Sep 4, 2009

3 Things: Email on the iPhone

I've decided to try and start something new, which I'm calling "3 Things" - something I intend to do each Friday. The concept is that each week, I will pick a topic and write 3 things about that topic. It can be about anything really - just something that catches my attention. It might be 3 tips, 3 gripes, 3 thoughts - you get the point - all on a different topic each week.

For this inaugural post, my 3 Things are about using email on the iPhone.

There are 3 Things I really wish I could do on the iPhone when it comes to email. And the sad thing is, I was able to do each of these things back when I was using a Treo. But enough with the past -- here are 3 things that I wish I could do with email on my iPhone:

1. Put a limit on the size of attachments. Sometimes, people will send me emails with either single large attachments, or multiple smaller attachments. There was a time when I put a cap on file size in my email through my service provider, but on my main account, I don't want to do that because - well, even though people shouldn't send large attachments in emails, they do. SIGH. In any case, on my Treo, there was a setting that allowed you to dial in how many MB you allowed the phone to download by default (and there'd be a note at the bottom of the email telling you it was only partially downloaded). But I'm finding that now on the iPhone, my emails with large attachments are crashing the mail app. Being there's no way to delete the problematic message with the large attachments, my email app is always crashing. The only recourse when this happens is to reset the iPhone back to factory defaults and then re-sync -- UGH.

2. Let me "select all" to delete a bunch of emails at once. Sometimes I just want to delete all the emails in an inbox. That might happen if I choose to catch up on email on my laptop instead of on my phone. I appreciate that you can select more than one email at a time to delete them all at once -- but you still have to select each of them. So if I have 25 emails to delete, I have to press Edit, and then I have to touch each of the 25 emails, scrolling as I do so, just to press delete. Sure would be nice if I could just click Edit, Select All, and Delete.

3. Let me copy attachments to my iDisk. When someone sends me a file as an attachment, it would be really nice if I could then "save" the attachment to my iDisk app. This would make it a lot easier for me to quickly access the documents I want without having to search for the emails that contain them. It also means I'd be able to instantly make documents available to others, if required.

So there you have it -- my 3 Things for this week. Do you have your own 3 Things? Post them!


Jean-Claude Tremblay said...

No 2 is one of the two things that irritate me the most with the iPhone. The other is the lack of flash player support.

David Blatner said...

Great points, Mordy. I agree with all of them.

On the topic of attachments: In general, I try not to email people with huge files when possible. Instead, now that I'm using dropbox, it's easy to put the file in my Public folder, grab the custom URL with the context menu, and paste it into the email. They can download it at their own convenience. The only problem is that I can't delete it from my computer until I'm sure they downloaded it.

Michael Kelly said...

Has anyone found a fix/workaround to the crashing mail app when deleting messages with big attachments? It seems ridiculous that we should just accept this and restore the phone or delete the account everytime someone sends us a large attachment!

Anonymous said...

I agree with all three as well.
You ought to be able to use Safari to "download to iDisk" as well. Then when you get back to your mac, it's right there.

@dblatner By the way, iDisk has a very poor feature set compared to sites like (disclosure: I'm a customer) which emails you when a file has been collected.

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