Tag - Mail
One of the lesser-appreciated features of email today is how you can swap the application you use to read and write it, without swapping email addresses. You can practically swap in the middle of writing a message, it's that easy, and Airmail 3.0 for OS X wants to persuade you to make the jump. Mind you, so did Airmail 2.1 which we reviewed a year ago, but each new version does push it a little further along from good to compelling.
[Update: now fixed] According to a report from Apple, approximately 0.86 percent of users are currently seeing some problems with Mail and Notes, such as the inability to send or receive email from an iCloud account for the former program, and the inability to sync and in some cases create notes in the latter program. The outage which at press time has lasted for four hours, began shortly after 8AM Eastern time. While affected users can still access the web portal of iCloud if needed, syncing appears to be the biggest issue.
It's not as if there aren't several alternatives to Apple's Mail app and it's not as if a jump from a 1.0 to a 1.1 version is ever significant. Except today. For Airmail 1.1 for iOS doesn't really add more than one tiny feature that's important, but it's important. As of this version, Airmail is now designed for iPad as well as iPhone –– and it is designed very well.
There might be another new version of the Spark email app before you've read to the end of this sentence: the company has done at least one a month since last July. Not all have been hugely significant but most have and if anything tops this month's previous release for good new features, it's this month's second one. For where Spark 1.5.0 was an iPhone app that you could run on an iPad if you didn't mind it being stretched up to the bigger screen, now the new Spark 1.6.0 is a proper universal app –– including an excellent Apple Watch edition.
We may be the only people who like email as a concept, and are fine with Apple Mail as an app. That's nice for us, but even we agree there are things we wish Apple would add, and there are now several alternative apps that provide the features we'd like, and many are struggling without. Spark 1.5.0 for iPhone is one, and like the recently-released and recently-reviewed Airmail, it chiefly focuses on making dealing with new emails very, very fast.
It's like the mostly-fictitious parable that NASA and its contractors spent billions of dollars developing a pen that can work in space where the Russian space agency just bought some pencils -- a moment ago we signed a form, and we did it using an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro, where in the past it would've been a ballpoint pen that cost five cents. You will never spend the money on all this Apple gear in order to sign forms, but if you have the iPad Pro, and you have the Pencil, you will never sign anything any other way ever again.
Airmail has been a popular email app on OS X that arguably suffered from not also being on iOS. That absence won't have bothered everybody, but now it doesn't have to trouble anyone, as Airmail 1.0 is out for iPhone.
Microsoft made no secret of how it had bought the companies behind calendar app Sunrise and email app Accompli. Now it's making a big deal of how it will be taking the best features from those and putting them right into its own Outlook. Microsoft Outlook 2.0.0 for iOS is the start of this process and for all the promise of what's coming next, it is just a start. If nobody told you, you might not spot for quite a while that anything is different at all -- unless you used the old Sunrise app.
There's is no doubt that you have at least a little interest in your Mac and OS X, or you wouldn't have read to the end of this sentence. Yet, it's equally sure that you're busy, it's certainly sure that updating will take longer than you think, and for once it is less obviously sure that you should do it. Trust us on this one, though: the upgrade is worth your time.
Email is not dead, email is not dying, email is still brilliant. True, we get a lot of it, and that is a problem. The volume is a problem that services and apps try to fix by being like Apple Mail, but better somehow. Dispatch 3.1.2, though, is like an adjunct to Mail that makes handing your emails faster and more efficient -- under certain circumstances.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE