A while ago Apple announced that they are going to require that all applications accessing iCloud data (including emails in iCloud email accounts) must do so using a so-called application specific password. This happens a week from now, that is, on June 15.

I’m expecting this to be a surprise for some MailMate users and therefore I’m, preemptively, going to answer what is likely to be frequently asked questions:

  • Can I still use MailMate for my iCloud account(s)?

    In most cases, the answer is yes.

  • MailMate is rejecting my password, what can I do?

    You need to enable two factor authentication and then setup an application specific password for MailMate. Update: The great people at BusyMac made a video which shows how to do this. It’s mostly the same for MailMate.

  • What if two factor authentication is not available to me?

    Sorry, I don’t know. As far as I know Apple has not provided a solution, but we’ll have to see what shows up next Thursday. Maybe some accounts are excluded from the new “rule”. If there is no solution and if your license key is not very old then I’ll refund your purchase.

  • Why don’t you just do like Apple Mail, it works fine with my iCloud account?

    Apple uses an authentication method only available to applications created by Apple. All third party applications are going to require an application specific password if they need to access an iCloud account.

  • But security is much better now, right?

    It’s certainly safer to use two factor authentication when possible, but the current implementation of application specific passwords is a bit of a hack. They are not much better than the main iCloud password since they cannot be limited to access specific parts of iCloud data.

  • Do you think Apple could have done it differently?

    Well, let’s just say I’m sure Apple would have done it differently if the change affected their own applications…

Use “Help ▸ Send Feedback” within MailMate if you have other iCloud related questions or maybe corrections to the above. (I’ll add any frequently asked questions to this blog post.)