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Take Control of Mail on the iPhone and iPod touch, iOS 4 Edition
Sep 30, 2010

Take Control of Mail on the iPhone and iPod touch, iOS 4 Edition

Set up an effective mobile strategy and read your email with ease!

Obsolete: This title is specific to the iPhone and iPod touch using iOS 4.0 and 4.1 and was written when the iPad ran only iOS 3.2. However, because Apple finally came through with the great iOS version convergence in mid-November 2010, we’ve replaced this book with Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Second Edition, which covers all three devices under iOS 4.2.

In this book, email expert Joe Kissell shares his real-world recommendations about the best ways to use the Mail app on your iPhone or iPod touch, helping you to develop a successful mobile email strategy. Whether you use IMAP, Gmail, MobileMe, or Exchange, you’ll find advice and directions for how to set up your accounts, receive email, read and send email, and file messages. Joe also teaches you to solve connection problems and work around feature limitations.

More Info

Questions answered in this ebook include:

  • What are the new features in iOS 4 Mail, and how do I use them?
  • Why is an IMAP account especially useful on a mobile device?
  • How do I set up my email accounts?
  • How do I move around in the Mail app?
  • What’s the best way to set up mailboxes for effective navigation and filing?
  • How do I handle attachments?
  • How does Mail integrate with other apps, like Calendar and Contacts?
  • What are the best ways to find messages in the Mail app?
  • What’s the deal with Exchange ActiveSync accounts?
  • Should I use push or fetch to get my messages?
  • How do I integrate Gmail with Mail?
  • Is there a way to move a message from one account to another?
  • How can I set up Mail to use alternative From addresses for outgoing mail?
  • Help! I can’t send my email… what should I do?
What's New

What's New in IOS 4 Mail

If you were previously using iOS 3.x on your iPhone or iPod touch, you may want to be aware of several major changes to the Mail app that I cover in this book:

  • Mail now offers a unified Inbox for multiple accounts. See The Mailboxes View.
  • Conversation threading automatically groups related messages together. See The Message List.
  • You can now move a message from one account to another. See the sidebar Moving Messages across Accounts.
  • MobileMe aliases are now supported automatically. See Change Your From Address.
  • It’s now possible to open Mail attachments in a variety of other apps. See the sidebar Ins and Outs and the section File Management.
  • Data Detectors now detect dates and times. See Use Data Detectors.
  • Mail can interact with Gmail accounts in more sophisticated ways. See Four Methods to Access a Gmail Account.
  • You can now type email messages on an external Bluetooth keyboard—with certain iOS devices. See Touch Typing.
  • Thanks to improvements in MobileMe, you can now use your MobileMe account to send mail with a From addresses other than or See Decide Which Account(s) to Use.
  • Some account types can now sync calendars, contacts, and/or notes. See Service Switch(es).

Which iPhone and iPod touch models does this ebook cover?

This ebook covers the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4, as well as the second-, third-, and fourth-generation iPod touch. In all cases, the ebook assumes that you’re using iOS 4 as the operating system on the device. If you are using an iPhone 4 or a fourth-generation iPod touch, it came with iOS 4 installed. If you are using an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, or a second- or third-generation iPod touch, you can upgrade for free and this ebook assumes that you have already done so.

This ebook does not cover the original iPhone or iPod touch. This is because these devices can’t run iOS 4. For help with using the Mail app with one of these devices, see Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, an earlier ebook by Joe that covers the Mail app and related considerations in the iPhone 3 (iOS 3) operating system.

How can I figure out which iPhone or iPod touch I have?

An Apple support article has photos and other details to help you pinpoint your model. For the iPod touch, try Apple’s Identifying iPod models article.

Does this ebook really cover the iPod touch?

Yes. It is entirely meant to cover the iPhone and iPod touch equally.

Does this ebook care which type of computer I sync my iPhone with?

Whether you sync with iTunes on the Macintosh or Windows, this ebook has you covered.

Update Plans

To cover the changes in iOS 4.2, we abandoned this ebook in late 2010 and replaced it with a new one, called “Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Second Edition.” At this time (December 2011), the replacement ebook has advanced to a third edition, which covers iOS 5.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. Google Sync Being Sunsetted and What It Means

    Google has announced that Google Sync, its syncing method that uses Microsoft’s ActiveSync technology, will no longer be available as a syncing option for most users. Support for it, except for paid users of its Google Apps service, will end on January 30 for Mail and Contacts; it is already unavailable for Google Calendar syncing. Instead, IMAP, CardDAV, and CalDAV are the preferred protocols for syncing. This means, in the case of iOS devices, that push email and calendar events will no longer be available to new users for Gmail, Google Contacts, and Google Calendar (Google, however, will continue to support accounts that have already been set up to use Google Sync). You can find out more about this change in the TidBITS article, Google Drops Google Sync for Most iOS Users, and in Joe Kissell’s Macworld article, What the End of Google Sync Means to You.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  2. iOS 4.3.3 and iOS 4.2.8 Address Location Tracking Bugs

    On April 20, 2011, researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden announced that they had discovered a file within iOS, consolidated.db, that seemingly tracked every single location that an iOS device has ever visited. Furthermore, this file was not encrypted and was backed up each time the iOS device synced with iTunes to a user’s computer, making the file available on the syncing computer as well as on the device. Although the file was actually known about for quite some time, a media firestorm erupted following the announcement, with many articles speculating that Apple was tracking users’ every move for unknown, but probably nefarious reasons, and which led to several requests by Congressional representatives for Apple to explain the purpose behind collecting the information.

    Apple responded within a week with a press release explaining what the consolidated.db file was, and why it was storing as much information as it seemed to be storing (see this TidBITS article, “Apple Addresses Location Controversy Questions,” 27 April 2011, for details on that press release). In a nutshell, Apple claimed that a bug was the reason that the file contained so much information, that the file was designed merely to help the iOS device’s Location Services feature establish location more easily, that it actually contained information about nearby Wi-Fi access points and cell towers rather than the device’s actual location, that no user-identifiable information was being sent back to Apple, and that a forthcoming release of iOS would address the bug and keep the file from being backed up to users’ computers.

    On May 4, Apple released two updates to iOS that address the problem. One, iOS 4.3.3, updates all GSM iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models, iPad and iPad 2 devices, and third and fourth generation iPod touch devices. The other, iOS 4.2.8, updates all CDMA iPhone 4s (see the TidBITS article, “iOS 4.3.3 and 4.2.8,” 4 May 2011). Updated devices now will store only a week’s worth of location information, and that information will not be backed up when the device syncs with iTunes. Furthermore, the location information cached by devices is erased whenever users disable Location Services.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  3. Joe Talks about Email and iOS 4

    In MacVoice podcast episode #10112, Joe chats with host Chuck Joiner about email on the iPhone and iPod touch. Find out what’s new in Joe’s personal life (hint, it’s about the size of a breadbox). Once that’s covered, find out why this ebook has such a long name, and find out what Joe thinks about the Mail app in iOS 4.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.