Hands-on: CloudMagic for Mac brings effortless focus to your email
Fans of CloudMagic for iOS will fawn over this "distraction-free" Mac app, even if it lacks a key feature of the mobile version.
It took less than two years for CloudMagic to garner 3 million users and the title of best overall email app for iOS. Now the CloudMagic team is hoping to translate that email magic to the Mac.
After almost nine months in development, CloudMagic for Mac is finally available in the Mac App Store. The Mac version borrows successful elements from its iOS predecessor: a minimalist, lightweight design; intuitive actions; and what the company calls an “opinionated user experience,” or clever quips to help you navigate your inbox.
While the CloudMagic app for iOS is free, CloudMagic for Mac is $20. It supports a wide range of email clients, including Gmail, Office 365, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail/Outlook, Exchange, iCloud, and IMAP. It also supports Handoff so you can effortlessly switch back and forth between checking email on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Distraction-free interface for thoughtful emails
The best part about CloudMagic for Mac is the “distraction-free” email composer. Hitting the Reply button brings up a new, clean window with a bold headline-sized subject line. It feels similar to composing a blog post on Tumblr or Medium. In fact, the CloudMagic team boasts that they “didn’t just design it for composing emails. It should inspire you to write anything, even poems.” Whereas replying to emails on your iPhone requires being quick and straightforward, on our Macs we can afford to be more thoughtful. And CloudMagic for Mac seems to have been designed with that in mind.
Although the “distraction-free” mindset is much appreciated, it’d be nice if the CloudMagic Mac app gave us more options to customize the email reading experience. Sometimes you need the distractions to see the full picture. For example, being able to see the inbox on the left and an opened email on the right (like most email Mac apps) would save a lot of back-and-forth.
Intuitive quick actions for reaching Inbox Zero
The “distraction-free” experience is not to say that you will be inspired to write haikus all day instead of actually checking your email and shooting lighting-fast responses. CloudMagic for Mac has several intuitive actions that make getting through your inbox a breeze. For example, clicking anywhere on the gray area surrounding an opened email message brings you right back to your inbox. You can also select multiple emails for mass archival, deletion, or marking as read by clicking on an email’s checkmark. Once the email thread gets highlighted in blue, you can click anywhere on any other email thread to also select it. And if you want to see just your starred emails or your unread emails, you can do that by clicking on the buttons at the top near the search bar.
Speaking of the search bar, CloudMagic for Mac has decent search capabilities, especially if you allow it to access your Contacts, which helps auto-complete email addresses. If you have more than one email account, let’s say your personal Gmail and work Exchange, you sometimes have to designate which account you’d like to search for CloudMagic to surface more accurate results.
Smart app integrations to come
The one key feature that is notably absent from CloudMagic for Mac is third-party app integrations. On CloudMagic for iOS you can activate smart cards to integrate your emails with other popular productivity tools like Evernote, MailChimp, Pocket, Todoist, Salesforce, Asana, Trello, OneNote, and Zendesk. CloudMagic for iOS can also seamlessly save your emails to Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and OneDrive—another missing component of the Mac app.
Productivity fiends, don’t lose hope. The CloudMagic team told us that they’ll be adding these types of integrations very soon. They also have plans to add more, never-before-seen business features to the Mac app.