Does the "Sent from my iPad" email signature make you seem unprofessional?

The often incendiary, but just as often sincere, Kevin Michaluk of followed up a recent, provocative Tweet with an editorial saying no one who uses an iPad should ever leave the default "Sent from my iPad" signature -- or any "Sent from my Any Tablet" signature for that matter -- on their email. While it might be tempting to dismiss Kevin's advice, he argues his position on well:

In general, you're replying to emails from a mobile phone because you have to. You're away from your computer. As for tablets -- especially in the business use case I'm focusing on here -- if you're writing a long email on your tablet it's because you choose to, not because you have to.Unlike the default signature on the phone, which subconciously tells the recipient you're responsive all the time and from everywhere (a good thing), the same isn't true of the tablet signature. To me, and the many others who have expressed agreement with my viewpoint, it gives off the appearance that you're a person who doesn't value your time. If you did, you'd head to a computer and pound out that email wayyyyy faster. Time is money. And if you're a person I'm paying to provide services, the last thing I want to see is time wasted.Of course, there are exceptions. YES, some people are mad fast at typing on glass. YES, you can use bluetooth keyboards with your tablet and speed things up a lot. YES, you may have to use a tablet for work and do not have a computer alternative to go to. But these are exceptions, and your default tablet email signature does not reflect those exceptions.

Kevin also argues that having "Sent from my [anything]" is basically giving the company, whose product you already paid for, free advertising. Depending on who you are and who your contacts include, that kind of brand marketing can be incredibly valuable for them. And you paid them for that privilege.

Why broadcast what you're using to respond to an email when it doesn't add any value to you, and provides free advertising to a company you already paid $500 to almost $1000?

Like most things, however, it's more nuanced than that. Apple products have a certain cachet. Especially when a new product launches, it's not uncommon for people to want to show off that they have it -- including highly productive people like CEOs and high profile people like celebrities. That filters down.

iPads are also popular in education and enterprise, including health care, insurance, and other verticals where the tablet form-factor is a huge advantage. If IT departments don't change the dafault signature during provisioning, "Sent from my iPad" is what a lot of highly productive people's emails are going to say, and I'm not going to read anything into that other than that's what their email signature says.

Still, Kevin's point has merit. Information is power, and the less information you give out, even if it's just an email signature, the less power you give up, even if its just perception (or misperception).

Check out Kevin's entire rant on the subject via the link below and then come back and tell us what you think -- "Sent from my iPad" or no "Sent from my iPad", what do you prefer?


Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I think it does, I let it slip a couple times, I think it's disabled now.
  • Sent from my Android Tablet™
    Sent from My Desktop PC
    Sent from my China Mobile͒ ©
    Sent from my Apple ®.
  • Honestly, a signature really only needs contact information (phone, alternate email, etc.). Anything other than that starts to detract from the actual text of the email.
  • Pure jealousy on his part. The best he can do is "Sent from my (soon to be extinct) Blackberry". Betty White has a longer life expectancy than RIM.
  • Zing!
  • Oh god........It wasnt a swipe at Apple or iOS, foolio
  • Wow, I can't tell if you beat to Betty White or Apple more.
  • Nothing personal to Kevin but I don't agree that his point has any merit at all. It's more like a form of bigotry really. To say that using the signature is telling people that you don't value your time because you aren't using a "real computer" is just a thin disguise for dissing the iPad as "not a real computer," but you will notice he never actually backs up that opinion or brings it out into the open. It's just a given part of his explanation, that the iPad is not a "real computer." I think this is very similar to the refrain you often hear from many quarters about not taking pictures or videos with iPads. No one ever says exactly why or backs this thought up with any real analysis either. It's just presented as a given that this is a dorky/bad/unfortunate thing to do. No one ever says *why* this is supposed to be "bad." This is all just bias, or bigotry. He is telling us that we are stupid or lame to use an iPad for an important email (unless we cleverly disguise that fact), just as others tell us we are "wrong" to use an iPad to take a picture, but he doesn't actually have an argument. It's just his (seemingly completely unfounded) opinion.
  • Evidently you didn't read the entire article. He's not dissing iPads at all. Did you miss the part where he said from any device???
  • From the article: "To me, and the many others who have expressed agreement with my viewpoint, it gives off the appearance that you're a person who doesn't value your time. If you did, you'd head to a computer and pound out that email" I realise I'm reading into this, but to me that definitely sounds like he's dissing the iPad as something that isn't really a computer. Personally, I can type on my iPad at about 30-40 wpm, which is less than on a regular keyboard, but still about twice as fast as the average typer on the average laptop. So his premise is flawed and between the lines, it seems to me that there is definitely a "diss" there.
  • Get off it dude, it wasnt a swipe at Apple/iOS smh
  • On the plus side, now we know you value your time, since you didn't take any to read the actual post.
  • This^^^ You win today
  • I think that signatures such as "Sent from my ...." are so common now that no one cares, except for Kevin obviously. I'd like to see a statistic on how many e-mails are sent from a mobile (phone or tablet) device vs. a traditional desktop/laptop.
  • I don't waste time or energy caring what other people's negative opinions might be about anything, much less what assumptions they might make about me because I replied to an e-mail from my iPhone or my iPad. Someone will always be around to assume something negative about you no matter who you are or what you do, so why bother? Use the tech that works for you and if some half baked dying platform loving individual is foaming at the mouth because you're using tech that's superior to his, that's his problem. Not yours, and definitely not mine.
  • He'd probably be happy if the sender had a signature saying "Sent from my Blackberry Playbook" or "Sent from my Blackberry Smartphone" rather than an iOS device lol.
  • Yea, "lol".....fool
    -Guess you missed the part about "any device". Go back to the circus, clown. (then you can "lol" all the time)
  • Totally disagree with the general idea, whether its a "sent from iPhone" Android, Blackberry, etc. A mobile signature can say a lot of things. First, it makes the recipient feel special or important that you took the time to answer away from a computer, especially business emails. Clients are very appreciative if they think you are going above and beyond for them, outside of the office at that. Second, it lets others know you are away form the computer, so don't expect a lengthy reply or a lot of info. Don't expect documents or attachments right now. Don't expect me to be in front of your file/data to give you exact answers. Basically says this is the best answer you'll get right now until I am back in the office. Third, it says forgive my spelling or punctuation mistakes. So if you do make one, you don't look foolish to business clients. I personally don't use a mobile signature (I use my full work signature exactly character for character) but totally disagree with the article.
  • I agree.
  • I totally agree with your comments. These are reasons I've kept "Sent from my iPad" and "Sent from my iPhone" in my signature. Sometimes I'm not at work in front of my desktop and I want to respond to a business email. I think that contrary to what Kevin said, it shows that you DO value the customer by responding to their email even when you're out of the office. Soon, responding from a desktop may even become something of the past.
  • A personal signature is much better, or none at all. sent from my iPad, iPhone, blackberry, android, what ever just shows that the sender is
    either bragging or can't figure out how to change it. My sister in law falls into the both category's She has an android and tells everyone it's an iPhone, she's a moron anyway
  • "just shows that the sender is either bragging or can't figure out how to change it." This. The default signature only tells me one of these two things. Neither one is complimentary.
  • I know how to change the signature and I'm not bragging. I just don't think it's a big deal either way. If it's a professional email I'd rather just type out my contact info than have it on every email I send.
  • I prefer "Sent from my mobile device"
  • I like iDevice. It does not make you seem unprofessional at all. In fact, you are showing that you not only check your mail from your computer, but from your mobile devices as well. You are taking the time to check, and respond outside the office setting. You are a person that gets things done, and are not limited to just the computer. If the signature is a problem, just change it to what you would like.
