iOS 9 Mail tips

Apple’s Mail app didn’t get many important new features in iOS 9 compared to iOS 8, but there were a few changes that can still save you some time when managing your emails – especially if you’re using Mail on an iPad.

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  • Mail Attachments 1
  • Mail Attachments (cont) 2
  • Searching Mail 3
  • Searching Mail with Siri 4
  • Multitasking Mail 5
  • Mark email as unread 6
  • Delete email 7
  • Mail Options 8
  • Notify Me 9
  • Customise gestures 10
  • Minimise emails 11
  • Mail and Calendar events 12
  • Choose VIPs in Mail 13
  • In Exchange 14
  • Handoff 15
  • More stories
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Tip 1 of 15: iOS 9 Mail Attachments

One major change that was introduced with iOS 9 was the new iCloud Drive app that allows you to view and organise files that are stored online inside your personal 5GB of iCloud storage. Mail can now link in with iCloud Drive too, giving you a quick and easy way of adding file attachments to your emails.

When you’re writing an email you can simply press and hold on the screen to activate the Options menu. The screen of an iPhone may not be wide enough to display all the options in this menu, so you’ll need to tap the little arrow on the far-right of the menu to scroll through the various options that are available (or turn the iPhone sideways into landscape mode as we’ve done here).

Along with the existing option to add a photo or video you’ll now see a new button marked ‘Add Attachment’. Tapping on this button opens the iCloud Drive app, where you can select the file you need. You’ll then switch back into Mail and the file will be added to your email ready to send whenever you’re ready. 

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One major change that was introduced with iOS 9 was the new iCloud Drive app that allows you to view and organise files that are stored online inside your personal 5GB of iCloud storage. Mail can now link in with iCloud Drive too, giving you a quick and easy way of adding file attachments to your emails.

When you’re writing an email you can simply press and hold on the screen to activate the Options menu. The screen of an iPhone may not be wide enough to display all the options in this menu, so you’ll need to tap the little arrow on the far-right of the menu to scroll through the various options that are available (or turn the iPhone sideways into landscape mode as we’ve done here).

Along with the existing option to add a photo or video you’ll now see a new button marked ‘Add Attachment’. Tapping on this button opens the iCloud Drive app, where you can select the file you need. You’ll then switch back into Mail and the file will be added to your email ready to send whenever you’re ready. 

 

Step 2 of 15: iOS 9 Mail Attachments (cont)

There’s another way of doing this too. If you open the iCloud Drive app first and then press and hold on a file you’ll open the options menu once more. Tap on ‘More’ and then select the Share Item command that appears at the bottom of the screen. There are several options for sharing files in here, but if you tap the Mail icon you’ll switch into Mail and see a brand new email already created with the file attached and ready to go.

 

Step 3 of 15: iOS 9 Searching Mail

It’s also easier to search for information in your stored emails – in fact you don’t even have to open Mail to perform a search anymore.

You can use the Search tool right on the main Home screen. Just flick your finger down the screen, or left-to-right across the screen, to display the Search tool and then type in one or more words that you want to search for.

The Search tool will look through all the info stored on your iPhone or iPad – including emails and files stored in other apps – and display the most relevant results so that you can quickly tap and open them up.

Read: How to search in iOS 9

 

Step 4 of 15: iOS 9 Searching Mail with Siri

You can even do this with Siri. If you tell Siri to ‘search for Apple’ it will just show you Apple’s address in California, but you can also be more specific and tell Siri to ‘search my emails for Apple’.

You can also stop in the middle of writing an email and tell Siri to remind you to come back and finish it later on.

Read: Complete Guide to Siri in iOS 9

 

Step 5 of 15: iOS 9 Multitasking Mail

There’s another improvement in Mail that we really like – but, unfortunately, it’s only available on more recent versions of the iPad.

