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Most of us tend to check for new emails via smartphones, otherwise we use desktop web browsers. The niche for legacy standalone email clients has shrunk during the last decade, but the fight is not over. Thunderbird, Evolution and KMail still have lots of advanced features for both home and enterprise users. There used to be one more prominent email client of that kind, Nylas N1, which we reviewed in LXF221. Back in 2017 it became defunct and was soon reborn as Mailspring. The original Nylas application was based on Electron and sported a JavaScript engine inside, which, truth be told, led to a big performance loss. Although Mailspring is very similar to Nylas, its core has been rewritten in C++ and runs noticeably faster. It’s easy to see the difference once you set up an existing account in Mailspring and let the app chew large amounts of data.

There are a lot of power features that make Mailspring very attractive and pleasing to use. It can combine multiple IMAP and Office 365 accounts into a single ‘unified’ mailbox and let you do more with your messages. For instance, you can undo send within five seconds after hitting the Send button – something that could save you from a disaster one day. You can also snooze emails for a given period and return to them later, enjoy automatic spell-check language detection, the built-in body text translator, link tracking tool, very fast search tool and more. Each unusual feature looks like a small enhancement alone, but altogether they change the whole experience.

We were really happy to see Mailspring perform faster and eat less RAM than an average Electron app, and we therefore recommend giving it a try. The column-based interface with an optional reading pane is a great productivity-focused design decision, so it’s easy to fall in love with Mailspring.

Although there is a paid plan with some extras, the open source version is fully functional and is not restrictive in any way.

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