Microsoft works really hard to develop new features or make existing ones a bit better, if they’re not completely ditched in the meantime. Those services that survived got through several name changes. Among others, the Mail app probably got the most suitable name, but what about the features?
The Mail app isn’t Microsoft’s only email client, with the Outlook component being a veteran on the market. However, some might consider Outlook difficult to use, or don’t want to spend cash on the whole Office bundle just to be able to compose and receive email messages.
Luckily, the Mail app is free of charge, pretty intuitive by design, and you’re going to find it installed by default in Windows 10. Don’t worry about flexibility, because Microsoft made it possible to sign in to other accounts as well, so you’re not forced to create a new account. Let’s take a look at the Mail app and see if it’s any good.
The Windows Mail app
As mentioned, you can use the Mail app right after you’re done setting up Windows 10. In case you decided it’s best to remove pre-installed apps and want the Mail app back, you can find it in the Store.
First things first: you need an email account if you want to be able to use the app, and any kind of account, not just a Microsoft one can be used. If you’re not using Windows 10 with a local account, then your account is suggested as a login choice.
There’s a big plus button to add a new account. Your choices include Outlook, Exchange, Google, Yahoo!, iCloud, as well as other POP, or IMAP accounts. Unless you opt for Advanced Setup, requirements narrow down to email address and password, with the app automatically reaching the server and setting up connection.
Truth is the Mail app is a straightforward approach on email management. There’s the possibility to stay connected to multiple accounts, but don’t expect any outstanding features other than the basic.
|With the Mail app, I can…|
-> Connect to more accounts by pressing the Gear (Settings) button in the bottom left corner, selecting Accounts, and choosing to Add Account;
-> Change the background picture from the Settings panel;
-> Set a delay for messages to be Marked as Read, and enable Caret Browsing for comfortable navigation;
-> Configure Swipe Actions in case you decide or need to use Windows 10 on touch-enabled devices;
-> Create a signature for each account I use;
-> Set to Show a Notification Banner and Play a Sound whenever new messages are received;
-> Move emails around or in different folders by dragging them with the mouse;
-> Customize font for new messages, add bullets and numbering, and even highlight important paragraphs;
-> Insert table, pictures, or links to pages on the web;
-> Set language and check spelling to send clean emails.
|The Mail app won’t let me…|
<- Create custom folder structures;
<- Filter messages by date, attachments, or importance;
<- Keep track of or add any new contacts;
<- Block specific sources or individuals from sending messages;
<- Attach files by dragging them over the main window;
<- Log off an account without deleting all data associated with it (ugh). Don’t worry, accounts or mail messages are not deleted;
<- Manually log in whenever I launch the Mail app so that others can’t access my messages without my consent;
<- Receive a delivery report for messages I send;
<- Download messages to work offline;
<- Resize or hide the folder view for more space to read messages;
<- Switch to full screen view;
<- Download all attachments at once, I need to grab them one by one;
<- Send messages at after a scheduled amount of time;
<- Configure automatic replies for any other service other than a Microsoft account;
<- Customize signature with different fonts and pictures.
At a first look, the Mail app looks clean and promises to deliver messages on time. In reality, you’re only left with the basic set of tools to store new emails and send new ones. Little management is implemented, but there are a lot of other email clients you can use, such as Mozilla Thunderbird.
To sum it up
Emails are a common thing now, and it’s very likely you own at least one account. You’re free to get started right after Windows 10 finished installing, but with some limitations. However, it’s good to see that Microsoft gives individuals the possibility to perform the basic of everything, while also leaving room for third-party alternatives to flourish.