If you’re using Apple’s Mail app on your iPhone for iCloud and third-party email accounts, you’re getting a massive update with features we’ve been waiting for years. While there aren’t a colossal number of new features, the latest tools and upgrades are powerful enough to make iOS 16 feel like Mail’s biggest update ever.
One of the new features is the inclusion of a security feature that other email services like AOL, Fastmail, Gmail, and Yahoo already have. Other updates include search improvements, visually rich information, reminders, and productivity options you wish you had sooner.
1. Cancel sending
Just like Apple’s Messages app, Mail got an Undo Send feature on iOS 16. When you tap the send button on a draft, you have ten seconds to tap “Undo Send” to resume it, but you can change it to 20 or 30 seconds if you want a longer delay.
2. Scheduled sending
When you long press the send button in a draft, there are new options to schedule the email to be sent later. You can choose tonight, tomorrow, or a specific date and time. Since Mail takes care of the scheduling, it works with any email account on your device. All scheduled emails are placed in the Send Later folder and you can edit the scheduled time from the unsent email if you need to change it.
When you email someone a question or request, Mail can remind you to contact that person if they haven’t responded to you yet. You will see a “Follow” button at the top of the sent email. Tapping on it launches a new draft response that you need to fill out and send.
Even better, when Apple’s on-device algorithm detects an email you’ve sent that hasn’t been answered, it puts sent messages at the top of your inbox after a certain amount of time to remind you. Currently, it works in English versions for Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK and USA.
You can go to Settings -> Mail -> Follow-up Suggestions to disable the feature.
4. Remind Me
I always forget to reply to incoming emails, so the new Remind Me feature will really help me. In the list of emails, you can swipe the email in question to the right and then tap the clock icon to have the email remind you to check it again in an hour , tonight, tomorrow or for a custom date and time. You can also directly tap the reply button in the email, choose “Remind Me” from the action list, and select an option.
When the time is up, it will appear at the top of your inbox, just like follow-up emails. And in the email, you can “Edit” the date and time if you want to change when Mail reminds you to read it again.
5. More mailboxes
When you tap “Edit” on your primary mailbox list, you can show or hide folders like VIP, Attachments, and Unread. With the new send later, follow up and reminder features in Mail, there are now folders for them too. You may see them appear and disappear automatically from your mailbox list as you use the features, but you can still make them appear from the edit menu.
6. Block senders more easily
On iOS 15, to block the sender of an email from the Mail app, you need to open the email, tap the “From” email address, and choose “Block this contact”. But opening the email is risky if a clever hacker somehow circumvents your account’s script blocking capabilities. Hidden trackers can also be injected into the email, notifying the sender each time the email is opened.
Mail on iOS 16 fixes the problem by letting you block contacts from Quick Actions or the ellipsis menu on the left (•••), where you would then select “Block Sender”.
You can also block a sender from the email. Tap the reply button, then tap “Block sender” from the action list.
7. Alerts for missing recipients and attachments
If you mention an image or file attachment in a draft email but forget to attach it, Mail will now warn you that the attachment is missing. It will point to the line in the email that is linked, asking you to cancel and add the attachment or send the email anyway. It can do the same thing if you mention a contact in your email but forget to include it in one of the recipient fields.
Like Follow Up, this feature works in English versions for Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, United Kingdom, and United States.
8. Rich Link Previews
Mail can now show rich link previews for URLs like the Messages app. When you paste a link, it automatically converts it to a rich preview. If you just want to see the URL, you can tap the preview to highlight it, then tap the drop-down arrow to show the “Convert to Single Link” option.
9. Highlighted Search Terms
When using the search tool to find an email, if a result in the Top Hits section has the search term visible, it will highlight it in yellow to make it stand out. Before, you had to scan the previews yourself.
10. Smart Search Suggestions
When you search for something in Mail, you’ll see improved suggestions. For example, typing “Philadelphia” will suggest related terms found in your emails, and you’ll not only see “Subject contains”, but also “Attachment name contains”.
And it starts as soon as you start typing. So, using the “Philadelphia” example again, you’ll immediately see improved suggestions as you type. For “Phi”, I got contact suggestions and smarter search terms like “phishing” and “Phillips”. Previously, you didn’t see suggested search terms.
Mail […] includes the largest search overhaul and uses state-of-the-art techniques to deliver more relevant, accurate, and comprehensive results. Users see recent emails, contacts, documents, and links as soon as they start searching for emails.
11. Smart Search Fixes
Mail will intelligently correct typos if you spell something wrong while searching for email. Additionally, it may include results for synonyms that match your search term. Like tracking and alerts for missing recipients and attachments, this feature works in English versions for Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, and US.
12. BIMI support
The Mail app now digitally verifies emails from brands that use BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) verified brand iconography. You won’t notice anything in your email list, but once you open an authenticated email from a supported brand, you’ll see the brand’s BIMI logo next to the header. When you tap to expand the header, it should say “Digital Certified” with a link to learn more. If you tap on the sender’s name, it should also say it was a “digitally certified email.”
These verified emails allow you to ensure that the email is from the brand and not a phishing attempt by a hacker. According to the BIMI Group website, “In order for the brand logo to display, the email must pass DMARC authentication checks, ensuring that the organization’s domain has not been impersonated.”
DMARC, which stands for “Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance”, is an email authentication policy and reporting protocol. DMARC protects against unauthorized use of domains by preventing direct domain impersonation in emails. It protects brands by ensuring that participating mailboxes only receive emails actually sent by or on behalf of a domain.
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