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Who Would Have Thought That Email Could Be So Much Fun? New Mail Features In iOS 7

Posted in Apple Inc, and iOS

Sending emails is an easy, quick, and efficient way to communicate with family, friends, and business associates. It is the way we receive all kinds of information. With each major iOS release, there have been changes to make the entire email app easier to use, and iOS7 is no exception. So, let’s go ahead and see what’s new.

Reading individual emails has somewhat changed with the addition of containers. They first appeared on the iPad and then the iPad mini, and now they have come to the iPhone. You must first make sure containers is selected as one of the elements on the rotor by going to settings/general/accessibility/VoiceOver/rotor, finding containers and double tapping to select it if it is not already selected. Go back into mail, and we will find out how to use them to make reading emails easier, faster, and more efficient.

When you open an email for the first time, you will be focused on the back button. Make sure the rotor is set to containers, and flick down. Here is what will happen:

  1. You will focus on the word from. Right flick and you will see who sent the email, though you most likely knew that when you opened it.
  2. Another flick down and you’ll be focused on the word message. The first line of the message will be read. Right flick to read through the rest.
  3. Flick down one more time, and you’ll land in the dock at the bottom. Specifically, you’ll be on the first button in the dock, which is mark message. Flick right to the other buttons in the dock, which are move,
    delete,
    reply,
    and compose, as they were before.
  4. Flick up, and you’ll go back the way you came. If you are on the mark message button, you’ll return to message, from, and the back button.
  5. If you have moved to any of the other buttons in the dock, when you flick up, you’ll first land on the move message button, then message, from, and the back button.

If you open an email again, you will land on the beginning of the message. At this point, you can:

  1. Flick up once to from.
  2. Flick up once more to the back button.
  3. When on the message, flick down to the beginning of the dock, on the mark message button.

How’s that for an easy, faster way to get through email? Saves time when you don’t have to flick left and right to find what you are looking for, or to get to where you need to go.

Reading threads has changed slightly, mostly in the way they are labelled. To read a mail thread, do the following:

  1. Double tap the message on the main email screen, which lets you know how many messages are in the thread.
  2. VoiceOVer will announce thread, followed by the message you just double tapped to get into the thread.
  3. You can flick through the thread’s messages, and each will have the preview of the number of lines you selected in settings/mail, contacts, calendars.
  4. To read any of the full emails, double tap and the message will open.
  5. All of the usual controls will be in each of the emails, such as reply, delete, and so on. Double tap any to do what you want with that piece of email.
  6. Double tap the thread back button to get back into the list of messages in the thread.
  7. Double tap the back button at the top left corner, which will be labelled with the name of the mailbox you are in, to get back into the entire list of emails in that mailbox.

But wait, containers can also be used while you are in an email thread. When you’ve double tapped on a message which takes you into a thread, with the list of messages, you will be focused on the latest message, which will be at the top of the thread. At this point, the rotor will have switched to actions, so that when you flick up and/or down, you will have the option to choose from various things to do with the individual piece of email. these will be discussed a bit later. So, set your rotor back on containers.

  1. When you flick up, you’ll land on the heading containing the thread’s name. One more flick up will take you to the back button, to get you back into the main mailbox list.
  2. When you flick down, you’ll be at the bottom, where the last time mail was updated is given. Flick up again, and you’ll be on that first email in the list. Of course, the rotor will once again switch to actions.
  3. Set the rotor to containers once again to flick to the back button, or back to the bottom.

Containers can be used while you are in the entire list of emails in any of your mailboxes including all mailboxes. However, you will continually have to reset the rotor to containers each time you flick and land on the first email in the list, just like when in an email thread. There are only three places containers will take you when in this main email list. They are:

  1. mailbox back button
  2. First email in the list
  3. When email was last updated

With the back button at the top left, and the update status at the bottom, it is just as easy to place your finger in either area depending on what you are looking for. But if you want to use containers on this screen, go ahead and do so.

As you’ve probably already noticed, containers are much more efficient within individual emails. However, since they can be utilized on the main email list screen, and within threads, all of the ways they can be used have been outlined.

When composing a new email, you can no longer choose the email address from which this email will originate. The default email you set up in settings/mail, contacts, calendars is the one which will be the one from where the new message is sent.

Another change is when you want to create another folder in any of your email accounts. The name has changed to new mailbox, but the steps have remained the same.

If you want to delete one of your folders in any of your accounts, the delete button will no longer be labelled with the folder name. Instead, it will simply be labelled, delete mailbox. This is the case in whichever folder you are going to delete.

The biggest change in the email program, which is a wonderful addition, is the ability to reply, forward, move messages, and a few other choices, from the main email list. You no longer have to go into an email to find these buttons.

Whether you are focused on an individual email, or an email thread, flick up or down and you will find the following choices:

  1. activate item, default action
  2. trash
  3. more

These each cause different things to happen, depending on whether you are focused on a thread, or on an individual email. So, single emails will be covered followed by email threads.

For single, emails, the following will happen when you double tap each of the above choices:

  1. Activate item, default action, opens the email
  2. Trash, deletes that email
  3. More, presents the following choices:
  1. Reply, opens a new email with the message body editing
  2. Forward, opens a new email with the to field editing.
  3. Flag, labels the email as flagged.
  4. Mark as unread, removes the unread label from the email.
  5. Move to junk, deletes the email.
  6. Move message, presents the list of folders where you can move the message, double tap the one where you want the email to go.
  7. Cancel, returns to the email list without making any changes.

If you flag or mark as read an email, then select more once again, flag will now be unflag, and mark as read will now be mark as unread.

For email threads, while focused on the thread and not yet in it, the following will happen when you double tap each of the above choices:

  1. Activate item, default action, opens the thread, with the list of emails in it
  2. Trash, will have the number of emails in the thread listed, and the entire thread will be deleted
  3. More, presents the following choices:
  1. Flag, flags all of the emails in the thread.
  2. Mark as read, removes the unread label from all of the messages in the thread.
  3. Move to junk, deletes the entire thread.
  4. Move messages, takes you into the screen with all of the folders for the mailbox you are in, and lists the number of emails in the thread. When you select the folder where you want the messages to be moved, all of them will be moved.
  5. Cancel, returns to the main email list without making any changes.

While in the main email list, each thread will have up to three names of persons whose emails are part of that thread. Very nice to find out some of the participants in the thread.

While in an email thread, when you flick up or down on an individual email, you will be presented with the following choices:

  1. Activate item, default action
  2. Trash
  3. More

Activate item and trash will do the same as they do when you are focused on an individual email not in any thread. If you select more, you will find the following:

  1. Reply all, opens a new email with all of the thread participants copied on the reply.
  2. Forward, opens a new email with the to field editing.
  3. Flag, only flags that individualal email within the thread.
  4. Mark as read, removes the unread label from that email only.
  5. Move to junk, deletes only that email, not the whole thread.
  6. Move message, to another folder as with an individual message.
  7. Cancel, returns to the thread without making any changes.

What a powerful app mail is, and with the addition of the more selection, it makes it even easier to manage email on your iPhone.

Now that iOS 7 is finally here the team at Fedora Outlier is now working hard on creating the next version of our book The Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility, and to celebrate its release scheduled for late October we are having a half price sale. If you preorder the book from now until October 15 you can get your copy for just $4.99 instead of the regular price of $9.99. So act now and when we release it in October you will receive your copy of The Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility iOS 7 Edition in your inbox.