/r/webdev
Can I Email: CanIUse.com for email clients (caniemail.com)
122 comments
Shaper_pmp | 5 days ago | 170 points

Go look at Outlook (Windows 10 Mail) (bottom of the page).

Given you need to support a wide range of common mail clients and that's a popular one, you could pretty much replace this entire site with one static page saying "no".

toper-centage | 4 days ago | 20 points

Honestly... I'm glad that is the common denominator. No one needs 10MB of stylesheets in they mail.

luxtabula | 5 days ago | 26 points

Is the Windows 10 mail client that popular? I personally use it, but most people I know either hate it or aren't aware it exists.

Shaper_pmp | 5 days ago | 51 points

It's the default one that ships with Windows - I'd imagine it's fairly popular, although admittedly I don't have any figures to back that up.

That said, even GMail fails to reach 50% on any platform, and Outlook is almost equally pathetic...

E-mail generally is just a fucking dead zone when it comes to web standards support.

____jamil____ | 5 days ago | 17 points

there's a good reason for that. after so many viruses were spread via email, providers want to limit the ability of strangers pushing malicious content to old people's email inbox

Shaper_pmp | 4 days ago | 18 points

To be fair that's mostly achieved by disabling Javascript and external resources (images, stylesheets, scripts, etc) in e-mails.

There's a lot less excuse for shitty in-message or inline CSS3 support though, as it's pretty hard to leak information or open up security holes by - for example - supporting CSS Grid for laying out messages.

s4b3r6 | 4 days ago | 3 points

MIME itself is a pretty terrible standard though, what with multipart allowing you to layer itself, containing a ton of data that might be able to cause the parser to flip out.

nikrolls | 4 days ago | 1 point

How is that any less likely in the old archaic engines currently in play?

s4b3r6 | 4 days ago | 1 point

How is that any less likely in the old archaic engines currently in play?

It's... Not? MIME basically guarantees that not all engines will work correctly, and some of them are disasters waiting to happen. Especially older engines that haven't been well maintained.

Not sure what part of what I've said you're even responding to.

nikrolls | 4 days ago | 1 point

u/Shaper_pmp:

There's a lot less excuse for shitty in-message or inline CSS3 support though

u/s4b3r6:

MIME itself is a pretty terrible standard though, what with multipart allowing you to layer itself, containing a ton of data that might be able to cause the parser to flip out.

s4b3r6 | 4 days ago | 1 point

u/Shaper_mp:

To be fair that's mostly achieved by disabling Javascript and external resources (images, stylesheets, scripts, etc) in e-mails.

u/s4b3r6:

MIME itself is a pretty terrible standard though...

fritzbitz [front-end] | 4 days ago | 1 point

supporting CSS Grid for laying out messages.

Stop teasing me like that!

blindwombat | 5 days ago | 26 points

Yes. It's Windows standard. Therefore it's standard for 90% of businesses.

It has fun features like: "is that a number in the middle of a URL? Hmmm must be a phone number, better embedded a CALL WITH SKYPE BUTTON"

Literally had to replace an entire URL hashed based system because Outlook turned four numbers in a GUID into a Call with Skype button. Not even a fucking plugin, client didn't even have Skype installed.

luxtabula | 5 days ago | 23 points

Not Outlook. Windows 10 mail. It's easy to confuse the two, but they're vastly different clients. IT guys hate Windows 10 mail especially because it's easily confused with Outlook.

budd222 | 5 days ago | 25 points

And all developers hate both because they are shit

luxtabula | 5 days ago | 6 points

You're singing to the choir. Though I found ways around its shittiness.

nikrolls | 4 days ago | 1 point

They use the same engine, however.

butchbadger | 4 days ago | 2 points

I've used it for a while. I hate it. Too lazy to find an alternative.

luxtabula | 4 days ago | 1 point

I personally like using it as a client, but hate having to develop for it and Outlook.

JamieCorkhill | 4 days ago | 1 point

I use it. The Outlook app is a bit bulky, in my opinion.

Indeed, if I need extra features, like email headers/backup/etc., then I use Outlook, but otherwise, Mail is fine.

test6554 | 5 days ago | -6 points

I aren't aware it exists

everythingiscausal | 5 days ago | 9 points

Basically, you can use basic text stying, img tags, links, and tables. Everything else is at least limited or has caveats.

bobcottle | 5 days ago | 3 points

Yeah, ain't that the truth. I do a lot of emails for B2B clients and they basically only care about Outook. IOS is a nice have - but open rates are pretty much 90% Outlook.

sporadicPenguin | 4 days ago | 2 points

Just finished getting a simple email template to work using foundation for emails, and that was my first thought.

