When comparing Mozilla Thunderbird vs Airmail, the Slant community recommends Mozilla Thunderbird for most people. In the question“What are the best e-mail clients for macOS?” Mozilla Thunderbird is ranked 2nd while Airmail is ranked 3rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free (as in freedom and beer)
Pro Good filtering system
Mozilla Thunderbird offers a flexible filtering system with the ability to set flags and read/unread, as well as sort/assign to new mail directories. There are also numerous plugins available to assist in the filtering.
Pro Very reliable
Version after version, Mozilla Thunderbird works as expected.
Pro Lightning Calendar and Address Book integration
Pro Large assortment of plugins available
Mozilla Thunderbird offers a huge amount of extensions to expand the usability and options of the client.
Pro Available on Linux, OS X and Windows
Pro Consistent and involving a moderate learning curve
The app design of Mozilla Thunderbird has not changed significantly since its beginning, making its learning curve almost non-existent.
Pro Great flexibility
More options and extended settings than most power users could dream of. Get it working how YOU want.
Pro Tabs for navigation
Pro Send large files easy
Install pCloud plugin for Thunderbird and your files (upto 20 GB free storage included) will be received as download links
Pro Clean interface
Airmail has a very clean and modern interface. On the left side of the screen are the folders (inbox, starred, draft, sent, snooze, trash) and on the right side the email threads for the folder currently being viewed.
Pro Automatically syncs settings between devices
If you are using Airmail in different devices (either MacOS or iOS), you can automatically sync settings through iCloud.
Pro Multiple ways of sorting emails
There are multiple ways to sort emails with Airmail. You can sort by unread, starred, attachments, conversations, dates, and many more criteria. You can even combine different criteria together.
Using these filters makes it extremely easy to quickly find any email you are looking for.
Pro Integrates with multiple third-party services
Airmail can integrate with multiple Cloud services for syncing, creating backups, adding tasks and more. Some of these services include Dropbox, Box, Fantastical, 2DO, Todoist, Wunderlist etc.
Pro Extremely customizable
Instead of forcing the user to work with their email the way Airmail developers would want, it allows the user to customize and make the email client work the way they want because of the sheer flexibility of the application.
There's a lot of settings available in Airmail with which you can customize almost every aspect and functionality of the app. In fact, it's very easy to get lost in them and spend a lot of time tweaking and customizing everything to your liking.
Pro Always keep the inbox clean
Airmail allows users to snooze an email until a defined moment (a few hours later, tomorrow, next weekend, next week, etc.), allowing you to process every email immediately and to always keep the inbox clean.
Pro Consistent interface between devices
Airmail is available for both iOS and Mac, for people who use Apple's mobile devices. And the interface between both platforms is quite consistent, making it easy to seamlessly jump between one and another.
Pro Fast and easy setup process
Even though there's a huge amount of settings available, it's quite easy to get used to each of them and the setup process is very fast and easy.
Pro Supports Gmail shortcuts
Pro Supports trackpad gestures
Airmail is able to use trackpad gestures for achieving and deleting mail items.
Pro Support for VIP folders
VIP folders are for particular senders which you always want to read even when you are ignoring email. The way it works is that you add different senders as VIPs and emails from those senders will always be surfaced on top of everything else.
Con Terrible integration with macOS
Simple things - drag/dropping pictures doesn't work, for instance.
Con Outdated interface
Thunderbird's interface is very outdated and unpleasant. It feels more like a Windows XP application than like a modern MacOS one.
Con Serious bugs
Clicking on a subject line can bring up the wrong email.
Con Development slowed to only focus on stability and security
Mozilla Thunderbird has slowed down its development of features to only focus resources on security and stability.
Con Subject lines can (temporarily) disappear from the list
This is sporadic behavior.
There are many issues/bugs with different accounts, including Gmail and iCloud.
Con Serious sync problems
On some IMAP accounts, there are a number of serious sync problems, which otherwise work fine with Apple Mail.
Con iOS app requires a subscription to enable incoming mail notifications
The iOS app now requires a subscription to enable incoming mail notifications. This makes the iOS app very unattractive and there's little point installing the Mac desktop client for users who want to sync accounts between devices.
Con Copying/moving mails unreliable
Doesn't work most of the time even though the operation is reported as successful. Even has lost emails when moving. Support was not too much use either.
Con Search is buggy and not very powerful
Con Not free
Paid version only.
Con Rather expensive
Con Inability to turn off auto-creation of labels
Version 3 does not allow it while version 2 did.
Con UI is a little busy
Con Has the "slow typing" bug
When composing an email, Airmail can respond very slowly to keystrokes. Customer service refuses to acknowledge this problem, responding that it's "not real" - which is a very odd response, to simply refuse to acknowledge the customer's experience.