iPhone OS 4.0 – Mail

I was talking to my Dad the other day about he issues with Mail in the iPhone, and he wondered why it was a problem. After all, he had just one e-mail account in his phone, whereas I have four. This update to Mail is pretty big, and a huge refresh for the iPhone. It’s also one that should help out productivity – and the Enterprise sector – a lot.

Let’s start with the basics. First, the unified inbox. All your e-mail comes to one screen, regardless of the address it’s sent to, just like Apple Mail 4.0 on the Mac. This is going to save me personally SO much time, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one. The other big bonus is having multiple Exchange accounts. In my last company, we had an Exchange server for our e-mail, which worked pretty well. But there’s a workaround for Gmail that lets you set it up on the iPhone like an Exchange server, and therefore pushes the e-mail to you faster. I wanted that, but wasn’t able to make it work with both accounts. Now I’d be able to.

Three other things of note with this one. Threaded messages. In Mail before, each e-mail will show up as an individual e-mail. Now they have an “>>” symbol after the e-mail, allowing you to flip through all of them in sequence. Then there’s fast inbox switching, which moves you to various folders and inboxes easily, just in case you want to see just one account or another. And finally, you can now open attachments in your e-mail with apps. That’s going to be great on the iPad.

They didn’t spend a lot of time talking about Mail in the keynote, but I think it’s one of the bigger announcements from the event. It’s one of my new favs, and once again, I can’t wait to use it.

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