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What's new in the Mail app in iOS 10?

Mail app on the iPhone
Mail app on the iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

Apple has some big changes coming in iOS 10, including a complete remodel of the Messages app, an all-new design of the News app, Memories in the Photo app, and much more.

iOS 10 is also polishing up a few apps with features that may not seem like much on the surface but really make a difference where it counts.

The Mail app is getting one such polishing. Nothing major is changing, but the few features that have been added are going to make your daily email activities much better.

Filter inboxes all the live-long day

Apple added an inbox filter feature that allows you to quickly filter any inbox by Unread, Flagged, emails to you, emails CC'd with you, only emails with attachments, or only emails from VIPs. You can also filter your inboxes by different accounts. So, for example, if you have two work email accounts and one personal, you could filter your inbox so that you only see unread emails from your work accounts.

Get those email threads under control

In iOS 10, you can organize emails within a conversation thread without having to perform the same action on all emails. When you select a conversation thread, you will have access to a thread edit button that will allow you to mark, move, or trash one or more selected emails.

Stop searching for the right mailbox, it's right here!

The Mail app will start offering suggestions when you want to move certain emails to a specific mailbox. This will only work if you've set your Swipe Options to Move and if the selected email comes from a recipient that you have frequently moved emails for in the past. It's so much nicer than scrolling through dozens of folders until you find the right one.

Let 'em know where you're at

Whether you're starting a new email or reading something from a week ago, you can share your location with any email contact (that is also on iOS) for a specific amount of time or indefinitely. So, you can email your co-worker about your lunch meeting and share your location for an hour, or email your best friend from high school and share your location for as long as you have your iPhone. It's up to you.

Why email when you can Message or FaceTime?

Apple is making iOS smarter – Siri-level smarter – by integrating some useful communication features that even include third-party apps like Skype or WeChat. In the Mail app, when you tap on a contact to view a person's information, you'll have the opportunity to switch from the email you were about to send to simply call, text, or video chat with him or her instead.

Stop sending me junk!

Probably my favorite feature in the Mail app for iOS 10 is the ability to unsubscribe to mailing lists. This feature is available in Microsoft's Outlook email app for iPhone and its one of the main reasons I don't use the built-in Mail app nearly as often. When you receive an email that is part of a mailing list, you'll get a notification at the top of the screen. If you tap the "Unsubscribe" link, Mail will send an email on your behalf to unsubscribe to the mailing list. No more scrolling to the bottom, looking for the Unsubscribe button or tapping through a half dozen questions asking why you are leaving. Just two taps from inside the Mail app and you're done.

What do you think?

Are you excited about the new features in iOS 10? If you weren't already using the built-in Mail app before, are these features enough to make you switch?

