Mail gets improvements in 10.9.2, but some users still have trouble — how about you?

On Tuesday Apple pushed live OS X Mavericks 10.9.2. Among the changes are improvements to Apple's Mail app. Apple's certainly moved Mail in the right direction, but it hasn't solved everyone's problems. Are you one of them?

Mail has had a tough row to hoe since the release of Mavericks last October. Users with Gmail accounts in particular have had loads of problems right from the start, not the least of which are exacerbated by Gmail's non-standard implementation of the IMAP protocol.

Apple soon released a Mavericks Mail update that was meant to the address the problem. Then Apple released OS X 10.9.1 in January, and that was supposed to help Gmail users especially, but they soon found that problems persisted.

10.9.2 tackles head-on many of the problems Mavericks users have had with Mail. Among the fixes in 10.9.2, according to Apple:

  • Includes general improvements to the stability and compatibility of Mail
  • Improves the accuracy of unread counts in Mail
  • Resolves an issue that prevented Mail from receiving new messages from certain providers
  • Improves VoiceOver navigation in Mail and Finder
  • Improves compatibility with Gmail Archive mailboxes
  • Includes improvements to Gmail labels

That all sounds promising, if, in some cases, maddeningly vague. Only two of these line items mention Gmail specifically, but some of the others (like Mail receiving new messages) were certainly problems that Gmail users encountered. Apple's wording suggests that the fixes weren't Gmail-specific, but perhaps were related to other problems.

Prior to 10.9.2's release, I was having trouble with Mail not retrieving e-mails in a timely fashion from Gmail accounts. I would also have pretty consistent trouble simply quitting Mail — it would hang when doing routine maintenance on various mailboxes prior to quitting. So I was quite anxious to give 10.9.2 a try as soon as it was available. As near as I can tell, the update has corrected the problems I was having.

Alas, not everyone is having the same positive experience. Users on Twitter and various support forums — including Apple's own support forums — report issues with Mail, including hanging when checking Gmail accounts, management of messages in Smart Folders, crashing and other issues that haven't been resolved after applying the 10.9.2 update. In some cases users have deleted and recreated their IMAP accounts, which has fixed problems for some but not for others.

Joe Kissell has been out in front of Mavericks Gmail trouble from the start. And he's documented a number of Mail app changes for Gmail which he's discovered in 10.9.2, so make sure to check out TidBITS.

In the interim, what's your experience with the Mail app in OS X 10.9.2? Has it fixed your issues or are you still having trouble? Let me know in the comments — I want to hear from you.

Peter Cohen