  • I'm not going tot he site to read the rest. Rene thought that excerpt was representative so I will assume he is correct. That said, this is a half-baked notion. Some has merit: giving certain information to certain people is not a good thing. The rest is crap. I've sent messages from my iPad because it was with me when my work computer or laptop were not as easily accessible. It helps to say that any typos or odd word choices may be due to autocorrect or touchscreen typing errors. Some want to show off. True. So what? I care but I don't because I remember when any time I mentioned my iPad, I wondered whether some jackass was going to accuse me of flaunting. Screw that. If you've got a house, car, job, or gadget that others may covet but you have earned, enjoy it. Anything short of you rubbing someone else's nose in it is strictly their problem. Don't make it yours.
  • "It helps to say that any typos or odd word choices may be due to autocorrect or touchscreen typing errors" Which is another way of saying the user is too lazy to proofread even their SHORT emails. Again; not flattering.
  • Or they're really short on time and the message isn't a high-level communication. In my experience, it also helps let people know that, despite the fact that I'm communicating via email, I'm not in my office/at my desk.
  • +1 Absolutely correct, in this age of instant connectivity and availability spelling errors have become all to common, and blamed on touchscreen or autocorrect. No, it is because you do not proofread before you hit send. For personal messages it annoys me but it is okay. For business or professional replies it is inexcusable and the persons professionalism goes down in my view. Now an occasional one is one thing, but constant errors is nothing more than being lazy and or unprofessional. Turn off auto correct and proofread.
  • I find it really smug to be advertising the particular device you are using
  • I think his view is very short sided. The fact that one of my relatives had "sent from my iPad" in his signature made our email messages hours apart become instant with iMessage. With us having an 8 hours time difference and international I was able to coordinate my mother being picked up from the airport after she was already on the 10 hour flight. If that hadn't been in the signature I could have never gotten things coordinated in time.
  • Right; 'cause otherwise you'd NEVER have been able to figure out how to coordinate that. Really? How ever did travelers cope in the years before iMessage?
  • Very expensively in emergency situations which this was the case. If I hadn't it would have been a car rental at the airport which is twice as expensive as renting a car from in town.
    Travelers with time to plan and communicate sure email is fine, but if it's a rush and your communicating with someone you dont often talk with and need an immediate answer the difference in knowing and not knowing can be the difference of thousands of dollars.
  • Cool story dude, tell it to us again!!!! Pllllllleeeeease??!!!?!???
  • It's not any worse than "Sent from Blackberry" which pretty much tells the world you're a drone.
  • I think a lot of people missed Kevin's point: he has no qualms with having a mobile signature when sending an email from your phone, he has issues when people send him emails from a TABLET , especially for business. (the post is called "why you should change the default email sig on your tablet especially for business use). He explicitly states that he got upset when he received a lengthy email from someone he pays and it read "Sent from my iPad" because it takes forever to write anything on a tablet, regardless if it's an iPad or Playbook. He would NOT have cared if it said "Sent from my iPhone", he actually encourages it. Tablet, folks. Not mobile phone.
  • Still a half-baked idea (although I appreciate you keeping us focused on his actual point) for multiple reasons. Among them: Voice dictation. Also, why does he give a damn that it took forever for the person to type on a tablet? It's stupid and arbitrary. I have my iPad more often than I have access to a pc. Different strokes, K-man.
  • +1000
  • Definitely something that could be classified as "who cares"... ;-)
  • Other than the fact that RIM is running on fumes, which is why Kevin has this kind of free time on his hands, worrying or caring about a signature should be the last item on his mind. Who cares what device was utilized to send a message or email as long as it was received. Spell check exist for a reason, yet people refuse to use it. Horrible grammar, incomplete sentences, someone hits 'Reply All' instead delivering email to the intended individual so everyone has to deal with the spam or unfunny joke in their inbox, and I'm supposed to lose sleep over a signature? We now know why RIM is in everyone's rear view mirror. Employees such as Kevin spend their waking moments wishing they had a position at Apple or at least were employed with a corporation where they could hold their heads high.
  • I love the comments where they say it excuses typos or bad spelling. When you're in business, nothing excuses that. What you send the client is representative of you. It represents your company. It's what they see. If you don't take pride in that, no one else will. If I receive something or even read something that is full of typos or bad grammar, then my view of that person is lowered considerably. I have to assume the author doesn't know better. Having a signature that it's from your ipad doesn't mitigate this at all.
  • Love it or leave it but it's true. Also, there are different levels of business interaction. I sent emails to other staff members via iPad, iPhone, etc. but they were usually relatively short and low-level. I may need to know if there is someone at the front desk for me or...
    I wanted to let the receptionists know that I've got x-number of appointments expected to drop by and...
    here's what you need to know about them/I left their files on your desk...
    etc. It's unfortunate when we can't imagine much outside of experience but it's worse when that is paired with judgements of other people's choices. That's an unproductive combination.
  • It depends on your audience really. But in most cases such as this forum, what you see is the only impression you'll get. We've really excused things over time by shouting "grammar nazi," and saying it's acceptable to have typos, butchered language, etc. It's like dressing well. If you look like a slob, you'll be perceived as one. If you write poorly, you'll be perceived as...not too bright.
