Accessible Assistive Technology Resources Bridges Blog Managing Mail May 2024

Email on the Go with iOS Mail

Managing Mail May

When we go to school or work full-time, we need to communicate effectively with our colleagues, teachers and employers. Checking our email is part of our morning routine, and we continue to check our email throughout the day. This May, we’ll explore ways to read, write and organize email for our personal and professional lives.

  • May 7: Email on the Go with iOS Mail
  • May 14: Outlook mail
  • May 21: Gmail
  • May 28: Choosing Your Email Client

Today, we explore iOS Mail, Apple’s email app.

Email Lingo

These terms will probably be used elsewhere in this series, so here’s the difference between an email client and an email provider:

We have a choice of which client to use, no matter where are email account is stored. We’re focusing on most popular of those clients in this series.

A Brief Overview of iOS Mail

iOS Mail, simply called “Mail” on the iOS home screen, is the email app built into the iPhone and iPad. Not surprisingly, the iOS Mail app works well with VoiceOver®, the built-in iOS screen reader. Find out more in the Bridges Resource Library’s VoiceOver® Screen Reading Software entry.

While Apple does have its own email provider (iCloud), the iOS Mail app can support email accounts from other providers, like Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft Exchange. When you set up your phone or your iPad, you will see an app called Mail on the home screen, usually near the bottom; this is the app we are discussing here.

Setting Up an Account

One of the helpful characteristics of iOS Mail is that it’s very self-explanatory. When you first set up an iOS device, you will be prompted to set up an account. After that, you’ll need to go to settings and double tap on mail. One section will tell you how many accounts are set up; if you double tap on that, there will be a button offering the option to add an account.

The first step in adding an account is selecting which provider your email address comes from—Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft Exchange, etc. You may add as many accounts to iOS Mail as you want. For example, between his personal and work accounts, Chris has four email addresses on his phone.

One important note: If you want to add a work or school account to iOS Mail, you’ll want to first see what your work or school uses as its email provider. Many use either Google Workspace (the business version of Gmail) or Microsoft Exchange. You can find this out from your company/school’s IT department, or you may be able to find out for yourself from the instructions they give you for signing into your email on the web.

Once you have selected your email provider, the app will walk you through the process. In most cases, it will take you to the email provider, where you can log in and allow the app access. Once that has been completed, you will come back to the app and the account will be added.

Checking Email

When you open the Mail app, you’ll find the Inbox, where the most recent messages will be displayed first. If you have multiple accounts added to your app, you will be placed in “All Inboxes.” You can simply double tap on an email to read it and find buttons at the bottom of the screen (below the email) with actions you can take on that email: reply, move, forward, etc.

If you swipe left from the list of emails, you’ll find a search box that you can use to find a specific email, as well as an edit button which can be used to select several emails at once—for example, selecting multiple emails so you can delete them all at once.

A Few Tips

  1. Customize your Signature: The default signature for iOS mail is “sent from my iPhone.” But, especially if you have a professional account, you might want a more specific email account with your name and contact information. For example, Chris set his Mail app to have separate signature for all of his accounts. Both work accounts have his name, the organization’s name, his work phone number, and his email address. His personal email’s signature simply has his name. You can do this in the signature section of your mail settings.
  2. You can add your own folders to organize your emails to fit your needs. To do that, go to the list of mailboxes, double tap the edit button, then double tap “new mailbox” in the bottom right corner.
  3. If you have multiple accounts, it’s a good idea to check each individual inbox periodically. The “all inboxes” folder is great, but sometimes emails can get buried in there.

We Are Here to Help

As always, contact our free Bridges Helpdesk if you need help getting the most out of this very useful productivity tool built into your phone. In our next installment, we’ll look at an easy and accessible way to access our email on our computers.

Please check out the Bridges Technical Assistance Center Resource Library today!

Contact us

Follow the Bridges Helpdesk Facebook page for more transition tips, and please contact the Bridges Technical Assistance Center’s Free Helpdesk for Maryland Blind/Low Vision Transition Students, Families, and Educators anytime using:

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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