The Search for the Holy Email Grail

Any given week, there’s a few tech podcasters and bloggers critiquing email apps or discussing the fundamental problems with the email medium. I’m on that list as I’ve written about Mailbox and Apple’s Mail before.

This week on Techtonic, Joshua and I are going to discuss CloudMagic with the creator and CEO of the CloudMagic company, Rohit Nadhani. CloudMagic, a good app with an unusual name, is a minimalist’s email client for Android, Mac and iOS.

What I like about CloudMagic is that it’s opinionated. The design is simple but not boring. The menus don’t appear in toolbars or sidebars. The composition window has very specific dimensions that you, the writer, cannot resize.

It’s missing many power user features like snooze and rules. CloudMagic serves elegant simplicity ahead of empowering complexity.

And it reliably serves the major email providers, like Google Apps, IMAP and Exchange. It just works, as they say. I give CloudMagic a thumbs up.

One problem, however, that CloudMagic faces is searching through email. This is difficult for a myriad of reasons for many mail apps to get right. I think that I’ve been spoiled by the smart search results of Google, and expect email clients to intuit what I’m looking for when I search all my mailboxes — archives included — at once.

Apple’s Mail does a fairly good job with mail search. Type a topic, sender or subject in the search form, and Mail will deduce some of the details you’re probably interested in. What results in the search list is mostly emails that are likely of interest.

Other apps, like CloudMagic, struggle with search. They’re slow to load results, or they give you far too many irrelevant results to choose from. Because Apple Mail does such a good job of search on the Mac, I sigh and wonder when the day will come that I can have the best of all apps in one solution. Just give me CloudMagic with the search of Apple’s Mail.

But that said, if searching through your emails isn’t especially important to your use case, Consider CloudMagic. If you’re interested in a Gmail or Google Apps alternative that offers the native experience of a local app, versus a web app, CloudMagic might be the tool you’re looking for. If you want a modern user interface that makes email management a unique experience — anything to make email interesting again — then CloudMagic is flipping awesome.

Check out our discussion about email and CloudMagic this Friday on Techtonic to hear more about the app and behind the scenes with Rohit. It’s going to be good.