If you regularly check your email using an iPhone then you might assume you know all the ins and outs of the iPad’s Mail app, but it has a few handy tricks to help business users stay on top of their inbox.
One of the key advantages to checking your email on the iPad is that you can view your inbox in the left-hand column and tap on each email to view the contents on the right of the screen. To take advantage of the extra screen real estate you can turn your iPad sideways to use the Mail app in landscape mode, where this left-hand column remains permanently on the screen.
By default, you see two lines of preview text of each email in the inbox column, but if you want to expand this on the iPad you can dive into the Settings/Mail menu and set it as high as five lines. While you’re there you can customise the swipe left and right options, which offer easy access to bin, flag and archive options.
Back in the Mail app, at the bottom of the Inbox column you’ll see a Filtered button that lets you narrow your view to see Unread or Flagged emails. To help you quickly find important emails you can also limit
your view to emails from specific accounts, emails specifically addressed (or CC’d) to you, emails with attachments or emails from the contacts you’ve marked as VIPs.
When you’re composing an email, the iPad’s on-screen keyboard offers extra keys to make life easier. There are dedicated cut, copy and paste buttons at the top left of the keyboard that become active when you select text. On the right, you’ll find formatting, attachment and camera options to help speed things up.
On the iPad, there’s the option to adjust the keyboard by holding down the hide keyboard button at the bottom right. Undocking the keyboard lets you drag it up and down the screen while holding the hide keyboard button. Splitting the keyboard breaks it in half and shrinks the halves to the edges of the screen so you can reach all the keys with your thumbs.
The iPad and iPhone Mail apps also offer the ability to markup photos and PDFs, which is handy if you’re reviewing documents and someone is waiting on quick feedback.
You can insert an image or PDF into an email and then hold your finger down on the attachment to call up the menu, which includes a markup option that lets you draw or type on the image as well as insert your signature. The iPad’s generous screen size makes it much easier to review documents, plus if you’re using an iPad Pro you have the advantage of using the slick Pencil stylus.
Both the iPad and iPhone Mail apps include a handy draft mode, which makes it easy to put an email on hold while you search for something in your inbox. You simply touch the top bar of the email you’re working on, between Cancel and Send where it shows the Subject, and flick down. The email drops to the bottom of the screen, but you can still see the Subject line so you can flick it back up when you’re ready to resume working on it.
You can store more than one draft at a time, tapping on the visible Subject line to call up a view of the inbox and all open drafts, similar to switching between tabs in the Safari mobile browser. Don’t panic if you accidentally delete a draft – you can get it back by holding your finger on the new email icon.