My theory is: there is a momentary connection issue with these G Suite accounts, and Mail.app starts to show an error by focusing itself, but the error is resolved so quickly it doesn't actually get to show the “connection problems” modal.
I hope this can be fixed soon, it's been a daily annoyance for me for a long time now.
Yet, to force an app to the front when glitch in connection happens is more like a feature they deliriously thought is being useful, instead of choosing other means of notifications, which is plenty.
An app is not forcing itself to the front without someone is specifically writing the code for it to do.
That's how apps "notified" back then.
Polite apps would just bounce their dock icon rather than stealing focus, however.
Mail.app and most other apps since 10.8 (?) introduced badges just use those, unless it’s a more urgent thing than “you have a new message” in which case, yes, it will bounce the dock icon.
I haven't tested this in Catalina, but it definitely works consistently in Mojave.
The main place this comes up is in cases where the main window is doing something clever to gather the information to display itself. For example, Activity Monitor doesn’t suddenly stop using half your CPU when you hide it.
Mail.app probably keeps a big scrollable list-control for the selected view in-memory for as long as you have the window open. So it might be a bad idea to do this if you’re one of those people who never archive anything (i.e. practice “Inbox Infinity.”)
I thought that was a static thumbnail?
> For example, Activity Monitor doesn’t suddenly stop using half your CPU when you hide it.
It does for me, which is why I keep it hidden when I’m not actively using it.
Nah, it updates (...as far as I can recall.) Try opening a chat client, minimizing the chat window, and then sending a message from another device to yourself.
I believe it’s just using the same call into the compositor that Mission Control uses to display your windows and spaces. Those are all live. (They might have a lower update rate, though.)
> It does for me, which is why I keep it hidden when I’m not actively using it.
Interesting. This might be down to Activity Monitor being written to respond to a message letting it know that its view is entirely obscured, and the Activity Monitor main-window view-controller deciding in response that there’s no point in it polling the system if all it’s going to do when re-visible is discard all the stuff it learned in the mean time and re-poll again to get the newest data for the view.
I can’t recall whether Activity Monitor has any historical/time-series views built in? If it does, then if you hide Activity Monitor with those active, it should keep using CPU, to gather the data for that view, whether it’s rendering it or not.
I can’t speak to Mail, but in general a Mac app with no visible windows may actually take zero CPU, because (if it’s written to allow for it) the OS may kill the process entirely.
The author's assessment is incorrect btw, this happened to me frequently for years on a computer without any G suite accounts. On a High Sierra machine fwiw.
Now I'm running Mavericks and it never happens.
I find myself quitting mail when I want to be in the zone because otherwise this random behaviour is really annoying.
I would bet you couldn't use gmail from within the apple campus.
I used OS X fulltime 2006-11. I'm surprised how buggy Catalina is, including Mail.app. I have had serious firmware issues too, such as needing to reset my SMC very frequently because my USB C stops charging the machine every other day. Apple is clearly, sadly, neglecting mac OS.
Surprisingly, I haven't disliked butterfly keys as much as I thought I would do. I can type extremely fast. I do prefer their scissor keys, though, which are really good and low latency .
IMHO the scissor keys in the Magic Keyboard are really good because they strike a perfect compromise in terms of depth, comfort and speed. Also the board is really low latency. Not sure what tricks Apple has played with the firmware in those keyboards.
I use Mail with a GSuite account as well.
I am more and more turning off system updates (not only Mac) as those bring more trouble than good. Being a very late adopter pays off.
(update to Catalina is still not in the middle term plans)
Admittedly I am not a developer, and none of the software I’ve wanted to run has required a more recent version.
For some reason, the order of my Desktops on Mac seem to reshuffle, I can't work out what causes it or when it happens. I often have it ordered something like this:
Desktop 1 - Google Doc (Chrome)
Desktop 2 - Researching (Chrome)
Desktop 3 - Slack
Desktop 4 - Spotify
I'll do the three finger gesture moving from Desktop 1 to 2 and randomly say Spotify will have moved there. It's so annoying.
Funny, i really like this because it lets me switch to another app and then return with a single swipe. The ipad has this behaviour too though the swipe is in the opposite direction.
I use full screen very heavily and rarely use spaces as separate desktops, which I find weird. You probably consider my use weird.
Not to say one approach is better than the other, just suggesting whoever set the default might have decided based on their own use. I suspect this issue was not subjected to any UX research, even at a place as big as apple.
And you're correct, I never use full screen. I don't think it's weird to use it, it just doesn't suit my workflow (single large monitor, so I need a lot of stuff side-by-side).
If it didn’t rearrange based on use the animation would show an arbitrary number of moves and you would have to keep track of how many times it moved over to know how many times to swipe to get back.