The new multi-tasking features in iOS 9 allow you to run two apps on the iPad screen at the same time. The Slide Over view will run on the iPad Air or later, and the iPad mini 2 or later, and allows you to ‘slide’ a second app into view so that it only takes up the right-hand third of your iPad screen. If you’re writing an email you can use Slide Over to open Maps on the edge of the screen so that you can check an address, or use Safari to look up some info on the web. You can also keep Mail itself in that smaller section of screen, allowing you to watch a video or browse the web in the main screen while quickly checking your inbox in Mail on the right of the screen. 

You can also use Split View to divide the screen equally between Mail and another app – but this option is only available on the iPad Air 2 and the new iPad Pro.

 

Step 6 of 15: iOS email - Mark as unread

There are several options in iOS Mail that will allow you to organize your emails with just a quick flick of your finger.

You can mark the email as unread to remind you to come back to it later, to do so just swipe from left to right and Mark as Unread will show up for you to select.

 

Step 7 of 15: iOS email - Delete email

Alternatively, swiping left across the header will display a number of additional options.

You can flag the email as important so that you can quickly find it later, or tap Trash to delete it altogether.

You can also delete the email instantly by continuing to swipe your finger right across to the left.

Read: How to delete email on your iPhone

 

Step 8 of 15: iOS email - Mail Options

The underlying Notification system in iOS 8 has also been improved, incorporating a feature called ‘interactive notifications’.

If you see a notification – such as an incoming email or text message – at the top of the screen while you’re using an app, you can now respond to the notification simply by dragging your finger down from the top of the screen.

You are then given options for responding to the notification – including Decline/Accept buttons for calendar meetings, or a small text box so that you can quickly type a response to a text message or email.

Read: How to use iOS Notification Centre

 

Step 9 of 15: iOS email - Notify Me

If you tap Notify Me, you will automatically receive a notification on your lock screen whenever you receive a reply to that particular email thread.

This option is also available when writing a new email – just tap on the little bell icon that is located on the right-hand side of the Subject line.

 

Step 10 of 15: iOS email - customise swiping gestures

You can also customize these swiping gestures so that they work in the way that you prefer.

Go to Settings, then select Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Look at the Mail settings, and select Swipe Options.

This displays a screen when you can modify the swipe gestures – perhaps switching the left and right swiping actions if you’re left-handed.

 

Step 11 of 15: iOS email - Minimise emails

Sometimes when you’re writing an email you may need to look back for some information in another email.

Just swipe down from the top of the screen to hide your current email and browse through your inbox for the info you need.

Tap on the title bar of the email at the bottom of the screen to bring it back up again.

 

Step 12 of 15: iOS email - add events to Calendar

There’s tighter integration between the Mail and Calendar apps in iOS 8.

Mail can automatically detect time or date information in emails that you receive, and will underline them for you.

Just tap on the underlined time and you will be given an option to add it as an event in Calendar.

Read: Using Calendar in iOS 8

 

Step 13 of 15: iOS email - VIP Mail

Mail now allows you to assign VIP status to important contacts and messages.

Go to the Mailboxes list and select the VIP mailbox.

Tap on the ‘Add VIP’ button to view your contacts list and select someone such as your boss or your partner.

Their messages will now automatically show up as notifications and go into the VIP mailbox for easy access.

 

Step 14 of 15: iOS email - In Exchange

If your organization uses Microsoft Exchange for its email system you can invite people to your meetings and events, and also check their status to see if they’re busy on that date or time.

Another option available to Exchange users is the ability to create automatic ‘out of office’ replies when you’re busy or travelling.

 

Step 15 of 15: iOS email - Handoff

The new versions of Mail for iOS 8 and Yosemite work with Handoff, and allow you to start an email on one device and then switch to another so that you can just carry on writing your message from where you left off.

Start composing an email on your iPhone and when you arrive at your Mac you will see an icon in the dock indicating that you have an email you can continue to compose in Mail on your Mac.

Read: Guide to Continuity: Handoff, Hotspots, AirDrop and more

Plus: How to AirDrop from iPhone to Mac and Mac to iPhone

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