. Choose "Compact mailbox" Yes Empty Mail Trash menu item No. Can empty trash mailbox. Purge automatically When each mailbox closed. Yes, on quit. On mailbox close (v5). Every folder of every account on quit. No No. Deletes messages in trash mailbox when client quits. Sorting Click title or via menu Click title or via menu Click title Click title or via menu Click title or via menu Sort order independant for each mailbox Yes Yes Yes. (v4: No) No Yes Find in message Yes. Can recall previous finds. Yes yes yes yes Find selected text next occurrence Command-H Command-G Command-H, then command-G Command-E, then command-G Command-; , then command-G Find in messages Yes. Can recall previous finds. Yes Not in IMAP yes yes Unified results list with each match showing location No. Separate results window for each mailbox. Yes Not in IMAP No. Only search one mailbox at a time. Yes. Click on location to see full path. Found List can be moved Yes Yes Not in IMAP No. No. Not to server mailboxes only local mailboxes. Read/unread indicator Customisable Bold. Not customisable. Customisable Tick bullet Mark as answered Yes No Auto but not manual. No Yes Customise marks Yes. Font colour & style. No Only read/unread. No No Can show To/From as one column. Yes Yes No. But can show from and to separately No No Column headings #, status, attachment, date, from/to, thread Thread, subject, to/from, read, date, priority, flag, status, length(size), unread, total Online status, message status, priority, attachment, from, subject, received, size. Subject, from, to, date, size, account Status, subject, who, priority, date, size, label, server, attachments Customisable column headings Yes. Choice of 16. Yes, but no useful extras? Yes. Extras: Sent, account, to. Yes, but no useful extras. No Open message shows path and account No No Yes (v4: No) No Yes. Use cmd-click on window title to display.
Enclosures and MIME
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express PowerMail Eudora Read window Open Open or panel Open or panel Open or panel. Cannot hide panel. Open or panel. Panel is configurable to not mark messages as read. Drag text to Finder as text clipping Cannot drag text text clipping Drag URL to Finder as Cannot. Mouse down launches URL. Downloaded source (eg HTML). URL clipping. text clipping text clipping Activate URL Mouse down. Received messages only. Click Click. Received messages only. Double click double click incoming or draft messages Spell checking Yes. Built in. Flexible. Yes If MS Office is installed. As you type. Yes Built in. As you type. Warning of spelling mistakes before sending. Save draft where Local or IMAP server (any folder) Local or IMAP server Local file or any IMAP mailbox (v4: Outbox) Local Local Add custom headers Yes Yes (v4: yes but buggy) No Yes, requires plug-in. Return Receipt request ie set "disposition- notification-to:" header No. Workaround via header. Yes No. Workaround via header per account. (v4: Buggy. Only works for default account.) No flag per message Select header values in received messages Yes No. Need to show full headers, expand pane or scroll, then select text. Yes. Select from headers in message body. Show full headers Click button on message. Choose menu View:Headers:All. Weird format. Choose menu View:Internet Headers. Have to drag separator. Choose menu Setup: Mail accounts... Click Option button: activate Download full headers radio button. Click "Blah Blah Blah" button on message. Signature select per per identity Global per message or sender (v4: global) per message per message or sender
Replying and threading between messages
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express PowerMail Eudora Enclosures appear as Mime part Paper clip. Clicking loads and reveals icons. Can open or drag Mime part Icons. Enclosures download Each accessible for download. Can be viewed within mailer if text or HTML. Each accessible for download. Might download without request, or just slow to display. Locally without request. Each accessible for download? Locally without request. Enclosures access Can be double clicked, dragged, dragged multiple. Can be double clicked, dragged, dragged multiple. Can be double clicked, dragged, dragged multiple. Can be dragged, dragged multiple? Couldn't make it work. Can be double clicked or dragged. Can't drag multiple. Enclosures encoding Binhex, Apple Single, Apple Double, UU Binhex, Apple Single, Apple Double, UU AppleDouble, AppleSingle, BinHex, uuencode MIME parts readable in mailer (if text or HTML) Yes Yes No No MIME digest appears as Mime parts which can be read as individual messages. One long message with separator horizontal rules. One long message with no separator lines. (v4: Need to view source to see all of a long message. Bug cuts off some requiring view as source.) Mime parts which can be downloaded? Enclosed mailbox which can be read as individual messages. MIME digests parts in HTML retain formatting. Yes Yes, but not separate parts. Yes, but not separate parts. No for v4. No No Steps required to view list of MIME digest parts 3: Click "show parts" expander, click "Multipart/Digest" expander, drag body/part separator down. No list No list No list Double click attachment. Can copy MIME message part into a mailbox No No No No No. Not to server mailboxes, to local mailboxes only.