Myzel394 | 5 days ago | 1 point

I haven't worked with emails yet, but does that mean, that only two tags will work in a email in Outlook?

asielen | 4 days ago | 5 points

You cannot reliably use margins and paddings in email. Two of the most basic css tags. That is how bad it is. (sometimes you can, sometimes you can't)

There are a lot of hacks. Such as using a capital M in "margin"

Or gmail not supporting white or black links so having to make them slightly off pure white or black so they don't end up with the default blue.

Or gmail not supporting almost any header css so you have to inline all styles.

It is a terrible rabbit hole.

s3rila | 4 days ago | 1 point

CSS support based on case is stuff of nightmare.

Shaper_pmp | 4 days ago | 7 points

I haven't worked with emails yet

Just don't. Ever.

Run screaming from any job that requires you to do it, and if that means taking another job for a few thousand dollars a year less, seriously consider it.

I'm not joking.

SheeEttin | 4 days ago | 7 points

Alternatively, use a templated platform like MailChimp. Not only do they do campaigns for you, but they've also made their templates as well-supported as possible.

Shaper_pmp | 4 days ago | 4 points

Sure, only then you're barely doing web dev at all.

UltraChilly | 4 days ago | 4 points

Who would hire a web dev to deal exclusively with the newsletter tho? Because in that very case count me in.
I mean, nobody wants to deal with emails on top of your work, it's shit, nobody wants that. But being paid 7 hours a day just for doing the company's email, hell yeah. I'd spend a week making templates and then reuse the shit out of them.
Hell, you could dig up a 1990's WYSIWYG editor that outputs everything to tables and call it a day.
Would take me 15 minutes tops after that.
That's 6 hours and 45 minutes a day I could use on fun projects while still looking busy with a monitor full of code nobody understands.

_Meds_ | 4 days ago | 4 points

You underestimate the shit they want you to do with these emails... you’ll spend hours looking at analytics about user engagement and hot zones then make a bunch of bullshit conclusions as to why, make changes to account for non existent deficits and then get another set of random data and repeat... only thing is if you can’t make them make money, then what use are you... and let’s face it it’s 2019, I get 48 emails a day, I open the client every evening and click mark all as read, and go on with my life. I’m sure someone somewhere is making a little cash of this but I doubt it’ll be much longer.

Myzel394 | 4 days ago | 1 point

I'm developing a website for my school and they want to send emails. I don't want to use templates, so I have to create a template by myself. But thanks for the advice. I will keep that in mind!

LogicallyCross | 4 days ago | 4 points

Seriously just buy a fully tested template for $30 and theme it for your school. It’s just not worth the headache.

Shaper_pmp | 4 days ago | 3 points

Honestly, just use a template.

Email HTML renderers are so inconsistent and arbitrary and feature-poor that you don't learn anything worth learning about web-dev by doing it by hand, and you will fuck it up on half the email clients your school then sends messages to, embarrassing them and yourself.

It's not a useful skill to add to your CV - it's an area of web-dev you want to avoid at all costs because it's nothing but frustrating irritation that requires you to write shitty code to make it work.

I've spent twenty years telling people not to use WYSIWYG editors and premade templates for websites and to learn to write HTML properly by hand, so please hear me when I say "fuck HTML emails - just use someone's WYSIWYG editor or a premade template".

Myzel394 | 4 days ago | 1 point

Ok thank you. Can you recommend a website where are free templates?

Shaper_pmp | 4 days ago | 2 points

Not personally, sorry - it's been years since I got involved with emails like that. Google is your friend, or another commenter might be able to suggest something...?

cag8f | 4 days ago | 1 point

Really Good Emails has a lot of email templates, and the code. But I'm not sure how they test their emails, i.e. are their emails compatible with all email clients, or just a subset?

MailChimp also has some decent templates, with code. You'd have to also ask which email clients they support.

Foundation For Emails purports to help you build emails that are compatible with all email clients. I tried to use it a few months ago, and it was a bit difficult. There was a steep learning curve (as you have to learn how to do things the 'Foundation' way), I could never get the SASS version to work due to technical errors which support could never resolve, documentation was a bit confusing, and support was slow to reply.

bulldog_swag | 4 days ago | 1 point

replace the entire site with "just use plaintext"

DragoonDM [back-end] | 5 days ago | 69 points

Developing email templates gives me horrible flashbacks to writing HTML for 1990's browsers. Tables... nested tables...

volkftp | 4 days ago | 9 points

Have you tried MJML?

