OS X Apps: Is the Inky E-mail Client the Answer for a Unified Inbox?

BACKGROUND:

Inky, by Arcode Corp. of Bethesda, Md – a desktop E-mail client alternative to Apple’s Mail.app – has been available now for early adopters for over a year.   Inky comes in both Mac and Windows incarnations, and Arcode says they are committed to developing and releasing mobile versions for iOS and Android.   But, we’re partial to our Macs here at this section of MacDaily.co and, so, this review focuses solely on the currently available Mac OS X version of Inky as of August 1, 2013.

The astute reader might ask: “What’s wrong with the Apple Mail client?”.  Actually, we’ve  used it pretty heavily at our house over the years and have few complaints.  But, judging by posts to online forums, some folks seem to have run into lots of difficulties under OS X with trying to sync Mail together with inboxes for other E-mail accounts such as AT&T and Yahoo.  I first ran into this kind of issue when I wanted to sync my Outlook.com inbox along with Mail.  See my earlier blog post here for more background on the Outlook.com problem and a workaround.

Since then, I’ve come across Arcode Corp. with Inky, an OS X desktop client which they say will simplify the difficulties of setting up and managing a unified inbox.  Does it live up to it’s claims and would it be a good tool for your use?  Let’s see …

What Is Inky?

Inky is a desktop client from Arcode Corp. for OS X that promises a unified inbox, facilitating the management of multiple E-mail accounts – including Cloud-based accounts – and providing something not unlike Mail’s Smart Folders.  I’ve included a screenshot of the main Inky UI at the end.

This is a desktop client that resembles and feels like the UI for a browser-based E-mail service, such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or Outlook.com, with similar strengths and weaknesses as a UI.  More on this later.   Suffice it to say, it’s the kind of UI you either like or hate.

Installation & Removal

Installation is easy enough – just download InkyInstall.pkg from Arcode’s web site and launch the package.  Click through the usual EULA stuff and default locations, and you’ll wind up at the main screen (similar to screenshot below), where you are ready to configure your various E-mail accounts and preferences.

To remove Inky from your OS X system, simply find and delete:

And, away we go!

Configuration

Click the gear icon to select your font size and UI layout.

Click the Menu Icon (upper left) to Add E-mail Account(s) and enter your Settings preferences for each account.

Add E-Mail Account:  For each E-mail account:

Configure Your Settings:  There are four groups of settings for each E-Mail account:

Under Settings, you’ll also find a “General Settings” tab on the left, above the accounts you just added.  Here you can set preferences for how Inky should handle certain behaviours across all E-mail accounts, such as date formats, attachments, folders, etc.

Be sure to click “Save” at the top, and that’s it!

Inky’s Strengths

There’s a lot to like about Inky, especially including:

Of course, Inky has all the usual functions such as:  reply, forward, attach, delete, search, move, and so on.

Inky’s Weaknesses

I used Inky for almost two weeks for all my E-mail simultaneously from six accounts spanning four E-mail service providers:  Apple Mail / iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook.com.  Here’s the difficulties I ran into:

Recommendation

When Arcode finishes addressing current stability issues, using Inky could make sense for you if you want to manage multiple E-mail accounts on your Mac with a Unified Inbox – even more so when one account is an Outlook.com – AND IF you are accustomed to the single-screen UI scenario.  It has a number of very pleasing and useful features.

If, like me, you are wedded to a multi-screen UI, then Inky may not be for you.

Here’s the screenshot:

 

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