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iOS 8 changes we'd like to see: Mail

Dan Frakes | May 16, 2014
With iOS 8 likely coming later this year, it's time to talk about the changes and improvements we'd like to see in the next version of iOS.

Better Exchange and Outlook
Similarly, not all Exchange users have been happy with iOS 7 Mail. Many still see delays in receiving new mail, and we've heard many complaints about Mail being unable to properly handle attachments sent from Outlook (which often show up as Winmail.dat). Another popular request is for iOS 7 Mail to support Exchange categories for organizing and processing email messages. So here's hoping iOS 8 enhances its support for Exchange email and Outlook attachments.

Enhanced security
We suspect that Apple will fix the Mail attachment vulnerability well before iOS 8 hits the streets, but there are other things the company could do to increase email security. A number of Macworld readers have told us that they're hoping to see Apple encrypt all locally stored attachments. They'd also like better support for password-protected PDF documents in Mail--apparently, sometimes Mail doesn't even prompt you to enter a password when viewing such a document.

We'd also love to see better (and easier) options for encrypting and signing email messages. Senior Contributor Joe Kissell dedicates an entire chapter in his Take Control of Apple Mail to the topic of email security, but setting up your iOS device to allow you to encrypt messages is not a simple process. This seems like a perfect area for Apple to work its ease-of-use magic.

Search that works
Apple revamped iOS Mail's search feature in iOS 7, and the result is better than iOS 6 in some ways, but worse in others. For starters, we'd like to bring back iOS 6's capability for searching only specific parts of messages—for example, sender, subject, or body. Sometimes searching everything works fine, but if you've got a lot of mail, refining your searches often makes it easy to quickly find what you need.

We'd also like search to work more reliably when searching messages on your mail server—often Mail just churns and churns and never finds the message that you know is there.

Finally, one of our biggest beefs with Mail search is that you can't sort results. Sometimes the results appear to be sorted chronologically, but oftentimes they aren't; and even if they were sorted chronologically, relevance would sometimes be a better sort parameter. (Being able to search by only subject or sender would help here, as well.)

Mail management
For many (most?) people, iOS Mail's message-management features may be sufficient. But for those of us who handle lots of email on the go, there are a few simple options Apple could add that would make our mail-triage tasks easier.

By far, the most frequent email-management plea we've heard from readers is for a way to select all items in a mailbox or list—to make it easier to move or delete those items. As with address groups, it's a little bit crazy that iOS Mail doesn't yet have this feature.


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