Six years ago I wrote a review of Eudora v4.0 for MacUser. As I suggested, Eudora had been the only sensible option for anyone remotely serious about email on the Mac, but version 4 marked the point at which Qualcomm began slipping behind.
Looking back there are some features I can’t imagine we ever did without, like checking for new mail in the background. But given six years (and two full releases) have passed, the application’s changed remarkably little while new applications have raced ahead. Eudora has limped along, occasionally graced with quirky features like Moodwatch (how many chilli icons do your swearing friends generate?) and the Content Concentrator, only to see Apple launch the slick (but slow) Mail and Barebones turn Mailsmith around.
More than eight years of Eudora use dies hard however, and I’m not about to switch. I may feel my loyalty dwindling with every point release, but it’s still more powerful than I need (for example, there are nineteen actions a filter can perform and I only ever use one). With spam filtering now on board there are just a few simple things that need fixing to make me a proud Eudora user once more:
- Integration with Apple’s Address Book. I don’t need more than one address book on my Mac.
- Contextual menus. Are there any other major applications that display no options when you control-click/right-click on anything?
- A count of unread messages on the Dock icon. Let the user choose which mailboxes’ mail contribute toward the total.
- Make it look nicer. Call me shallow, but I like things to look nice. I’m a Mac user, you know? The appearance has barely changed since years before OS X and I want mailboxes, messages, dialogs and the toolbar to look as pretty as everything else around here. And please find someone who can design decent icons.
Those four changes would make Eudora look like a modern application again and I’d feel less like a stuck-in-the-past luddite.