  • Except that many people in professional positions can't spell for shiz. It's a sad ass fact that I'm only accepting after kicking and screaming and holding my breath in defiance... and hoping there's some other explanation. Being really busy helps. Pounding out a quick message in-between or in the middle of a meeting is helpful but maybe one's time is severely limited. I understand your point and share it. When I start reading forum posts and see that there's not a drop of goddamned punctuation in the big block o' text, I tune out/switch channels. I'm not going to try harder to understand you than you try to be understood. Yet I've been in situations where I can either send a message quickly with my phone/tablet or there will be no message and an opportunity will be missed. There is a middle ground.
  • Agreed. Any business email that merits a response, merits a properly thought out one. I can't even recall how many times I have used that phrase with my coworkers. My "on the go" emails are usually limited to Yes, No, Will call you to discuss. If they need more than that, and the issue is time-bound, they can pick up the phone and call me.
  • very interesting i've never thought of it like that but i suppose that does make sense though it must only apply to really big business people
  • I didn't really think that it mattered. I have it as my signature because it never occurred to me to change it.
  • One problem with Kevin's argument is that it's not always slower to reply on an iPad I choose my iPad or iPhone to reply because I use a special app ("FAQ"- available on the App Store) which we wrote to help in replying to customer email for our other apps, its faster and more accurate to reply using that than going to my laptop as it stores all the answers and explanations you may need, then builds an email from them for you. Peter
  • My personal preference is I don't used the default on my iPhone or iPad, didn't on my palm prē, either. However, I don't really care when I do see it. I chalk it up to people not realizing it and how to change it.
  • I don't use my iPad for business email, so the "sent from..." signature stays
  • I personally detest any signature whose sole purpose is to advertise a device or carrier. I don't like signatures in general, but that sent from my iPhone/iPad/Verizon BlackBerry/etc. thing really irks me.
  • Exactly. "Sent from my iPad" is just a egotistical way to show off you device, to let people know that you have an iPad or a Blackberry. Changing default signatures was one of the first things I did on my Nokia and Apple devices. Like Rene said, Apple devices have a "certain cachet", which makes the whole thing quite ridiculous, since anyone can walk in an Apple store and buy an Apple device. iPhones and iPads are not Rolls-Royces or Lamborghinis.
  • It's either egotistical or laziness. It's the default so it's hard to attribute egotistical motives. I've never bothered to change mine because I really don't care. However, for work emails from our CEO and others it's proven useful. It explains why an email may be a bit more terse than expected and that she is mobile and not working at a desk. Off to drive my Rolls-Royce home.
  • Not that it's unprofessional but it's on just about every email you get that's not from someone's desktop computer. I've disabled the "Sent from my iPhone" and "Sent from my iPad" because to me it's irrelevant how/where I'm sending, but more important to me that I am sending in the first place. On the other hand, these signatures aren't the worst offenders. The ones that are truly obnoxious are the ones that say "Sent from my ABC device on the XYZ Mobile Network" with all kinds of TM, (R), etc. Oftentimes these signatures are longer than the messages themselves.
  • I immediately disabled automatic signatures on both my iPhone and iPad. Then my company began a stipend program where they give you a fixed cost to use your own smartphone instead of the company issued Blackberry. Now I was using my iPhone to email customers so I wanted to have a professional email signature but only on my work account. I installed Mail Enhancer Pro (JB app) and love that I can have a great signature for just one account. Only issue was that when I email from my iPhone there's a greater likelihood of mistakes and the emails tend to be shorter so I wanted to let everyone still know if was from an iPhone. I decided to also include the basic "sent from my iPhone" to let people know it was from a smartphone. I still do not have a signature on my iPad even with my work email.
  • What huge gasbagery. When he wrote this drivel did he first sound it out with his ass cheeks? Me thinks so.
  • I must say that I personally enjoyed the creative editing on the first paragraph and the out of context quotes on Rene's post to turn a valid opinion on Kevin's part on an attack on iDevices. On point though, I've always detested the default signature on all devices I've used (BB, playbook, iPad and iPhone) and their removal is one of the first things I do after initial setup. Having a default anything today just gives a bad impression.
  • I don't think it matters. -Sent from my Dell Optiplex powered by Windows 7.
  • - Sent from my Treo 650 on the Sprint Edge network, using a stylus on a resistive screen with a battery that lasts for-frickin-ever.
  • To be honest, I've always found it to be laziness, at best, and pretentious, at worst. A lot of newcomers (which tend to be the, shall we say, "computer illiterate") do not understand how to change the setting. But on the flip side, there are also a bunch of people who FINALLY got the iDevice of their dreams and want to scream it from the rooftops that they've got the world's most coveted item, and I think it needs to be tamed a bit. Don't get me wrong (I'm about to sound pretentious here, but it's being said to show that I am a HUGE Apple fanboy), I have two iPhones, iPads and ATV's, a TC, and a 21.5" iMac. If I could create a complete iHome, I would, but it's a pet peeve of mine when people leave the default, "Sent from my..." signature. -Sent from my iHome
  • Sent from your clock radio? How interesting! :p
  • And ultimately I don't feel invested in all of your apple toys at all. I don't know you, I don't do business with you, so it doesn't matter how