by Jeff Carlson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Now that Apple has refocussed its Claris subsidiary on FileMaker and Home Page (see "Claris to Restructure as FileMaker, Inc." in TidBITS-415), the fates of other Claris products are in Apple's unpredictable hands. Nonetheless, last week Apple released the Emailer 2.0v3 updater (a 3.6 MB download) which introduces new features and makes Emailer a more compelling email application.
Foremost among Emailer's new features is the ability to redirect messages (forwarding a message while keeping the original From address intact). When you redirect a message to someone, that person can reply to the original sender without having to copy and paste email addresses. Since the TidBITS staff receives quite a bit of email, redirecting messages is invaluable to me; as a longtime Emailer user, I had considered switching to Eudora just for this feature.
Another welcome improvement is a rewrite of the Address Book, which now dynamically tracks addresses included in groups, and can hide entries from Emailer's auto-completion feature when typing recipient names. Emailer 2.0v3 also adds Contextual Menu support under Mac OS 8, and folders can now be reorganized by dragging (rather than copying a folder's files to a new folder, then deleting the original).
Emailer 2.0 users should also update to 2.0v3 to take advantage of a few bug fixes (for instance, an account's password can no longer be accessed by dragging it to the desktop and opening the resultant text clipping). Emailer 2.0v3 doesn't support HTML-formatted email, which (though arguably a blessing) might be a shortcoming for people trying to use Emailer in an environment where HTML email is common.
Emailer may face rough handling by Apple, who will be under pressure not to compete with third-party products - many of which are free. It would be a shame for Apple to view Emailer as "just another email program" since it is a mature product with unique capabilities (such as accessing AOL and CompuServe mailboxes and running scripts as automatic message actions) and strong features for managing multiple email accounts.