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.
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it in a Cocoa app) to open the referenced message in a separate Mail window – no matter if the message has been archived, put in a folder, or left in the inbox.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
I’m aware of the fact that it’s a common trend to call email a “nightmare” these days, but the truth is – email works for me. I have multiple addresses set up, I have my filters and smart folders to automate the process of filing and finding emails, and I’m enjoying the renewed interest of iOS developers in building email apps that solve old problems in new ways. But there is one thing I don’t like: Apple’s Mail app and how many clicks it takes to switch between configured accounts and signatures. As you can guess, I came up with a way to automate the process using AppleScript and (optionally) Keyboard Maestro.
I receive several messages every day to different email addresses, but I always want to reply with the same address and the same signature. Apple’s Mail app makes it easy to see all messages sent to all accounts with the unified Inbox, but it makes it surprisingly hard to set default accounts and signatures that should always be treated as, well, default ones. I don’t want to click on menus for accounts and signatures: I want to hit ⌘R and receive a new Reply window with the account and signature I want already set. Read more
Evomail, a new Gmail client for iPad released today at $2.99, wants to fill the void left by the announced-but-never-released Sparrow for iPad, providing an alternative to the largely web-based official Gmail app and the upcoming (?) Mailbox for iPad. To differentiate itself from iOS’ native email client, Apple’s Mail app, Evomail focuses on three main areas: a new, modern design; push notifications; and tight integration with Gmail. The first version of Evomail is good, but rough around (many) edges.
In trying out the new Evernote beta for Mac, I ended up looking for a way to quickly send a selected Mail message to Evernote. I knew it was possible with AppleScript, but after searching on Google, I couldn’t find the perfect solution that fit my needs. Fortunately, by combining this script with an old tip by John Gruber, I managed to assemble a simple AppleScript that does exactly what I want. Read more
Send Flagged Mail Messages To OmniFocus Automatically
Sven Fechner pointed today to an AppleScript published in late 2011 by Hunter Hillegas to send flagged Mail.app messages to OmniFocus’ inbox on the Mac.
In iOS 5, Apple added the ability to flag a message, just as you’ve been able to do on the desktop forever. I created an AppleScript that looks for flagged messages. When it finds them, it adds them to OmniFocus and links them back to Mail.app, just like the Services action does. It then also unflags the message, resetting the state back to normal. This script runs every five minutes.
In iOS 6’s Mail.app, it’s now even easier to mark a message as flagged. I have tried the script, and it works as advertised. I would modify it to include only the latest message of a thread in the task note, but I see the appeal of having an entire conversation saved in OmniFocus for reference.
Obviously, the script is best enjoyed if executed on a Mac that’s running all the time. In this way, you can set a message as flagged on iOS, wait a few seconds, and find it in OmniFocus right away.
Personally, I run my own OmniFocus sync (every minute) so that I always have up-to-date sync that I can control. To implement this script in my workflow, I just had to create a new Keyboard Maestro macro (pictured above) that runs the AppleScript every minute if I’m logged in. In the way the script is designed, flagged messages are processed, then set back to “unflagged” so they won’t be added again in the future (unless you flag them manually).
You can find the AppleScript here.
Remember Tobias van Schneider’s redesign of the classic email client? It’s happening.
.Mail’s main features include:
- Actionsteps, which lets you prioritize mail without abusing favorites, flags, or labels in a typical email client.
- Centralized attachments, putting email attachements in one easy to find place for recollection.
- Integrated notifications, which removes the clutter of everyday emails like Facebook updates or Amazon receipts by filtering them into clever notification icons.
- Personalized messages, showing pictures of your friends and company branding alongside the email’s subject line.
You can sign up to know when .Mail (pronounced ‘dot mail’) is ready by visiting dotmailapp.com, or by following Tobias on Twitter at @schneidertobias.
Following an unsuccessful launch on November 2, Google has re-released its official Gmail app for iOS in the App Store, which was pulled due to a bug that affected push notifications. In spite of the criticism received by the app, it appears Google didn’t make any substantial changes, as reported by this version’s changelog:
If you already have the Gmail app 1.0.1 released on 2 Nov, you will need to uninstall or log out of the old app prior to installing the new app.
We’re currently re-testing the Gmail app for iOS and we’ll update this post with more details if necessary. Update: push notifications are now working in this version (as you can see I have a badge on my Home screen), but there are no new features. The app is still web-based as in the first version, with no support for multiple accounts and poor scrolling performances, among other issues.
Download Gmail for iOS here.
If you’ve been yearning for a good, native, Gmail app for the iPhone, you might not have to wait much longer. MG Siegler claims that Google “is on the verge of launching their native Gmail app” and have likely already submitted it to Apple for review.
Although Google has a good web version of Gmail that is optimised for the iPhone and is also supported by iOS’ inbuilt Mail app, many have long wanted a fully native Gmail app and experience on iOS. Probably the biggest reason for a native Gmail app is push notifications (in the native Mail app, Gmail only supports fetching every 15, 30 or 60 minutes). Yet according to Siegler’s sources, the app is also “pretty fantastic” - something that many users of Android’s Gmail app have also often commented on. His understanding is that this is Google’s first iOS app since they began their recent commitment to design and that “all indications point to it being a good [app]”.
The native Gmail app will likely bring other key functionality as well: like Priority Inbox and one-click starring of messages. Other possibilities include some of the stuff Google is about to roll out for Gmail proper: like contact icons, better threading, and deep searching functionality. Maybe there will even be some Google+ integration, which Google is also hard at work on for Gmail.
The big question is whether Apple will approve the app, because to date they have rejected alternative email apps that would compete against the native Mail app. However, Siegler believes Apple probably will approve it, in which case it could mean that we could also soon see other third party Mail apps on iOS. One such example could be Sparrow for iPhone, after the developers revealed in August they have started development on such an app. In an interview with Business Insider in August, Dominique Leca from Sparrow noted that it would be highly inconsistent for Apple to continue to reject alternative Mail apps when Apple has since allowed replacements for Safari on iOS in recent months.
Today’s release of iOS 5 sees the inclusion of new apps such as Reminders, significant upgrades to existing apps such as the integration of iMessage in Messages and the introduction of iCloud, which is set to change the way we use our iOS devices. Yet amidst all these significant changes to the iOS platform, Apple hasn’t forgotten about the apps that have existed since day 1 of the first iPhone.
The Safari, Mail, Camera, Calendar, Music and Video apps have all received updates in iOS 5 and the updates range from addressing common complaints, tweaking the user interfaces, adding iCloud support to adding features that improve productivity and usability. Be sure to jump through the break to view the entire overview of changes to these apps.