Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Hands on with iOS 6: Mail

Dan Frakes | Sept. 21, 2012
Many people use Mail more than any other app on their iPads and iPhones. Which means that improvements to the mobile Mail can dramatically improve your iOS experience. While Mail app didn't get as many major improvements in iOS 6 as it did in iOS 4 and iOS 5, the changes it did get should help you be more productive.

Many people use Mail more than any other app on their iPads and iPhones. Which means that improvements to the mobile Mail can dramatically improve your iOS experience. While Mail app didn't get as many major improvements in iOS 6 as it did in iOS 4 and iOS 5, the changes it did get should help you be more productive.

New Special Mailboxes

Two changes you'll spot the first time you use Mail in iOS 6 are a couple new entries in the top-level Mailboxes list: VIP and Flagged. These mailboxes are similar to Smart Mailboxes in OS X Mail, in that each gathers particular messages across all your inboxes and presents those messages in one convenient list.

The Flagged mailbox displays any flagged message--those you've marked with Mail's flag feature (more on that below)--located in any of your mail-account inboxes. (It doesn't show flagged messages you've filed into other mailboxes.) This is a feature people have been asking for since flagging debuted in iOS 5, and it makes it easy to quickly see your most-important messages without having to scroll through all the other messages in your inboxes.

The VIP mailbox, which debuted in OS X Mail in Mountain Lion, gathers messages from people you've designated as VIPs--your spouse, your boss, your bookie...er...financial advisor--so you won't overlook those messages in the daily flood of email. (Unlike OS X Mail's VIP feature, which shows VIP messages across all mailboxes, iOS's VIP mailbox shows only messages located in your inboxes.) And perhaps the best part of this feature is that it syncs using iCloud, so if you add a VIP on your Mac, it's automatically a VIP on your iPhone and iPad, and vice versa.

To designate someone as a VIP, tap the blue-and-white arrow at the right edge of the VIP item (in All Mailboxes), then tap Add VIP and choose the person in your contacts list. (The person must already be in your contacts list to add them as a VIP.) The VIP List screen also shows your full VIP list; to delete someone from the list, either right-swipe across the contact's name or tap Edit.

The other item of interest here is VIP Alerts. Tap this button, and you're taken to Settings -> Notifications -> Mail -> VIP, where you can configure iOS-notification settings for email received from VIPs.

New Notifications

In iOS 5, your notifications options for Mail (found in Settings -> Notifications -> Mail) were much like those for any other app: You got one set of notification settings that covered all incoming email. In iOS 6, you now get per-account notification settings, as well as separate options for VIP messages.

 

1  2  3  4  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.