If you only change desktops by using Mission Control rearrange based on recent used shouldn’t even be a problem because it will never automatically rearrange if you use Mission Control.
My ideal setup would be that a user NEVER gets switched into another Space/Desktop, even if they click an icon in the dock, or Cmd-Tab. If there's a window in Safari in another space that I wanted, I would switch sequentially to that space and find it.
I do like to hear how other people work and if they like features that I don't; helps me gauge how far along on the curmudgeon timeline I am!
As for myself, I don’t use Spaces at all.
I have a keyboard shortcut for every application I use daily. CMD+CTRL plus a letter, M for Mail, T for terminal, B for browser… And so on.
Some keys are “overloaded” via Keyboard Maestro, like editor “E”: If MacVim is open, use it, otherwise open TextMate (Not using both much these days since switching to VSCode, which inherited “V” after I ditched Voodoopad :))
To make this work ergonomically, I have to be able to press CMD+CTRL with either the left or the right hand. So the first thing I do with new Macs, is remapping the right Option/Alt Key to Ctrl via Karabiner.
Using this system for the past 15 years, my worst fear is that one day Apple will close down its system so much, that this simple remap will no longer work - they are already on the hunt for kernel extensions…
Always thought it was bug, turned that straight off.
My kludgearound: different desktop pictures, related to the project each desktop is for.
Since I did that, I haven’t had any issues with this.
Btw 7 years of importing application configuration across OS installs without a hitch.
As someone already mentioned - I'm also pretty sure it's related to some disconnect/reconnect thing.
Your bug will at least then be triaged and acknowledged.
They take forever to answer, and ask for things that you have already provided in your original issue. When you try to reproduce the bug on multiple versions, they close your bug if you reproduced it on beta versions, because beta versions are unsupported, even though the bug affects release versions. Sometimes this happens even if they asked you to try the beta version!
The bugs are almost always closed as duplicate of another bug, which, of course, you can't see because the bug tracker is private.
The bugs are never fixed, at least no bug that I have ever reported has been fixed. Years or months later after submitting a bug that happens not to be closed as duplicate of another bug, they get closed because a new version of macOS is released, and you are encouraged to resubmit your report if it still affects the new version, which inevitably it does...
Even if the bug is in some open source component, and you provide a patch, it is ignored and eventually closed as explained above.
It's a total waste of time and a pain in the ass to submit bugs to Apple.
And I believe the way Apple works is to look through Radar for important/widespread bugs, mark them for fixing in the next release, fix them and then ask you to retest. They aren’t just going through and fixing Radar’s one by one. Hence you get that frustrating experience where it looks like the bug is being ignored.
You know what would be great? If I could mark my bug as “please let everyone be able to find this”. But Apple refusing to add this feature shoes that they still do not fundamentally understand and/or care about how external feedback works.
Lol sure it will.
And I can assure that when I was working at Apple bugs were triaged and acknowledged by a PM. Doesn’t mean they get fixed though.
It doesn’t (or at least didn’t) default to searching for all words used in the title; it only searches for the EXACT string you enter. It was a pain in the ass to even find bugs YOU wrote.
I couldn’t believe how goddamned dumb this is, or the Radar team’s response: Oh, you simply use Oracle syntax and wildcards in the title search! No explanation of how we were supposed to know this, or WHY.
Actually, this is a trouble bugs lots and lots of people for long long time. I browsed countless articles or threads about this with tons of workarounds. Where more than a few are Apple discussions. If it is not reported yet - from outside or inside - then it does not exist. But it does.
It’s “Feedback Assistant” now and at least one level removed from Radar now. Can’t give third party developers a direct line to engineers!
> And I can assure that when I was working at Apple bugs were triaged and acknowledged by a PM.
They used to, maybe? Not anymore. I think I got two responses in June 2019 and then nobody has looked at my bugs since.
As a counterexample, as late as 2018 Apple was publicly denying (so not acknowledging and ignoring attempts at triage) bendgate, but leaked documents show they knew about it in 2014.
> Doesn’t mean they get fixed though.
We're not talking about fixing - we're talking about triage and acknowledgement.
This is the one where your MacBook Pro’s screen stops working because Apple ran a ribbon cable through a hinge or some such stupid shit. Been happening since 2016 and still rendering $4000 laptops useless after 18 months of light use.
There is a limit to how quickly Apple can fix hardware given they have to work with third parties on retooling and retraining.
I know they were. But do you not remember there was quite a period of time where Apple didn't acknowledge the problems and ignored users trying to triage them?
> There is a limit to how quickly Apple can fix
What has this got to do with it? We're talking about triage and acknowledgement, not fix.
Also checked on https://openradar.appspot.com if there's anything but there wasn't.
