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Mail and iOS 16

The Mail app is something we all use every day – what’s new with it in iOS 16?

iOS 16 & Mail
image courtesy of author

iOS 16 – it’s awfully good!

I am loving iOS 16! If you were kind enough to lend me your eyes yesterday, then you’ll have read my initial ramblings on it. That blog was very much a first look into iOS 16. I installed it late Monday night (well, actually, very early Tuesday morning!!), and yesterday, I wrote about some of the first features that took my fancy.

Playing about with it yesterday a little more, I found that the Mail app has been given quite a make-over.

Given it’s an app most of us use numerous times a day, I thought it may be helpful if I pointed out some new features in Mail with iOS 16, that I’ve come across.

Unsending Mail

It seems that unsending is the buzzword this year in iOS 16. You can now unsend iMessages in the Message app, and that theme has been carried over to Mail. It’s a case of Apple and iOS 16 catching up, as rival Mail apps have had this feature for a few years now.

I am sure, that you, like me, have sent an email to the wrong person, or realised there was a howler in the email you just sent. Well, the good news is that you can now reverse that email, and unsend it…and it is so simple.

Compose and send an email as normal. Once sent, at the bottom of your inbox, you’ll see ‘Undo Send’ in blue text. By hitting that, the original email will reappear for you to amend.

However, a word of caution – be quick! Unlike Gmail which gives you the luxury of 30 seconds to undo, in the iOS Mail app, you only (currently) have 10 seconds. Once you have the offending email open, though, there is no rush. Take as much time as you want to compose, alter and re-send.

I have tried it out, and it is as simple as it sounds. I think I recall hearing that this will be included in macOS Ventura when that is launched next month, and for that matter, in iPadOS 16 as well.

Schedule Emails

I can see this being super useful. These days I find myself, more and more, emailing recipients in the States. Rather than them receiving it at a random, UK time, I can type it, and schedule it to be sent at the start of their working day instead, and hopefully stand more of a chance of being noticed. Not only that, but occasionally, a time sensitive email will come to me at an odd hour. In iOS16, I no longer have to commit it to memory, or set a Reminder. Now, I can type it and schedule it instead.

Again, in Mail with iOS 16, it is ever so simple, and you have three options.

Once written, composed, and ready to send, long press the blue arrow, to the top right of your screen. You will now see three preset options – Send Now, Send 21:00 Tonight, or Send Later. The last of these options gives you the ability to decide what time the email gets sent. If you select that option, you’ll be taken to a calendar screen. There, you can select the time, time zone, and date to send the email. Tap ‘done’, top right, and your work is done.

Before it is sent, it will sit in a new ‘Send Later’ mailbox. You’ll find that sitting at the bottom of your other mailboxes. You can check there to see what emails you have scheduled, and even edit them further before they are sent. Of course, from that same mailbox, you can also edit the time you set the email to be sent as well.

One point to bear in mind with this feature, though, is that your iPhone must be switched on at the time you have scheduled the email to be sent.

Emailed Reminders

From a business perspective, day-to-day, this function will prove super-handy, and productive.

Select an email in your inbox that you want to be reminded to respond to. Act as if you are going to reply to it, as normal, by hitting the blue, back arrow. Scroll down in that window, and you’ll find the Remind Me option. Again, there you’ll find some pre-populated presets, but you’ll also have the option to set a custom time, in the Remind Me Later option. As per scheduling an email, now, you’ll be taken to a calendar window to set the time and date you wish to be reminded.

There is nothing more for you to do. Once the desired time rolls around, the Mail app will move that email to the top of your inbox, ready for you to action.

Follow-up in Mail

One of my pet hates, is when you send an email, and the recipient doesn’t have the good grace to respond. Until now, I have set reminders in the Reminders app to chase emails up. That process has just got a whole lot easier, and more seamless in Mail and iOS 16.

This feature, does not rely on you, rather on an intricate algorithm developed by Apple. It seems to work similarly to Gmail. The Mail app scans for emails that you’ve sent, that contain a question. If you’ve not had a response to that email, Mail, will draw your attention to it. In your inbox, those emails will be marked with ‘Follow Up’, serving as a prompt for you to check if you need to action it further.

Wrapping up

I stand by what I said yesterday, that this iOS 16 update is one of the best we’ve had in a very long time.

It seems to stem back to last year, and the MacBook Pro’s. Apple is, once again, back in the business of listening to us. We saw it then with the re-introduction of ports on this MacBooks. iPhone 14 gets the always-on display, and now, iOS 16 is full of thoughtful, useful features, such as the customised lock screens.

When Apple is in this frame of mind, it reminds me I fell in love with them. Now the design team are free to design hardware that is both beautiful and practical. And, the software team, it seems, has no desire to be left in the shadows. These Mail features alone make it worthwhile upgrading to iOS 16. But add in the cut-out and remove feature I mentioned yesterday, and those lock screens…

And don’t forget, 2pm BST, I believe all the embargo’s lift on iPhone 14. So, if you are a YouTube fan, expect your inbox to be going bonkers at lunchtime with reviews from all the big creators.

All in all, it really is proving to be a memorable year for us Apple fans.

Have you installed iOS 16 yet? What do you think of it? What are your favourite features that you’ve found? If I haven’t mentioned them yet, let me know.

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