.Rules and Actions
Software Mulberry Communicator Outlook Express PowerMail Eudora Simeon Redirect Yes No Yes. Can't change subject. Yes yes No Outgoing includes in-reply-to reference Yes Yes Yes. (No for v4) Yes Yes Yes Link in reply to original message No. Has "thread" column heading but requires same subject. yes, by reference or same subject No. v5 has "thread" column but requires same subject. No No Customise outgoing reply line prefix Yes. Can be blank. No No. Set to ">". No. Set to ">". Yes, requires x-eudora-setting URL Yes, but only choose from >$#|!. Can't be blank. Customise reply separator Yes. Can include fields: sender, to, cc, subject and date. No. Default is "<sender> wrote" No. Default has Subject, To, From, Date but not cc. Yes. Can include fields: sender and date. Yes, requires x-eudora-setting URL No. Default is On "<date><sender> wrote" Colour incoming quoted ">" text Yes. One for all levels. No, but does show as italic. No Yes. 5 levels. Yes. One level Reply addresses for MIME digest part (need list and individual) Individual List List List. Unable to test due to bugs with attachments. Individual Forward includes attachments No? IMAP URL Support (RFC 2192) No? No Can select multiple messages to include in reply. Yes Reply with text selected creates msg with selected text only Yes Yes Yes, with Cmd-Shift-R. No mailto URL Yes Yes Yes Yes mailto:address?subject=...&cc=...&bcc=...&from=...&body=... subject, cc, body, but not from, bcc subject, cc, bcc, body, but not from (?) subject, cc, bcc, body, from
Because we have access to server based rules on our IMAP server, rules performed by the client software has not been a high priority. Owing to requests, we will complete this table when time permits.Undo
Software Communicator Outlook Express Mulberry PowerMail Eudora Support for client based rules? No. Not for IMAP. No Auto reply Yes? No Yes?
Which actions can be undone by choosing Undo from Edit menu, rather than having to deliberately reverse engineer the action (eg delete typed text or click the undelete button.Addressing
Software Communicator Outlook Express 4.0.1 Mulberry PowerMail Eudora Undo mark message for deletion Yes No. Can turn off hide delete, undelete, then hide again. No. Can undelete. No. Can undelete. No. Undo message move Yes No No No Not in IMAP
Software Communicator Outlook Express 4.0.1 Mulberry PowerMail Eudora Simeon Reassign to/cc/bcc without moving address. Yes No Only when creating reply. Yes No No When replying, choice of recipients from original headers "Reply All" to sender and original recipients. "Reply" to sender. "Reply All" to original recipients. "Reply" to sender. "Reply All" to original recipients. "Reply" to sender, optionally specify from complete list of from, to, cc, reply-to, sender. "Reply All" cc original recipients and to sender. "Reply" to sender. "Reply" to sender. Hold down option to "Reply All" to original recipients. Nicknames Yes Yes Yes Yes Autocomplete partial Yes Yes No Yes Yes LDAP support Yes? Yes
.Platforms & Mac OS Technologies
Software Communicator Outlook Express 4.0.1 Mulberry PowerMail Eudora Simeon Core Suite Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Object model No. Just "window". Some. Cannot access IMAP mailboxes. No. Just "window". No. Just "window" and "Document". Yes No Apple Mail Suite No Yes? No No No No Recordable Only select window, make new document and set position of window. No Only close and select windows. Some. Select window, make new document, close and set position of window. No No Script menu No Yes No Yes No No
Software Communicator Outlook Express 4.0.1 Mulberry PowerMail Eudora Simeon Balloon help No Menus but not preferences. Yes. Extensive. Not for individual column headings. No Yes. Extensive. Including individual column headings. No Summarising No No No Yes No Contextual Menu Yes Yes Yes, used for spelling replacement words. No Navigation services No Yes
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