I don't know why but it infuriates me when icons bounce on the dock for attention. The animation is too insistent for whatever trivial thing the app wants to let me know.
Or an app will open some Important Dialog Box that I need to deal with, except it's hidden behind some other windows somewhere and the rest of the app refuses to respond to my clicks until I find the dialog box. It doesn't bother foregrounding the dialog box for me.
The animation is fine, it’s just that bad app developers abuse it for the most trivial things. I’m looking at you, Music.app and Microsoft AutoUpdate.app. (“You’re playing music elsewhere” for the former, which I am not but thanks for suggesting I’m trying to be a pirate; “I finished one part of a multi-part update and automatically continued” for the latter.)
I switched out to another program for a moment during installation and when I switched back a QCAD installation dialogue box was hidden by the main QCAD installation window.
I was able to drag the obscuring window out of the way, but still seems daft not to focus on the interaction blocking window.
Really, Windows with its `window == app == taskbar item` approach is far easier to understand.
It seems crazy to me that the order of operations can be messed up like this. First I clicked, then I command-R’d. Why would Mail handle these commands out of order?
Last time I tried it, it was vulnerable to a bunch of issues similar to XSS.
I suggest you test it with https://www.emailprivacytester.com/ and see if it still finds anything.
Same goes for this Mail issue, it only seems to happen with Gmail/G Suite accounts.
But yes, I am also looking to move away from Gmail; not because of this bug but because I don’t like the idea of all my important online accounts being tied to a company that has essentially zero customer service or support.
Definitely seems to be related to "I had an email connectivity error and I must let you know NOWNOWNOW." Knowing that it's associated with gmail accounts feels like one more reason for me to get off my ass and disentangle my email from gmail...
I have to quit Apple Mail and use the accounts pane of preference panels and cancel when it prompts for the new password as it has the same bug. Then I can click details and change the password. That works.
Reported many years ago in Sierra.
I'm pretty sure this didn't used to happen until I upgraded to Catalina.
I really wish I had better luck with Linux...
launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.rcd.plist
¹ — https://freron.com/
I’d be happy to hear that was fixed.
Meanwhile, SpamSieve makes Mail tolerable.
- long press on send (i.e. you're thinking about it) will send all your drafts
- deleting an email might select the one above or below after, so you can't rapid fire delete a sequence
I just opened up a public beta, and you can request immediate access on the website at https://mimestream.com. It's free during the beta period - I only ask for feedback: email@example.com.
Unlike some other 3rd party email clients, it makes direct connections from your Mac to Gmail and stores data/credentials on your Mac. There's no intermediary servers.
Remember Mozilla Thunderbird? It's great. Also has an RSS reader built in.
All in all, a bit buggy application it seems.
I can only use Outlook to work at work which is frustrating
(haven't tried latest OS)
It feels like apple doesn’t put any care into regression bugs in their applications. It’s the same on the iPhone, Mail is so bad that I uninstalled it in favor of outlook (the irony...) —Mail was sucking so much battery that my phone wouldn’t last 8h. With outlook it lasts all day (12+h)
Weird, I've been using it for a decade and I have zero issues. Maybe 'unusable' is a pretty subjective assessment?
As far as I’m concerned, Mail is one of those things that consistently just works. The only issue I used to have was quirky undo/redo of archivals/deletions, which I believe had to do with Gmail’s IMAP servers and/or the way Mail talks to them, but I am not noticing that lately.
If I were OP, I’d consider again whether third-party software that they and their coworkers have in common is wreaking havoc here. If there’s no such software or the issue manifests itself on a clean system without any third-party apps at all, then this Heisenbug should probably on Apple’s Radar…
It is the whole ecosystem lock down deal again. Nothing has progressed in tech in this aspect, each company is still for themselves instead of consumers.
I have six different email accounts with a ton of folders.
I don't know if apple just decided to give up on it or what but it's got a lot of bugs that have been left for years.
Random crashes, sudden 100% CPU or memory usage... It sometimes just stops receiving mails altogether.
IT rolled out mandatory endpoint protection once, and they started getting reports of malware living in the Mail storage folder. Apparently when employees synced their corporate Gmail to Apple Mail, Apple Mail was pulling down the malicious/suspicious attachments from the Google spam folder. So I figure that’s a good reason why physical mail clients need to die. There’s no real need for them anymore.
(after suffering and spending toooo much time of experimenting I decided to get rid of the Google account approach of the Mac but use it as an IMAP account, turning off 'safe' access in my Google account)
Sometimes the code you write doesn't do what you had in mind. Or worse: gets triggered by side effects of something unrelated.
I don't think it's intentional in this case but even if it would be intentional after seeing this many bug reports everywhere you'd have to reconsider and make connection errors less intrusive.