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Posts tagged with "mail"

One Week After Launch, Users Already Have Several Options for Alternative Browsers and Email Clients on iOS and iPadOS 14

iOS and iPadOS’s 14’s customization options don’t end at widgets. The OS updates also let users change their default email and browser apps for the first time. The feature is a little buggy in iOS and iPadOS 14.0, but I wanted to share how to set it up and explain what your current options are for anyone looking to switch away from the default Safari and Mail apps from Apple.

Switching is simple. The first step is to download a browser or email client that has been approved to serve as an alternative to Apple’s defaults. Developers must request permission to offer their apps as an alternative browser or email app, meeting certain requirements for each type of app. It’s an extra step in the app submission process, so not all browsers and email apps can be swapped in for Safari and Mail from the get-go. Still, less than a week after the public release of iOS and iPadOS 14, users have several options.

Microsoft Edge, Outlook, and Google Chrome are all default browser and email client options now.

Microsoft Edge, Outlook, and Google Chrome are all default browser and email client options now.

New alternatives are being released all the time, but so far, it’s possible to swap out Safari for:

Probably the most popular browser that hasn’t been approved as a Safari alternative yet is Brave, the privacy-focused browser, although The Verge reports that the feature is coming.

Email apps available include:

Between the two quartets of alternatives, a significant portion of the browser and email markets have been covered already.

Picking a new default browser or email client from the Settings app.

Picking a new default browser or email client from the Settings app.

Getting back to the process of switching apps, once you’ve installed one of the approved alternatives, go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Scroll down to the entry for the app you’ve just downloaded, and tap it. There you’ll find a new entry for ‘Default Mail App’ or ‘Default Browser App,’ depending on which you’re changing. Tap it and pick the alternative you want to use, and that’s it.

As easy as the process of switching is, though, the feature is not bug-free. I have been unable to get iOS or iPadOS to recognize my new default email client after I switch it. I’ve tried several apps and email links in multiple apps and on the web, but every time I tap one, the system Apple Mail-based compose sheet opens. Federico has had the same issue. I read somewhere that switching email apps only works if you change your browser first, but that didn’t work for me either. Perhaps MacStories readers will have better luck than I’ve had, but at the moment, I cannot change email clients.

9to5Mac also reported last week that if you restart your iPhone or iPad, any default browser or email changes you’ve made are lost. It’s not hard to reset your defaults, but it’s an annoying bug that I expect will be fixed in a later update to iOS and iPadOS 14.

Personally, I use both Safari and Mail and am happy with them, though I wish Mail would adopt some of the modern features of apps like Spark. Still, I’m glad users have been given greater choice when it comes to the default app experience.


How to Configure Gmail with OS X Yosemite Mail

My friend Amy is having her first experience with using Gmail, and, it, um, isn’t going as well as she’d like. The good news is that although Apple’s Mail.app and Gmail have had a rocky relationship in the past, Mail.app in Yosemite works pretty well with Gmail, but there are some things that you should understand before you proceed.

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iOS 8, Email, and Extensions

One of my biggest frustrations with iOS 8 so far is the lack of extension support in Apple’s Mail app. As I wrote in iOS 8 Changed How I Work on My iPhone and iPad:

I’m disappointed to see a lack of extension support in Apple’s own apps, and particurlarly in Mail. It just makes sense, in my opinion, to be able to turn messages into tasks or archived documents, but Apple hasn’t integrated extensions with Mail yet.

My feelings haven’t changed since September and, in fact, Mail’s non-existent sharing capabilities have been exacerbated by my move towards a more iPad-centric workflow after upgrading to an iPad Air 2. I’ve been working from my iPad Air 2 on a daily basis for the past two weeks, and the friction in Apple’s Mail app has led me to use other email clients simply because they came up with their own implementation of action and share extensions for email messages.

