Mail (Apple)

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Basic data

developer Apple
Publishing year October 24, 2003
Current  version 13.0 (3594.4.19) with macOS Catalina 10.15
(October 7, 2019)
operating system macOS , iOS
category E-mail program
License Proprietary
German speaking Yes
Mail website
Mail version 3 main window on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
Template view in Mail version 3 on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Mail is one of Apple with the operating system macOS Exposed email client . Because of the risk of confusion with the common term e-mail for electronic mail, it is also called "Apple Mail" or file extension .app stands for programs under macOS ). The program is supplied with all Apple computers and mobile devices ( Mac , iPod touch , iPhone and iPad ). It could not be uninstalled on mobile devices prior to iOS 10.

It supports the e-mail protocols POP3 , IMAP and Exchange , allows multiple mail accounts and is characterized above all by its seamless integration into the operating system. It shows the number of unread mails in the dock icon, uses the addresses from the system's own address book and can directly access the image libraries of iPhoto , Aperture and Photo Booth to send images . For designing e-mails, Mail offers a variety of templates that can be adapted without HTML knowledge or additional programs.

Range of functions

Furthermore, Mail


Apple Mail has always been part of macOS and has been updated and expanded with each new version of the operating system.

Version 1

Contains all versions up to the introduction of the operating system "Tiger". In this version, emails were saved in the widely used Mbox format. Other mail clients, such as Mozilla Thunderbird, also use this format, which makes it easier to import from these programs.

Version 2

Was shipped together with Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" . As of this version, emails are saved in Emlx format. A separate file is created for each e-mail, which was necessary for the new search function (Spotlight). A conversion from the new Emlx format to Mbox format is possible using the emlxconvert program.

Other innovations included

  • "Intelligent" mailboxes : enable automatic recognition, sorting and classification of received emails. The intelligent mailboxes are constantly updated automatically, the actual storage space of the mail remains unchanged.
  • Priorities : can be assigned when composing a new e-mail. This enables, for example, selective coloring according to these.

Version 3

Was delivered together with Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" . 15 new features have been added, according to Apple . These are u. a .:

  • setting up a new email profile using internal recognition of popular services such as B. Gmail or the in-house service MobileMe , so that the new user can save many configuration steps.
  • more extensive design options for an e-mail using visually elaborate templates. Several topics are available for the user to choose from, who can then individually design an e-mail depending on the topic and complete it with images via drag & drop via predefined fields.
  • Note function and task manager for each mailbox created. Notes can also be conveniently sent as e-mail, and the function of the tasks is firmly interlinked with Apple's iCal .
  • integrated feed reader .
  • constant status display of ongoing processes, e.g. B. active data transfer.

Version 4

Was shipped together with Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" . One innovation was the support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 .

Version 5

Was delivered together with Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" . For this version, the user interface has been heavily revised and brought closer to the version used on the iPad . Support for Exchange 2010, chronological display of mail conversations, extended search function.

Version 6

Was shipped with OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" and was released on July 25, 2012. There was no RSS support.

Version 7

Shipped with OS X 10.9 "Mavericks" and released on October 22, 2013. The “Maps” application has been implemented and the archiving of Google mails has been improved.

Versions 8–13

Versions 8 to 13 were shipped together with macOS versions 10.10 ( OS X Yosemite ) to 10.15 ( macOS Catalina ); the most recent version 13.0 was released on October 7, 2019.


On April 20, 2020, it became known that since the iOS version 6, which was released in September 2012, there had been two security holes in “Mail”, which attackers could use up to versions 13.4.1 (iOS / iPadOS) and 12.4.6 (older, still supported iOS devices) were able to gain access to mails using manipulated e-mails. By exploiting other exploit chains, it is even possible to further compromise the device . According to the IT security company ZecOps, which became aware of the vulnerability on February 20, 2020, the vulnerability is already being actively exploited. Since Apple had not yet closed the security hole in the app at this point, it was recommended that the linked mail accounts and push notifications be deactivated . For further retrieval of e-mails, users can use webmail via the browser or fall back on third-party mail apps. On April 24, the Federal Office for Information Security also warned against further use of the app.

In a statement from Apple, it was said that no evidence had been found that the vulnerabilities were being exploited. Nevertheless, according to ZecOps, the attack via the app is no longer possible in iOS beta version 13.4.5. With the new iOS / iPadOS versions 13.5 and 12.4.7 released on May 20, 2020, the security gaps have been closed, according to ZecOps. In the security update documents published on May 26th, Apple officially confirmed the removal of the vulnerabilities.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. emlxconvert
  2. New features for Mail under OS X Mavericks at ( Memento from July 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  3. iOS is hacked through crafted emails., April 23, 2020, accessed on May 7, 2020 .
  4. a b You've Got (0-click) Mail! ZecOps Blog, April 20, 2020, accessed May 7, 2020 .
  5. iOS vulnerability: Deactivate synchronization of the mail app. heise online, April 24, 2020, accessed on May 7, 2020 .
  6. BSI warns against using the iOS app “Mail”. Federal Office for Information Security, April 24, 2020, accessed on May 7, 2020 .
  7. Apple downplays iOS Mail app security flaw, says 'no evidence' of exploits. The Verge, April 24, 2020, accessed May 7, 2020 .
  8. Hidden demons? MailDemon Patch Analysis: iOS 13.4.5 Beta vs. iOS 13.5. ZecOps Blog, May 24, 2020, accessed May 25, 2020 .