Since its release, Gmail is only accessible on Chrome and other browsers on desktops. However, while its website functions normally, it’s not ideal for work, prolonged use, and productivity. Distractions from other browser tabs, slow content loading, and limited offline mode are some of the issues with the Gmail site.
Thankfully, there are now dedicated desktop apps for the email service, particularly Boxysuite and Mailplane. Although both are good, differences in features and other things make one better than the other. Accordingly, this article will compare the most important features of each app and explain why Boxysuite has the upper hand.
Boxysuite vs Mailplane: Features
Notifications are essential when handling emails, especially for work where prompt responses are necessary. It’s not always possible to watch the inbox for new messages, so it’s ideal to receive alerts on the desktop.
Thankfully, Boxysuite and Mailplane have the ability to show notifications for new emails. Users can choose between Notification Center Banners or Alerts on macOS settings, and alerts of both apps will adjust. However, Boxysuite has an edge with notification badges on its dock and Launchpad app icons, making it possible to check the number of new emails at a glance.
Multiple Accounts & Email Services
While Boxysuite and Mailplane support multiple Google accounts, the two handle accounts differently. With the Mailplane app, account enrollment is only accessible on a dedicated section which might confuse new users. It’s also impossible to quickly switch between accounts without using its browser-like tabs system that takes up significant space. Besides that, there’s no clear distinction between accounts other than the mail icon colors in tabs, so it’s hard to tell which is which, especially when multiple tabs are open.
Fortunately, all of the mentioned annoyances and limitations are absent in Boxysuite. In detail, it retains the original and familiar Gmail account login method, which starts by clicking the profile icon on the inbox. Its Quick Launcher and Menu Bar shortcuts also allow fast account switching, eliminating the need for tabs or windows. Also, unlike Mailplane, Boxysuite supports other email providers and addresses with custom domains (e.g., @acmeinc.com, @boxysuite.com).
Google Apps Integration
Mailplane supports Google apps as it hasn’t removed the Google Calendar, Keep, and Tasks shortcuts in the side panel. However, there’s no way of opening such apps in separate dedicated windows, so Calendar will just replace the inbox view like on browsers, for instance. Mailplane also stopped pushing major releases in 2021, so there’s no guarantee for how long this unintended feature will work.
If one is serious about using Google apps on the desktop, Boxysuite is the best option. It fully supports and allows Google Calendar, Contacts, and Keep to communicate with each other and especially, Boxysuite’s Gmail app. Users can enable each cited Google tool to open in a separate window and show alerts and notification badges. Such apps also support multiple logged-in accounts and are regularly updated.
Quick Launcher is a feature of Boxysuite that enables users to search emails and switch to accounts and inbox views (e.g., Starred, Sent, Snoozed) instantly. It’s like Spotlight on macOS, which one can launch with a key combination, making certain tasks more convenient. On the other hand, Mailplane offers a universal search bar that shows emails, tabs, and account results. Although, users can’t launch it quickly, and it’s only accessible at the top of the inbox.
Email Tracking Detection
Email may be an open communication standard, but there are still things that can protect privacy when using it. As an initiative, Boxysuite offers an exclusive Email Tracking Detection feature. In action, it detects messages that use tracking software and shows a recognizable CCTV icon in detected emails to inform users. Unfortunately, there’s no email tracking or similar function in Mailplane.
The collection of inbox filters is a core part of Gmail. With these filters, it’s possible to sort emails in view by day, week, month, label, etc. Since Boxysuite retains the original functionalities of Gmail, it’s fully possible to use the mentioned filters on the desktop. Moreover, Mailplane supports Gmail filters through the search bar, but the search results and filter view modifications make it confusing. Mailplane also performs “SEARCH EVERYWHERE” by default, so filter search results of all accounts will mix up, making it challenging to distinguish emails.
Keyboard and Mac Menu Bar shortcuts
Being a Gmail desktop app for Mac also means utilizing features of macOS, like keyboard and Menu Bar shortcuts. Mailplane offers some key combinations, but it still lags behind Boxysuite, in which almost every function has dedicated hotkeys. Mailplane also has unique hotkeys, whereas Boxysuite utilizes native macOS keyboard shortcuts, which users are already familiar with and only require a few key combos.
When it comes to the Mac Menu Bar, Boxysuite offers many quick shortcuts, including account switching, actions for Gmail, Calendar, Keep, and Contacts, and Integrations management. Aside from that, the four (4) mentioned Google apps have status bar icons that allow quick window showing and hiding. Mailplane also has Menu Bar shortcuts, but it has fewer items than Boxysuite, and there is no option to switch between accounts quickly.
Task Managers Integration
Boxysuite is an app developed to promote productivity. Accordingly, it makes it easier to use Google apps alongside task managers (e.g., to-do lists, kanban boards, schedulers). On Mac, it works well with OmniFocus, Things, 2DO, Todoist, and more and enables seamless attaching of emails, notes, and calendars to tasks/events.
Regarding Mailplane, it only integrates with Todoist and OmniFocus and is only capable of attaching emails to tasks. Although it technically supports Google Calendar, Keep, and Tasks, users can’t send events, notes, and even to-dos to the mentioned task managers. Also, again, as Mailplane stopped releasing major updates in 2021, there’s no guarantee for how long Todoist and OmniFocus will work with it.
Before the arrival of image and video attachments, reading was the only way to consume emails. Even with the advancements in email technology, most people still prefer composing messages as texts instead of voice/video recordings. Accordingly, it’s also necessary for a desktop Gmail app to be excellent at displaying emails and helping users read texts well.