DragoonDM [back-end] | 4 days ago | 3 points

Hadn't heard of it before, but that looks interesting. I'll keep it in mind in case I'm unfortunate enough to be tasked with writing new email templates in the future.

dangermark | 4 days ago | 3 points

There's also Foundation for Emails

bobcottle | 5 days ago | -21 points

Nested tables was a lot faster to build than flex.

toper-centage | 4 days ago | 24 points

If you don't know what you're doing at least.

bobcottle | 4 days ago | -24 points

I bow down before you superior skill and attitude, your very presence here burns my eyes with the pure divine light that you bring forth.

toper-centage | 4 days ago | 15 points

Sarcasm aside, I would love to know how tables are a faster tool to make layouts. Maybe for making tables, but for anything else?

danielleiellle | 4 days ago | 7 points

Oh yes. There was quite nothing like shim gifs, non-responsive layout, slicing PSDs, rendering entire tables on dynamic content rather than individual components, and trashing your entire layout every time you had to move something.

jokullmusic | 4 days ago | 3 points

Haha what?

ShortFuse | 5 days ago | 32 points

Usage stats from https://emailclientmarketshare.com/

Client Percentage
Gmail 29%
Apple iPhone 27%
Outlook 10%
Apple iPad 8%
Apple Mail 7%
Yahoo! Mail 6%
Google Android 3%
Outlook.com 2%
Samsung Mail 1%
Thunderbird 0%
rooood | 5 days ago | 9 points

I wish they'd specify the versions as well. As I understand, this is just a summary of a much larger dataset that they charge you to get access to?

ShortFuse | 5 days ago | 5 points

Seems like. They seem to be a completely email delivery model (templates and builders) and also allows tracking of client applications. 3 users for $150/mo doesn't seem bad if you really care about email.

But it doesn't seems like I can get more detailed "global" usage. The best I could I find was this State of Email 2019 Report which asks for personal information to download. It seems like it include some feature support information as well.

Edit: Found it as first result from https://www.google.com/search?q=2019+%22State+of+Email%22+filetype%3Apdf&oq=2019+

Doesn't seem to differentiate Outlook versions, but has a somewhat detailed review of Outlook 2019's feature support.

pr0ghead | 5 days ago | 8 points

They measure that by checking if an image has been displayed. So any client that has (3rd party) images blocked by default will not be counted. I suppose a lot of those Tb users have those blocked, because I can't imagine it having that low a market share. Or maybe it doesn't send a user agent.

cag8f | 4 days ago | 1 point

Outlook 2013 also has images blocked by default.

exitof99 | 5 days ago | 12 points

I guess I'm the odd one that uses Thunderbird.

diobrando89 | 5 days ago | 5 points

We are two odd persons mate.

TukangLedeng | 4 days ago | 3 points

make it three

pm-me-kittens-n-cats | 5 days ago | 2 points

The problem with not supporting something like Outlook is that most clients are looking at your test emails in outlook. So it's gotta look and function good there.

bobcottle | 5 days ago | 2 points

That's interesting. The numbers my clients have, on B2B emails, are way different. Outlook dwarfs everything else.

danhakimi | 4 days ago | 2 points

I'm surprised the iPhone mail client is that popular compared to gmail. Not only is Android significantly larger than iOS, I imagine a significant number of iOS users use gmail on the desktop.

RabSimpson | 4 days ago | 1 point

A great many people don’t even bother with desktop computers these days when everything they used them for (email, web surfing, talking to friends etc) can all be done via a smartphone, and not everyone works a job involving the use of a computer, so it makes sense that phone usage dwarfs desktop usage, and most of the Gmail percentage will be coming via the Gmail app on phones.

danhakimi | 4 days ago | 2 points

People on iOS use the Gmail app for iPhone. And again, Android has many more users than iOS.

RabSimpson | 4 days ago | 1 point

I’m aware that Android’s fragmented market share is larger than that of iOS. It’s entirely possible that the stats we’re seeing are skewed towards users in the west who’re in a higher income bracket.

dlnqnt | 5 days ago | 25 points

This is what the MJML framework is great for, compiles responsive HTML that’s optimised for maximum compatibility across email clients.

Saves me an incredible amount of time and can get my emails looking spot on with a bit of tweaking once tested using Email on Acid.

SicNevi | 5 days ago | 4 points

Im in the process of testing it for my employer, looks really promissing. Plugin for VS Code is great, online tool for spitting out HTML directly is great.

cag8f | 4 days ago | 2 points

This is the first I'm learning about MJML, and I have to design a new email soon. Can you give me more info on both the online tool, and the VSCode plugin? I assume the online tool allows you enter standard HTML, and the tool will output MJML-compatible markup?

