Google doesn’t make apps for the Mac. Many companies do, but Google does not. Instead, it puts the majority of its energy into making web apps.
Apple Mail works fine with Gmail, but it doesn’t really feel like Gmail. Sure, you can send and receive emails and do some basic inbox management, but because Apple uses IMAP, you miss a lot of the extra features that Google adds to the web app.
Mimestream is the best of both worlds. It’s a native Mac app that is optimized for Gmail. And if you haven’t tried it, you should.
What is Mimestream?
Mimestream was created by Neil Jhaveri, a former Apple software engineer who previously worked on the Mac and iPad apps for Apple Mail.
Mimestream is a desktop email client for macOS, and it’s somewhat unique because it uses the Gmail API to give you access to most of Gmail’s web features on your Mac.
That means labels, filters, inbox categories, and profile pictures are all automatically supported by Mimestream.
Features of Mimestream
Mimestream includes many great options, like the ability to accept calendar invites without clicking a link and opening the invite in a new window. You can do it right in Mimestream, just like you can on gmail.com.
You can also control your out-of-office replies, snooze emails for later, and filter messages by unread or starred.
And, if you have multiple Gmail accounts, you can add them all to the app and switch between them with ease. With Mimestream, you can view all your accounts in one inbox or keep them separate.
Profiles can also be created for home and work accounts, and Mimestream also takes advantage of Apple’s Focus modes to control when you see notifications for each account.
Other Gmail favorites like undo send, templates, and “send and archive” are included, as are Gmail aliases and the ability to mention people directly in an email.
Looking ahead, an iOS app is in the works, as is support for other email services via IMAP. You can see what else is coming on the Mimestream public roadmap.
Why Use a Native App?
Many people are fine with using Gmail on the web. It works well, but it doesn’t feel like you are using a Mac, and it doesn’t have that system-level integration that makes owning and using a Mac worthwhile.
With Mimestream, you have a fast and responsive app that has keyboard shortcuts, swipe gestures, system notifications, and multiple window support. It’s built for Apple Silicon and even takes advantage of newer macOS features like the Continuity Camera.
It also looks great. Mimestream has a clean design that is easy to navigate. If you have used Apple Reminders, Messages, or Notes, you will be right at home with this app.
I’ve been using Mimestream since it first launched as a beta, and there is almost no learning curve if you are familiar with Gmail and the way a good Mac app works.
Mimestream Pricing and Availability
Like many apps, Mimestream was free while in beta. However, the recent release of version 1.0 introduced a new pricing plan.
Mimestream is $4.99 a month or $49.99 per year, and can be purchased directly from their website at mimestream.com. At this time, it is not available on the Mac App Store.
Unsure if Mimestream is for you? A 14-day free trial lets you try it out with no credit card required.
Until June 9, 2023, you can get Mimestream for 40% off if you purchase an annual plan. That handy discount makes it $29.99 for the first year, and $49.99 for future years.
Mimestream is not without its downsides. It only supports Gmail accounts, there is no iOS app, you can’t schedule messages, and there is no way to view or manage your Google Contacts like you can with Outlook.
However, it’s hard not to say that the pros outweigh the cons with this well-designed app. Yes, Mimestream is not for everyone. Casual users that check their email once or twice a day may not get much benefit from this app.
However, if you are using Gmail for work, you spend a lot of time dealing with email, or you juggle multiple Google accounts, then this is precisely the kind of app you need to quickly triage and process your email.