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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.

Another common request is for iOS Mail to catch up with OS X Mail when it comes to message flags. On the Mac, you can flag a message using one of seven different flag colors—for example, you might use red for messages that need immediate attention, and blue for messages requiring further research before you can reply. But in iOS Mail, you get one flag: orange (which, oddly enough, syncs to OS X Mail as a red flag). If you apply other-color flags on your Mac, those flags sync to your iPhone or iPad as orange flags. With iOS 8, we'd like iOS Mail support and sync the same rainbow of flags as OS X.

Now that iOS Mail has both a unified inbox and several other unified mailboxes (Unread, VIPs, Flagged, Attachments, All Drafts, All Sent, All Trash, and To or CC), we'd also like to be able to see, at a glance, which account hosts a particular message. For example, Mail could use a small, colored circle or line, the way the Calendar app shows which calendar hosts each event.

Bug fixes
Of course, no major update would be complete without some bug fixes. We already mentioned a few in the sections above, but we'd also like to be able to remove any custom mailboxes added to the main Mailboxes screen. (You can currently hide added mailboxes, but you can't remove them completely.)

Another annoying issue is that Mail in iOS 7 doesn't quite know what to do with text enclosed in HTML <pre> tags. Specifically, Mail doesn't wrap the text, so you must scroll (and scroll, and scroll, and scroll) to see everything. We hope iOS 8 fixes this.

Finally, though Mail in iOS 7 has, overall, worked pretty well for us, we know some people haven't been so lucky. As one Twitter commenter wrote, "I just want it to work properly, hope that's not asking too much." So along with the aforementioned desires to make Mail more compatible with Exchange and Gmail, you can add "Clean it up and give it a good polish" to our list.

We also have a few feature requests that don't fit neatly into the categories above. For example, we'd appreciate the capability to create and use email stationary—or at least to save templates for frequently sent messages.

Those of us who often use an external keyboard with our iOS devices are hoping Mail in iOS 8 adds a good number of keyboard shortcuts. In iOS 7, Safari gained a number of such shortcuts, including ones for opening a new tab, selecting the URL in the address bar, closing or refreshing the current tab, switching among tabs, and more, so it's not unreasonable to think Apple might give Mail similar treatment in iOS 8.


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