Review – MsgFiler for Apple Mail

This app for Apple Mail in Mac OS X (available from the Apple App store) lets you quickly file emails in mailboxes with keyboard shortcuts. I have a large hierarchy of mailboxes in 7 email accounts (Gmail and generic IMAP) so for me, this is a huge time saver. I’ve used it to file 374 messages in just the last few days.

It also does other things like let you open mailboxes with shortcuts, and create new mailboxes on the fly. Nice added bonuses. The developer is also very responsive and friendly.

While I’m giving it a 5-star rating I hope the developer fixes two bugs: (1) the “recents” feature doesn’t work when restricting mailboxes to the current account. Still, in actual use, I don’t notice that not working so much. (2) The other bug is more annoying – an error message that pops up when creating a nested mailbox. That one I really hope he fixes!

Basically finding and filing in mailboxes works very well, and is extremely fast.

I had been a Mail Act-On user, but it stopped working with Yosemite for the case where you have a Japanese keyboard installed. I love Indev too. They are really nice and responsive. But they indicated they cannot fix that bug and refunded my money. If you are not using foreign language keyboards their software is also great. More expensive, but very nice and more features unrelated to filing messages.

However, I had been using Mail Act-On just for the filing shortcuts and it was no longer working. MsgFiler has no problems in finding English and Japanese mailboxes.

One note: Some people might think $10 is a high price for an app which “just files.” That was my original reaction too, and I was hesitant about trying it. But I contacted the developer, asked a few questions, he responded quickly and pointed me to a deprecated plugin version I could test with first. I was hooked and purchased right away. If you haven’t tried filing mails with a couple of keystrokes you probably don’t yet appreciate how much of a time-saver this is over drag-and-drop, or going through the hierarchical menu (as we must in iOS), or even using the clumsy CMD+Shift+? keyboard shortcut available in Mail for moving messages.

If you have a large hierarchy of mailboxes, and/or multiple email accounts,  this is definitely a huge time saver.

So for heavy Mail users I would say it is worth it. And I hope the developer updates it soon with those couple of needed fixes.

OS X 10.10.3, the new Photos app and iCloud

I just installed OS 10.10.3. Download of the 2+ GB upgrade took about 10 seconds. Installation was very quick.

Now I’m upgrading my iPhoto library with 100+ GB of decades of photos to the new Photos app. It’s 64% done as I’m writing this and I wonder what it will be like.

The new Photos feature with iCloud seems very intriguing. They keep all the full res photos in the cloud thus freeing up space on your computer, iPhone and iPad – which retain cached versions and the high res versions are automatically visible on demand.

But… Apple’s iCloud storage costs are crazy high compared with other services these days. For example, Amazon just dropped their unlimited photo storage to $12 a year. Apple is $4/month for 200 GB.

However, if you have less than 5 GB of data it’s free, and 20 GB is just $1/month. Still, compared with Amazon it’s very high.

And then there is OneDrive by Microsoft. 30 GB is free. And if you subscribe to Office 365 it’s only about $70/year and comes with 1 TB of cloud storage plus all the latest Office apps.

I think Apple – never the big price competitor – is going to have to lower their cloud storage prices. Unless enough people with low storage capacity i-devices decide they want to see all their photos everywhere and think the high cloud storage cost is worth it.

Well, as I’m finishing this post Photos has finished migrating my photos and I see a picture of my mother standing at a counter chatting with somebody with the date July 5, 2020. Not a promising first sign…

Yosemite – already used to it

I must be very submissive to Apple’s will. I am already used to Yosemite. There are a few UI elements I’m not particularly fond of (e.g. the flat window close/minimize/maximize buttons), but I find myself actually liking the dock better. It’s easier to see which apps are open or not. Apple Mail also looks much nicer, though without plugins it is still harder to use than Gmail for finding and filing things.

It also feels faster than Mavericks.

Anyway, here is a nice article summarizing some interesting new features:

doug@resistance is futile


I don’t know what the new features are (reading the Apple page to “learn more” didn’t seem to reveal too much), but I upgraded my backup iMac – not my MacBook Pro yet – to Yosemite (OS X 10.10).

The appearance of Yosemite is … ugly. Everything has been flattened out and the new Finder icon, among others, look really dumb.

I think the use of slight 3D shadow effects until now have actually been very helpful in finding things. I wonder why they got rid of them. It’s just all flattened out now. I think it’s harder to focus on and quickly find icons this way.

Also they changed the colors of a bunch of standard icons: iTunes went from blue to red; FaceTime went from a grey and dark green camera icon to completely different light green box with a white square in it (?)… It seems like just change for change sake.

I wonder what’s new except for an ugly appearance…