Lion Review: Mac Mail

        Here's John Carter's instructions on using Mail in Lion.  "First off, the download of Lion is about 3.7GB, and with a 7 Mbps Internet connection (which only provides about a 5 Mbps download rate) it will take a calculated 93 minutes to download. The install itself takes a little over 30 minutes, but then you have to do a software update and that may take another hour depending on what has to be updated (like iTunes, iPhoto, etc.)
        "After the download is complete, you will see a new application called 'Install Mac OS X Lion' come up automatically and prompting you to click Next to start the installation. To be on the safe side, you should insert a blank DVD (standard 4.7GB capacity) and burn that application to the DVD before you click Next. (You’ll find the application in the Application folder, but if you don’t burn the DVD at this point in time, that application will be deleted during the installation of Lion. You will want to have that DVD around for safety and security reasons.)
        "I’m only going to cover the new Mail application at this time, and I’m using it to create this report.
        "The new appearance of Mail can be a bit disconcerting. First, you really need to view Mail in full screen to take advantage of all that it has to offer. Clicking the double-headed arrow in the upper right corner of the Mail application switches to full screen mode. To get out of full screen mode, simply press the ESC key.
        "Some people will be put off by the new Mail application GUI. The default is to not show the mailboxes and to show two columns - one for the Inbox message list, which contains two lines of the message body (in Preferences you can select to show only one line), and one for the actual message that is selected from the message list (if that column is blank then no message in the left column has yet been selected). This threw me for a loop at first, and I admit that I panicked, wondering how I was supposed to see all the accounts and mailboxes I created.
        "In the image that follows, the right hand column shows two messages sent by the same person with the same subject line (I'm looking at a message in my Inbox mailbox). The bottom message has the number 1 in the upper right corner and the top message has the number 2 in the upper right corner - this shows the sequence of the incoming messages.

"But, you can switch back to the classic view in Preferences:

"I think I’ll stay with the new look, for a while anyway.   In the following image, the column on the far left (showing all the mailboxes) is only visible if you click on the tiny button just above it.


"If you have more than one e-mail account or if you want to see all the mailboxes you created, without that column displayed, you have to select which e-mail account Inbox you want to see by clicking on the Inbox button (yep, I have a lot of email accounts):

"Clicking on one item in the message list highlights all other messages in that list by that same sender where the subject line is also the same, hence making up a conversation. The blue highlighted message is the message being looked at and the orange highlighted messages are the related conversations.

"Overall, the text is extremely small on my 20” iMac. I tried to increase the font size of the message headers to no avail. But it does work if you don’t use the column format for the message list - use the classic (Snow Leopard) mode.

        "Attempting to adjust the message font is also useless — only the header gets adjusted and not the body.
        "The old Mail app had a Save button in the toolbar when writing a new message. There is no save button in the toolbar and there is no save button in the customize offerings for the toolbar. I guess Apple is trying to do us a favor by eliminating useless operations and made that function automatic when needed. But you can still click on File —> Save to save the current message as a draft. If you quit the message before sending it (red dot), you are given the option to discard the message or save it as a draft. If Mail unexpectedly quits or the computer shuts down while writing a new message, the message is saved in the Drafts folder."
        In conclusion John closes with, "In other words, there’s a lot about Mail that needs a little getting used to - except for those who are new to the Mac."