Peter Lu / 3.28.2023Home / Email Security

Apple Mail vs. Outlook—which email client should you choose?

Trying to decide between Apple Mail and Outlook? We compared the features and benefits of both email clients to help you make an informed decision.
Apple Mail and Outlook are among the most popular email clients, widely used by businesses and individuals. Mac users often face the dilemma of choosing between these two clients, but it all comes down to reviewing the options in detail and determining your criteria before making the decision.In this article, we will make the Outlook vs. Apple Mail comparison to help you choose the best email client for yourself. Once we present the pros and cons of these two options, we will suggest a privacy-first alternative worth considering.
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Outlook vs. Apple Mail comparison criteria

The best way to determine which of the two famous email clients meets your requirements is to compare them across the following five categories:1. Features2. Interface3. Cross-platform compatibility4. Pricing5. Security


While Apple Mail’s features will likely meet an average user’s needs, an advanced user might benefit from Outlook’s customization options useful for organizing the inbox and finding information quickly.


Outlook is part of Microsoft Office, which means seamless integration with all other tools in the Suite, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.The inbox has useful features like email rules, email search, and a focused inbox. They allow you to automatically sort and categorize emails based on various criteria, as well as find specific emails or attachments easily, resulting in better organization and time management. Other notable features that can significantly improve your efficiency include:
  • Mention—if you type @ and a user’s name, they will immediately get added to the emailing list and notified
  • Email scheduling—you can create emails in advance and choose the time they are to be sent
  • Quick Parts—if you often send emails with similar bodies, you will benefit from this feature as it allows you to insert frequently used phrases and blocks of text into future messages

Apple Mail

Apple Mail is part of the Apple ecosystem, so the email is integrated with other apps such as Notes, Calendar, Contacts, and Siri. Users with Apple hardware can create notes or schedule events from emails directly, streamlining their communication.While it provides useful features like quick search, spam filters, and scheduling emails, Apple Mail isn’t as feature-rich as Outlook. You can still benefit from it if you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution with basic functionalities.

User interface

An intuitive interface increases efficiency and eliminates frustration, especially important for new users navigating the platform for the first time. Both email clients have a fairly straightforward interface but lack the advanced customization options of some other email service providers.

Apple Mail

Apple Mail’s interface is simple and easy to use. You can sort your emails, flag them, and delete them in seconds. Compared to other email clients, Apple Mail lacks interface customization, which may be disappointing for users who enjoy personalizing their view.Apple has a “unified inbox,” letting users with multiple accounts see them in one place. The app has no limit regarding the number of inboxes you can register, making it convenient for businesses and people with more than ten email addresses.The syncing issues can be a deal-breaker for users who want regular updates because, with Apple Mail, you usually need to refresh to see new emails.


Outlook prioritizes function over form, so its user interface is fairly basic. The platform allows users to customize the theme with different colors and fonts, which is important for those who like a more visually appealing view. Users can set up unlimited inboxes in Outlook, which are displayed in a list on the left-hand side, and allows users to customize the order in which their inboxes are shown.While sufficiently straightforward, Outlook’s interface may appear cluttered. The panels display numerous buttons and icons, and the lack of compartmentalization can make it difficult to navigate the platform.

Cross-platform compatibility

Cross-platform compatibility allows the email client to run on different operating systems and devices. Outlook shows greater versatility in this regard, while Apple Mail comes as a default email application by Apple and is compatible only with Mac OS.

Apple Mail

Unlike Outlook and most other email competitors, Apple Mail is only available on Apple hardware devices, such as Mac computers, iPhones, and iPads. Apple Mail provides users with their own email service called iCloud Mail, but you’re not required to use it. You can add email addresses from other providers like Outlook or Gmail to your unified inbox and conveniently manage emails from a single location.


Outlook can be downloaded and used across different devices and operating systems. Unlike Apple Mail, Outlook has a web application you can access through any web browser. It has its own email service—, but users with different email addresses (Gmail, Apple Mail) can also use Outlook as their email client. You can add an unlimited number of different email addresses to Outlook and manage all accounts effortlessly from one platform.


Apple Mail has a free plan only, including all the features and security protocols that come with the email client. Outlook has a free version for web-based email users and multiple paid plans for advanced users, businesses, and enterprises that need extra storage, elaborate features, or superior security protocols.

Apple Mail

Apple Mail is a built-in email client available on all Apple’s macOS and iOS operating systems free of charge. It doesn’t have a paid version, nor is it sold separately for non-Apple users.