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

25 Comments
  • Definitely like the 'thread' feature. One feature that I would like to see at some point is 'Snooze' an email. I use this a lot, especially for bill reminders and emails that I want to revisit later. I am an iOS 10 public beta tester and entered this as one of my feedback items.
  • The "snooze" feature is something that seems like it would be so easy to add to iOS. It is on many other email apps for iPhone. I really wish Apple would add it to iOS! It makes managing my email so much easier.
  • +1 billion... It's about the only thing that keeps me away from Apple Mail.
  • I'm a iOS10 public beta tester and disappointed that the Mail app still doesn't offer a slide to mark as spam option! I almost never move an email message, or flag an email but almost daily I have to mark an email as spam (that snuck past the spam filter).
  • What about push for gmail accounts?
  • Nope, it's not there. It's ridiculous that they don't have this.
  • I would love to know why they don't when apps like outlook does.
  • Outlook ... or as I like to say, "look out!" is the worst... though maybe because my company is using the 32bit Outlook 2010 and integrated a Document "Manglement" system into Outlook ... which does not improve much of anything - depending on workflow... Outlook has "all the features" including "the suck".
    Apple "Mail" could be better as well... maybe I should stay on iOS 9, but when I get the iPhone 7, Apple will "force" me to iOS 10.... oye.
  • That's a Google limitation, they disabled Exchange Active Sync (EAS) on Gmail several years ago unless you have a Google Apps account. If you made no change to your device you were "grandfathered" but if you set up the account on a new device it's not available. This affected all platforms not just iOS. I think their play is for iPhone owners to use the Gmail app and control the user experience. Plus the app uses Apple's notification system which is free to Google, otherwise they have to pay Microsoft for an EAS license. iOS supports push so long as it's turned on by the mail provider.
  • If I'm not mistaken. It's not a Google limitation, rather Apple. Although Exchange Active Sync was disabled. IMAP Advanced is something Google has supported for years but Apple simply hasn't implemented in mail app. IMAP Advanced can give Google accounts the ability to push emails nearly real time just like Active Sync did.
  • Nope. IMAP does not provide deal with push in the currently approved standard. IMAP IDLE has such a feature but it's not used in the mobile world because of much higher overhead. Google announced the end of push support on Jan 30, 2013. Link: https://support.google.com/a/answer/2716936?hl=en Google Sync End of Life Starting January 30, 2013, you aren't able to set up new devices using Google Sync. Existing Google Sync connections continue to work and Google Sync continues to be fully supported for Google Apps for Work, Drive for Work, and Government and Education users. Additionally, three other legacy syncing services have also reached their end of life and are no longer supported by Google for any users: Google Calendar Sync, Google Sync for Nokia S60, and SyncML. FAQs: Google Sync end of life
    What is Google Sync? Google Sync was designed to allow access to Gmail, Google Calendar, and Contacts via the Microsoft® Exchange ActiveSync® protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV. What do I need to do if I’m already using Google Sync? Nothing. Existing users can continue to use Google Sync on their current devices. Can I set up a new device using Google Sync? Yes, if you are a paid Google Apps users.
    No, if you aren't a paid Google Apps user.
    What are the alternatives to Google Sync? iPhone and iPad users should see Sync Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. Other users should see our sync site for instructions. You can also consult with your device carrier or manufacturer for how they recommend to sync with Gmail, Google Calendar, and Contacts. What will happen if I keep using Google Sync after January 30, 2013? The service will continue to work for existing Google Sync devices. Google Sync will continue to work, be supported, and take new sign-ups for Google Apps for Work, Education, and Government customers.
  • The new features are nice but what I would love to see are improvements made to iCloud mail such as better rules settings to match those of Mac mail. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hi folks! What about Gmail push notification on IOS 10? Is back again?
  • That's a Google limitation, they disabled Exchange Active Sync (EAS) on Gmail several years ago unless you have a Google Apps account. If you made no change to your device you were "grandfathered" but if you set up the account on a new device it's not available. This affected all platforms not just iOS. I think their play is for iPhone owners to use the Gmail app and control the user experience. Plus the app uses Apple's notification system which is free to Google, otherwise they have to pay Microsoft for an EAS license. iOS supports push so long as it's turned on by the mail provider.
  • The intelligent move feature is one thing I miss most from BB10. It really makes tidying your email account so much faster than selecting the folder you want each and every time. I'm looking forward to testing this out soon.
  • I wish we could forward a message as an attachment. In technical support, this can be invaluable when troubleshooting email problems.
  • Thanks for all the tutorials on iOS 10. It makes sure I am ready for the new iOS next week!
  • I still am not totally believing I'm seeing what I'm seeing but, I can't believe this slipped by Apple. In iOS Mail, conversations scroll down. In macOS Mail, conversations scroll up. It's been very confusing to me on the betas.
  • I thought this was strange too. Luckily there is a setting for it in Settings->Mail->Threading->Most Recent Message On Top. Not sure why this isn't default!
  • I've been testing iOS 10 and i have to say I am very disappointed in the 1 feature that Mail had over almost any other email app. Text Size. Text size on emails with HTML content is not displayed per your Font Size setting like it was on iOS9. Plain text email is displayed correctly according to your font size setting, however HTML email is tiny even with the font size setting set to large. In fact fonts display as the same size no matter your font size setting. I submitted as a bug (twice) but received no feedback. Also tap to zoom into a paragraph/section in the Mail app is no longer working either.
  • I'm having the same problem
  • I agree this is a big step backward. It's especially bad for those of us with low vision. In several areas it feels like iOS 10 is taking steps backward in accessibility. The issue with text size on Mail is the most important to me but the changes to notifications display from the white text on black background to the black text on light grey is another (especially for those who are light sensitive).
  • Am I missing something? One of the things I did like was having arrows at the top ^ v to go next/previous quickly. I have 5 accounts being received by mail and that was helpful - I don't see them anywhere and it would be fine if replaced by swipe up/down but this feature is an essential for me. If someone knows where there is a setting to change, I'd appreciate the help. Otherwise it seems pretty useful for everyday stuff, new filtering and unsubscribe options are making it useful, now they need to implement a BB10/Android-like Hub!
  • Yes this is very weird that you cannot go to the next or previous email on the iPad. The iPhone has the arrows to do this, but not the iPad?
  • Why will mail now only load 150 mail messages total in IMAP accounts and iCloud accounts? You can no longer scroll to get more messages.. The only way you can load more messages is to delete some first and then it will only load enough to max out at 150.