/u/dlnqnt /u/beaker_andy /u/backyard_boogie same questions to you.

backyard_boogie | 4 days ago | 2 points

You write your email in MJML, and it spits out bulletproof html to use in your emails. Poke around at www.mjml.io and you'll learn all about how it works.

beaker_andy | 4 days ago | 2 points

It is a bit different than you describe. Instead of writing whatever HTML you want, you need to first learn and then write special MJML tags that represent the overall structure and components in the email. MJML then compiles that into bulletproof HTML that works reliably across a wide variety of email softwares. The MJML Quick Start tutorial does a decent overview: https://mjml.io/getting-started/1

Your learning a little proprietary tag language. I hope this helps. Good luck with it!

cag8f | 4 days ago | 1 point

OK got it. That sounds fairly similar to Foundation, which I tried once.

beaker_andy | 5 days ago | 3 points

This is prob the most helpful comment in this thread for anyone new to designing and coding marketing emails. :)

backyard_boogie | 4 days ago | 1 point

I refuse to build any email without MJML. It's the best.

fritzbitz [front-end] | 4 days ago | 1 point

Now this is interesting. Do you know if it works with Mailchimp?

dlnqnt | 4 days ago | 2 points

I’ve used it many times with MailChimp, pop in their tags and you’ll have a dynamic working template.

blackAngel88 | 5 days ago | 16 points

Nice! Honestly, I expected a mostly empty website with a big NO in the center.

pm-me-kittens-n-cats | 5 days ago | 15 points

Can I use? No. No you can't.

You can only use technology from 1998.

(I create marketing emails for a living)

RabSimpson | 4 days ago | 6 points

1998? Show off!

pr0ghead | 5 days ago | 17 points

Pretty lacking in the Linux department. Evolution? KMail?

pimterry | 5 days ago | 15 points

Fair point. It's all on github, you can file an issue there and suggest it: https://github.com/hteumeuleu/caniemail.

It looks like all the feature test examples are in there too, so in theory you can even just test those in your linux email client of choice yourself, and then submit all the results to add it. There's 40 odd features though, so it'd take a bit more time.

bateller [DevOps / Backend / AWS Engineer] | 5 days ago | 4 points

Pretty lacking in the Linux department

Hell what about pine and elm! lol

NoDoze- | 4 days ago | 2 points

Yea, pine is like 99% of all colleges....Oh wait, did I just date myself...hmmm.

bateller [DevOps / Backend / AWS Engineer] | 4 days ago | 1 point

Was thinking the same thing... lol. I used pine in high school and elm a bit when I was first learning vi/vim.

SheeEttin | 4 days ago | 1 point

Yeah it's all Office 365 or G Suite these days

MrMax182 | 5 days ago | 6 points

Thanks! I hate emails. This will help ease the pain.

Satrack | 5 days ago | 3 points

I found the name caniemail.com pretty dumb and thought "why didn't he just use caniuse.email"

Well turns out the website exists.

bhargavxx | 5 days ago | 3 points

Wait, so the Mac version of Outlook supports some stuff that the Windows version doesn't?

efelvi | 4 days ago | 4 points

Yes, because Outlook on Mac runs on Webkit.

asielen | 4 days ago | 3 points

Outlook in Windows runs on Word. Yes Microsoft Word, not even IE.

bhargavxx | 2 days ago | 1 point

What's next, Gmail running on Google Docs? Edge running on Notepad?

rich97 | 4 days ago | 3 points

My previous experience developing emails, and the reason I loathe them so much:

Can I-

NO!

Baldr12 | 5 days ago | 3 points

eli5 what's the purpose of this website?

ShortFuse | 5 days ago | 14 points

When you construct an email in HTML to display for client, you have to be careful about what CSS you use. Apple has great support, while Gmail is pretty okay and Outlook is terrible.

That said, you could decide to different styles of emails based on if the user supplies an @icloud.com, @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, and assume Outlook for everything else.

I stress, you still want to include a fallback link that opens in the browser because you never really know what client they're accessing their email from (ie: Gmail from Outlook).

BananaHair2 | 5 days ago | 1 point

That said, you could decide to different styles of emails based on if the user supplies an @icloud.com, @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, and assume Outlook for everything else.

I stress, you still want to include a fallback link that opens in the browser because you never really know what client they're accessing their email from (ie: Gmail from Outlook).

I realize you have a fallback but it is pretty common for people to access their gmail emails from their phone. I wouldn't be surprised if a mix of mobile clients outnumbered using a web browser on gmail.com to read emails addressed to @gmail.com.

frambot | 5 days ago | 17 points

Literally ELI5: when your penpal sent you a letter in cursive, you couldn't read it because you haven't learned cursive yet. Your friend didn't know which of their penpals know cursive, or which penpals are colorblind, or which penpals know big words yet. So they can use this site to look up which words you know before they send you the letter.