In this case, Boxysuite takes another point over Mailplane with its Reader Mode feature. In detail, it hides extra buttons and menus in the message body and collapses the top and main menu. It also places the content in the center and shows a quick full-screen toggle for distraction-free reading. Unfortunately, Mailplane doesn’t have this feature, and its interface with too many options in every corner makes reading undesirable. Also, like other Gmail apps for Mac, Mailplane can only show up to 100 emails per view (like the Gmail website)—it won’t take advantage of extra screen real estate.
Default Email Client Option
Boxysuite is an ideal default email client replacement for the Apple Mail program. After configuring, it can automatically open when clicking ‘mailto’ links or sharing something through email. Additionally, as it offers a Google Contacts app that prefers Boxysuite’s Gmail, there’s no need to set up anything if one’s work matters are all in the Google ecosystem.
On the Mailplane side, users can also set it as the default email client; however, its limitations make it unideal for handling email matters on the computer. First, as it uses tabs to open multiple accounts simultaneously, sending an email with the wrong account is a common mistake. Next, it doesn’t integrate with the macOS Contacts app, so there’s no chance of composing messages directly from the phonebook. Lastly, it only supports Google accounts, so users will have to install another client to access other email services and accounts with custom domains.
Why is Boxysuite the Best Alternative to Mailplane?
Boxysuite is the best alternative and is far superior to Mailplane. As such, it is well-designed but remains familiar to Gmail website users. In the interface, the inbox, side panel, search bar, and main menu are left untouched, making navigation a pleasant task. Also, the buttons, menus, and filter views look and function the same, so one can pick up Boxysuite and work right away.
Besides the original functionalities of Gmail, Boxysuite also offers additional features, many of which aren’t available on Mailplane or other clients. Email Tracking Detection, Reader Mode, and Quick Launcher are only a few examples of exclusive features Boxysuite offers.
Boxysuite is developed and regularly maintained by an established company. Accordingly, there’s no need to worry about sudden app update cutoffs or incompatibility with Gmail and other Google tools. Aside from that, it doesn’t hog the memory (RAM) like Chrome and runs smoothly, unlike Mailplane, which crashes from time to time. Boxysuite also adopts Gmail’s current design language very well—a significant contrast to Mailplane, which makes some texts not quite legible, especially when on dark mode.
4 Reasons to Consider Boxysuite as Mailplane Alternative
Preserves the Familiar Look and Functionalities of Gmail
Although Boxysuite is about providing a great Gmail experience on Mac, it still preserves the functions and authentic look of the service. Thus, new users will feel at home and get comfortable right away with it. Also, it means all the powerful features of Gmail web remain accessible, including Google AI-powered search, search parameters, smart compose suggestions, accurate labels, and the add-ons side panel.
Offers Useful and Exclusive Features
Preserving Gmail’s identity is important; however, it’s also best to offer features that email users would find helpful. Thankfully, as Boxysuite knows this, users can benefit from various exclusive features, including Reader Mode, Quick Launcher, Email Tracking Detection, and task managers integration. It’s also possible to download emails from the last 30 to 90 days and save attachments without relying on Chrome or any Chromium-based browser.
It runs smoothly and is CPU, memory, and battery-friendly
Boxysuite is well-developed and regularly maintained, so it works smoothly and doesn’t crash from time to time like Mailplane. Moreover, it’s the first and only native macOS Gmail app, so it doesn’t require significant memory (RAM) and CPU processing allocation. Since it’s lightweight, it only consumes a small app data size and won’t drain the battery.
Unlike Mailplane, with a busy interface, Boxysuite offers a clean working environment that promotes ease of use and productivity. There are no unnecessary tabs, headers, or other elements, so one can spend more time working without distractions. Boxysuite also provides different shortcuts to actions like account switching, moving from and to inboxes, and locating certain emails. Instead of only relying on Gmail’s search bar (like Mailplane), Boxysuite offers native and unique hotkeys, Quick Launcher, Menu Bar shortcuts, and static status bar icons for faster task completion.
If unaware, the company behind Mailplane announced that it would no longer sell licenses starting June 2021. According to the company, it has stopped updating the app and will only try to support the last/existing version as long as possible. However, while those who have already bought the app can continue using it, Gmail’s nature will make Mailplane inoperable sooner or later. Gmail’s features, interface, and backend frameworks update continually, so using Mailplane may result in broken email sync, false delivery reports, incompatibility, and more problems.
Luckily, Boxysuite offers and implements all Mailplane features better, making it the best replacement for the discontinued client. Switching from Mailplane to Boxysuite is straightforward, and the process is as follows:
Google apps rely on the cloud, and such apps require syncing of data periodically. Accordingly, there’s no need to backup or transfer anything manually—just a quick sync with the internet connection on, and it will be safe to log out of Mailplane. Also, it means that everything will appear in Boxysuite immediately, and users can resume working (but in a better environment) in no time.
Boxysuite and Mailplane are both good desktop Gmail apps. However, considering the feature comparisons, stability, and development state of the two, it’s clear that Boxysuite is the superior option.
It handles notifications well, supports multiple Google accounts and other email services, offers helpful and exclusive features, and is system resources-friendly. Above all, Boxysuite handles Gmail perfectly, preserving its look and powerful features while optimizing performance.
Boxysuite is the first and only native Gmail app for Mac, and it provides a clean working environment for emails, notes, and calendars. Clearly, Boxysuite is the best desktop Gmail client, so learn more or try it for free now!