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Mail for iPad, client or email viewer?

Mail, mail of my desires, the iPad the best in the realm? Let's face it, since the announcement of the iPad, many have wondered just that. If the iPad has three basic uses (at home, with friends and on the go), email "convenient" compared to that of the iPhone or other similar devices is a real killer application. So, now that the iPad in our hands, the question is this: how does e-mail work?

The short answer: better than on the iPhone, worse than on the Mac. In the sense that iPad, if you travel, allows you to do many more things than an iPhone, but still less than a Mac (or a PC). Let's briefly see why by telling Macity's tradition the experience of the reporter who "immersed" in the iPad since last Saturday.

To use the best routine, the writer has decided to try to manage their own iPad mail for the whole period they have been away from home. Since Gmail is used as a "tank" account, where all old emails are stored online, that is the account that is configured. Those of MobileMe (which however, as we will see in another piece, have been configured the same), Exchange, Yahoo and generic mail would also be available.

ipad mail configuration

To configure Gmail the IMAP settings are already saved: just enter the username, name you want to show in the headers, and password. IPad takes care of the rest. And think about it for a few seconds: check that the credentials are correct and then download the mail. Just download the wrong term.

Similarly to what happens with MobileMe (and probably Yahoo), mail in IMAP mode. It means that on the iPad (as on the iPhone, the performances are absolutely identical from this point of view) only the contents of the folder present on the server are displayed. The mail can be modified (moved, thrown away), you can write and reply, but the mail cannot be permanently "downloaded". When you then connect your home Mac (or PC), the mail still available on the server to be downloaded. This enhances the functionality of a lightweight travel device. Well done.

Viewing the real trump card. As we have seen countless times, the display takes place in a different way if the device is horizontal or vertical. The convenience of both is very evident, because in vertical mode a contextual menu allows you to see the mails present in the inbox, instead giving the maximum breath to the open mail, while in horizontal mode (which the writer prefers by far) you see on the left the inbox or the boxes that you decide to select, while on the right the open email appears in a more than abundant space. It should not be underestimated that the ?best? keyboard is the horizontal one: in practice the vertical one works well for shorter writing.

ipad mail settings

Sumptuous email viewing, even the most complex html are rendered with plenty of detail, attachments are not a problem. On the contrary: they can be viewed both within the email and from their appropriate viewer. But if so far there are merits, it must be said that Mail for iPad (like the one for iPhone) shows more clearly the limits of iPad and its "provisional" rather than "definitiveness" as a device. I'll explain in a moment.

The things that cannot be done. You cannot create new folders, although it is possible to manage them with great comfort and with really elegant movements (try to pile up a bit of messages before moving them out of the box: a very nice and pleasant effect), there is not (yet) a folder unique inbox even if there are multiple e-mail accounts set: this means that you have to switch from one account to another (choosing with two touches, not complicated, but always one more step) to see all the mail. Finally, you cannot reply to an email by adding a photo, for example.

example ipad mail

That is, possible, but only with a trick, and in any case the idea that to create an e-mail message with an attachment it is necessary by default to exit the e-mail, open iPhoto for example and write it from there, a bit of a joke. What is the trick instead? Very simple: you have to go to iPhoto – without worrying if you close Mail because the status is automatically saved, the message you are writing is not lost -, put the export of the photos, select the one / ones you want and, instead of telling him to create a message email, simply copy them. After that, go back to Mail and paste the image at the bottom of the message thanks to the contextual menu that appears after a touch in the body of the email.

Mail for iPad an evolution of interface and display capacity compared to Mail for iPhone / iPad touch, but not yet a finished and finished e-mail program, but rather a viewer of the messages present on the net. The last, true, great flaw that proves its nature and its program DNA born to be an email viewer, the fact that it does not store mail and attachments locally. Furthermore, being unable to save the attachments but only view them, it is not even possible to edit and send them again. Not even having installed the iWork suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. All limitations that make Mail what we have defined before: an excellent "viewer" of e-mail, not a finished and finished client.

ipad email client