Review of N1, an Open Source Mail App for Mac

If you have owned a Mac for quite a while, then you know that the native Apple application that has always shown plenty of room for improvement is Mail.

Creating a new email application from scratch is no easy feat though, which is why the number of good ones available on the Mac App Store is so limited. Still, there are worthy options out there that are not too popular or that offer something different.

N1 Mail App

This is the case of N1, a new, open source and extensible mail application developed by Nylas.

Let’s take a look at what it has to offer.


If there is one type of app where the interface is just as important as it is varied across offerings, it is email applications. Naturally, this is a consequence of the large amount of important information that email apps have to deal with and how each offers a different way to handle that information. In the past, we have seen a few great Mac email apps, like Airmail, for example, which handles your email in a very different way.

N1 Light Mode

With N1, the interface has been carefully crafted. It offers a very legible typeface that perfectly matches its clean design. On top of that, it also comes with a ‘dark mode’ feature, which is great if you like and use this mode on your Mac.

N1 Dark Mode

Now, besides offering support for all existing major email providers like Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, Yahoo and more, N1 also offers 2 different ways to view your messages: List View and Split View. In List View, you can see a list of your messages just like you would on the web interface of Gmail. The Split View shows you a view of the massage you select while you scroll through your message list. Just like Apple Mail.

N1 Views

Each has its own pros and cons, but it is worth mentioning that the developers have done a great job in making both look great.

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So far, almost everything that we have mentioned here about N1 is very similar to what most comparable apps offer. However, N1 packs some features that make it quite unique. For example, the app supports plugins, which allow it to extend its feature set. This way, you can install a plugin on N1 and for example, have an integrated translator that is always available both for writing and reading emails.

N1 Plugins

Right now there are not many options out there when it comes to plugins for N1, but as developers adopt the application, they will easily be able to integrate their favorite add-ons to it, which in turn will make the app more useful for everyone else.

N1 Developers Welcome


All in all, N1 is a surprisingly strong entry into the mail apps category for being only a first offering. Its performance is sound, and the most exciting thing is that it can only grow from here onwards. If you are looking for a new mail application, you might want to download N1. Even if it is not for you right now, it might be in the future.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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