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Multiple Attachments Lets You Attach Multiple Files To Email Messages On iOS

One of iOS’ biggest shortcomings is the inability to attach multiple files to an email message. Caused by Apple’s resistance to bringing a visible filesystem to iOS or building inter-app communication features to access files outside of an app’s own sandbox, the problem is epitomized by antiquated limitations such as the Open In menu and the aforementioned lack of multiple attachments in Mail. Interestingly, these two limitations are exactly what Multiple Attachments, developed by Jan Mazurczak, uses to send email messages containing attachments that aren’t just photos or videos.

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Does Mavericks’ Mail Update Fix Everything?

Joe Kissell, in a follow-up to his original article on Mavericks and Gmail:

If you were holding off on upgrading to Mavericks because of the Mail problems, all I can say is that it’s safer now than it was at first. I can’t guarantee you a trouble-free experience, and without a doubt, some people upgrading from Mountain Lion will feel the new version of Mail is a distinct downgrade. It all depends on how you use Mail, and as we’ve seen, each person approaches it a bit differently from the next.

I’ll let you read Joe’s article to see what’s been fixed and which issues persist after Apple’s update. As I said earlier today, I’ve been fine with MailMate.

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Apple Releases Mail Update for Mavericks with Gmail Fixes

Apple:

Mail Update for Mavericks includes improvements to general stability and compatibility with Gmail, including the following:

Fixes an issue that prevents deleting, moving, and archiving messages for users with custom Gmail settings

Addresses an issue that may cause unread counts to be inaccurate

Includes additional fixes that improve the compatibility and stability of Mail

I don’t use Gmail as my primary email anymore, so I’m looking forward to reading reports about the stability of this update (will Joe Kissell tell us?). You can download it here or through the Mac App Store.

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Mavericks, Mail, and Gmail

Joe Kissell:

Apple Mail in Mavericks treats Gmail accounts differently than any previous version of Mail did. Although some of the changes are quite clever, the implementation has flaws. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I’ve seen a number of folks on Twitter complaining about some of the same things I’ve found. Here’s what I’ve observed and what you can (and can’t) do about it.

I mentioned “strangeness” with Mail in my review of Mavericks. Joe does an excellent job at documenting what’s going on and why.

I’ll let you guess what other old feature Mavericks broke in Mail (keep reading Joe’s article until the end).

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iOS 7 and Mail Message URLs

A feature of iOS 7 that I quickly described in my article and that I haven’t seen mentioned in other places is the possibility to make Apple’s Mail app open individual messages through a new message:// URL scheme. As I wrote:

In iOS 7, if you have a message URL that corresponds to a message, the URL will correctly open it directly in Mail. There are two limitations: the message has to be already downloaded in the Mail app, and, of course, you have to know the URL. So far, I haven’t found a way to create URLs to reference Mail messages on iOS, but the ones you create on your Mac through AppleScript and Mail.app will continue to work on iOS 7 devices. Therefore, if you have scripts that generate these URLs to, say, attach them to OmniFocus or Evernote, you’ll be able to tap them and open the associated message on an iPhone or iPad. I look forward to seeing whether developers will figure out a way to generate message:// URLs on iOS.

That wasn’t the first time I covered message:// URLs on MacStories. In November 2012, I posted an AppleScript to quickly save a message’s URL in Evernote for Mac with a hotkey; and even then, I was referencing a 2007 post by John Gruber on the topic:

The structure of these URLs is fairly simple: (1) the “message:” scheme, followed by (2) the message-id of the message, enclosed in angle brackets (“<” and “>”). The message-id is specified in each message’s “Message-ID” header field, which is part of the Internet email standard. Every message-id should be universally unique, and every message should have a message-id. In my testing, the only messages I could find that didn’t have Message-ID headers were spam; such messages cannot be referred to by Mail’s “message:” URLs.

The message:// URLs that Apple introduced in Leopard have gone mostly unchanged in terms of OS X integration throughout the years, proving to be a nice solution to reference specific messages in todo apps, note-taking apps, and so forth. Rather than searching for a message in Mail, you can generate a URL via AppleScript, archive it somewhere, and launch it (either by pasting it in Safari or right-clicking it in a Cocoa app) to open the referenced message in a separate Mail window – no matter if the message has been archived, put in a folder, or left in the inbox. Read more