Thursday, January 24, 2013

iPad Essentials: iOS Mail App

The iOS Mail app is one that some avoid- perhaps not knowing how to use it, having privacy concerns or not seeing the reason why it is useful. I do find it an essential app for the purpose of file transfer, and often recommend that people at least add one account to Mail, even if its an account you create just for file transfer to and from your iPad. There are many iPad apps that allow you to share what you have created with the app; you might be interested in doing so to share with parents or colleagues or to email an item to print it from an account on a laptop or desktop. You would not be able to share this way unless there were an account added to the Mail app:

The Share button in the Photos app leads to this menu, from which you can email the photo (in this case an annotation in Skitch)
Additionally, as I have discussed here before, sometimes it is useful to email files TO your iPad, such as PDFs.  The process of accessing and opening such files is MUCH easier from the Mail app as opposed to navigating to your webmail in the Safari app.

So, how do you add an account to the Mail app? Open Settings, then Mail, Contacts, Calendars:

This screen also allows you to delete any accounts you have added.  Simply tap the account in question and there is a Delete Account button on the following screen.

To add a new account, tap Add Account.  The app makes this simple for us by allowing us to access protocols for common email providers:

Simply put in your username, password, and other simple information requested (name on account, name on account, e.g. "My Gmail") and you are all set.  Next time you go to share an item from an app, it will come FROM that account. If you want to move a file TO your iPad, mail it to that account and check your email in the Mail app.


  1. Great post Sean. Using the ios Mail is essential for me. It's part of being efficient and using my time wisely. I have two accounts (work and personal) and it tells me which account has email - so I don't even have to answer work email on weekends unless I want to :)

    1. Thanks, Mary- see my followup post on why I like to use gmail app as well. If work email is gmail based you don't even know you have work email unless you check it!