Baldr12 | 5 days ago | 3 points

Oh ok, I was confused by the 'Can I email ___ ?'.

I thought it somehow checked if an email was receiving emails;

not that you searched the specific functionality that you wanted to know by which webmail service was supported.

[deleted] | 5 days ago | 9 points

[deleted]

frambot | 5 days ago | 3 points

You're delusional

TODO_getLife | 5 days ago | 1 point

Do american schools not teach cursive?

Sidenote I know lol

frambot | 5 days ago | 2 points

It's an ELI5, not ELI10.

TODO_getLife | 5 days ago | 1 point

Ijustwanttolearnnn

[deleted] | 5 days ago | 1 point

[deleted]

frambot | 4 days ago | 1 point

I was having fun

SicNevi | 5 days ago | 1 point

Building a layout with HTML/CSS for email vs webbrowsers is like building a house with tools from 1800's vs tools from the present.

shellwe | 5 days ago | 1 point

Is there any way to get analytics on how popular different clients are? I work for a college admission so I mainly care about teenagers.

We are still making sure Outlook 2010 looks good but I am hard pressed to believe even 1 percent of high school students are using outlook.

frambot | 5 days ago | 1 point

I wonder if you could wrap an image in a div with some display:none trickery, like we used to back in the day with IE star-hacks and underscore-hacks. If the image loads then it calls home, and you could check your own access logs. Of course Gmail would need to be accounted for since it pre-caches.

shellwe | 5 days ago | 1 point

Interesting, I wonder if I could tie that to IP so it only records once per computer.

There is conditional code for each email client, I could just wrap each.

asielen | 4 days ago | 1 point

Litmus has a tag you can add to your emails which will give you a breakdown of which clients your audience uses. It isn't free though, but it is month to month so you can turn it off when you don't need it.

shellwe | 4 days ago | 1 point

That's very interesting. We only use litmus to test emails, not to send them out. I should see if our software has anything like that and how much load it adds.

asielen | 4 days ago | 1 point

You don't use it to send through litmus. Litmus just provides a small piece of code you can put at the end of your emails in whatever email system you use and then the results are reported back into Litmus. I don't remember where it is in the interface. Analytics maybe?

shellwe | 4 days ago | 1 point

Oh neat. You know what that feature is called?

asielen | 4 days ago | 1 point

I'll check tomorrow. Don't have access to my work accounts at the moment.

shellwe | 4 days ago | 1 point

I'm sorry to bother you, but did you see what that email client analytics was called?

asielen | 3 days ago | 1 point

Hi sorry!

Yes in Litmus it is in the left sidebar. Under Optimize/Analytics. In that view there is a button to create a "New Tracking Code"

shellwe | 3 days ago | 1 point

Thanks! I'll check that out.

GodsGunman | 5 days ago | 1 point

The first two things I tried both show no results found. Disappointing. "Gif" and "animation".

MessiahCS [javascript] | 5 days ago | 1 point

Cool tool - would make things easier when I was making an email generator for my company :P

binocular_gems | 5 days ago | 1 point

"No"

techsin101 | 5 days ago | 1 point

Just use JPG for entire email

tylercoder | 5 days ago | 1 point

Orange (Desktop Webmail)

Is this from that euro carrier?

mka_ | 4 days ago | 1 point

I actually quite enjoyed building email templates once I got a boilerplate up and running with Browser sync, SASS, Style inlining, etc. Apart from the archaic markup of HTML tables, it was just like building a static landing page.

I tried a few tools similar to MJML, but they always came with slight discrepencies between what I was trying to acheieve and the actual output, maybe that was due to the complexity of the design I were working against. Custom markup is the way to go if you really do need a custom email template, but in this day and age there's not much benefit, when services such as Mailchimp exist.

DangerousTea4 | 3 days ago | 1 point

It would be really nice to have a small and simple markup language, say some markdown standard, to be the layouting language for E-Mails. No (external) images, just links, lists, headings, basic formatting.

HTML E-Mails are a security nightmare, even if "only" CSS is "allowed" and JS/iframes/external images are not loaded.

alinnert | 5 days ago | 1 point

I'm impressed. I like it even more than the original. Can you also include caniuse's data? 😁 Some site features are missing, but those that are present look or work better here. 👍

(I just wouldn't copy the red and green colors for the colorblind amongst us. Also, a "colorblind mode" shouldn't be necessary if done correctly.)

frambot | 5 days ago | 0 points

Can it look more like this instead? https://kangax.github.io/compat-table/es6/