Outlook is included in the Microsoft Office Suite of productivity tools and has no separate pricing plan. The free web-based email service,, can be accessed via the web and includes up to 15 GB of free storage.Users can also sign up for one of the three paid plans:
  1. Home
    1. Microsoft Personal—$7 per month
    2. Microsoft Family—$10 per month
  2. Business
    1. Basic—$6 per month
    2. Standard—$12.50 per month
    3. Premium—$22 per month
  3. Enterprise
    1. Microsoft 365 F3—$8 per month
    2. Microsoft 365 E3—$36 per month
    3. Microsoft 365 E5—$57 per month
The free plan includes basic email features such as email organization, email filtering, and calendar management, which are solid for an average user’s needs.Within home paid plans, users get up to 1 TB of storage per user and custom domains, among other features.


Security is the key factor you should focus on when choosing between email providers. The only way to keep your emails safe is with encryption—the process of converting data into ciphertext to prevent intruders or email services from reading and exploiting your online correspondence.Both Outlook and Apple Mail implement encryption and other safety protocols to keep emails protected, but their practices might not be secure enough for all users.


By default, Outlook provides Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol that protects emails while in transit (traveling across the network to reach the recipient). The downside of this protocol is that there is no data protection while the emails are stored on the user’s device. Also, the decryption key is owned and stored by Outlook, notorious for exploiting users' data to send targeted ads.Outlook also offers advanced security in the form of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to paid users. E2EE encrypts data on the device level and ensures only the authorized recipient with a decryption key can read the messages. The provider’s end-to-end encrypted solutions are:
Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME)This certificate-based protocol offers decent protection but has been tied to significant vulnerabilities and is complex to set up. You must buy the certificate separately and configure it on your device, which can be time-consuming for non-tech-savvy users
Microsoft Purview Message Encryption (MPME)The standard combines Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) with the Information Rights Management (IRM) protocol, enabling users to restrict access and distribution of their emails. While it provides more advanced security, MPME is available only for highest paid tiers and requires the help of a Microsoft specialist to be configured
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Apple Mail

Like Outlook, Apple Mail provides Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for all users by default. Those interested in fortifying email security can install the S/MIME certificate on their own.Apple Mail offers another useful security feature, the Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) feature, which users can activate ender Settings > Mail > Privacy Protection. MPP helps prevent third parties from tracking users by hiding their IP addresses. While this feature protects you from spam and phishing emails, it doesn’t protect the data and files users send via mail.

Enjoy superior security and functionality with Skiff

While both services have significant advantages, they show vulnerabilities in terms of online security. You don't have to settle for less if you choose Skiff Mail, the end-to-end encrypted email solution offering superior security standards combined with affordability and advanced functionality.Skiff protects your emails by using two separate keys. The public key is used for encryption and gets distributed among users, while the private key is created by the recipient and stored on their device. This ensures that nobody but the recipient—not even Skiff’s team—can access plaintext copies of your messages.The platform offers an additional layer of security with two-factor authentication (2FA), ensuring your account is protected with a password and a code sent to your trusted device. It also supports zero-knowledge login, which means your personal data will never be stored on Skiff’s servers.Skiff promotes security for all users, so E2EE is offered by default to everyone who signs up. The platform is open-source and welcomes all interested users to review the code and confirm its security practices in the public whitepaper.

Streamline and elevate your workflow with Skiff

You can take advantage of elaborate features enabling you to take your workflow to the next level. While most email services hide advanced features behind a paywall, Skiff offers a generous free plan that includes:
  • 10 GB of storage
  • 4 aliases
  • Auto-replay and signature options
  • Email search option
Users who want to communicate anonymously on the web can log in with the following crypto wallets:Unlike other privacy-first email services, Skiff doesn’t cut on design. Its interface is minimalist, modern, and easy to use, so you won’t have a hard time adapting to it. The platform is also compatible with browsers and iOS, MacOS, and Android devices.Besides Skiff Mail, the platform offers a comprehensive end-to-end encrypted product suite that includes Skiff Drive, Skiff Pages, and Skiff Calendar:
Skiff DriveShare, upload, preview, and download all types of files. Take advantage of the optional InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) integration to keep your sensitive information in a private, decentralized space
Skiff PagesCreate unlimited docs and share them with your team in an end-to-end encrypted environment to keep your projects safe from unauthorized access
Skiff CalendarOrganize meetings, share invites, and schedule and manage events in a safe environment

Get started with Skiff

To get started with Skiff, all you need to do is:
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The free plan includes everything an average user needs, but if your requirements grow, you can choose between three paid plans:
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With the paid plans, you can enjoy up to:
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