iPad Mail App Review

I have been toying with my new iPad for just over a week now, and one of the features that I have been testing out extensively has been the Mail application.
Mail appears to have the same support in the iPad as it does on an iPhone. Supporting: MobileMe, Google Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL and with IMAP and POP email systems.

Setting up a breeze, just enter in your name, email address and password and Mail will go out and try and configure the device for you, if it can’t or fails, or needs additional server information it will ask you for it and finish off setting it up.

I have my iPad successfully connected to a Google Apps account (same as gmail) and a Microsoft Exchange server.
The exchange server took more work to setup because I had to add the additional server settings, whereas the Google Apps account worked its self out straight away.

Emails are great to view, when in horizontal mode, the current folder that you are viewing appears on the left, while the email that your reading appears on the right hand side of the screen. When it comes to writing an email it appears as a pop over box over the top of the dual panel screen.

To test out the mail attachment support I sent myself a number of test emails from my laptop to my ipad. These included 2 different word documents (both 2007 format, one was fairly basic while the other had more formatting and pictures inserted into it), a excel workbook with multiple spread sheets, and a PDF. All files types opened without an issue and in some cases looked better on the iPad than on my laptop. One thing I noticed with the Word Documents were that they blend all the pages together and remove the white space, rather than just leaving it blank like the desktop version of Word does. The Apple iPad site lists the following files as supported for viewing:

Mail attachment Support

Viewable document types: .jpg, .tiff, .gif (images); .doc and .docx (Microsoft Word); .htm and .html (web pages); .key (Keynote); .numbers (Numbers); .pages (Pages); .pdf (Preview and Adobe Acrobat); .ppt and .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint); .txt (text); .rtf (rich text format); .vcf (contact information); .xls and .xlsx (Microsoft Excel) (Source: http://www.apple.com/au/ipad/specs/)

Microsoft Exchange:

The calendar and contacts integrated beautifully with the calendar and contacts application on the iPad, with no known issues at this time. We shall see over the coming weeks how well this continues. A down side to note is that it won’t support any more than one exchange account on the iPad at any time. The alternative to this, is to use Outlook Web Access which works as well as it does in lite mode (such as when accessing it in firefox on a computer)

One issue I did run into is not being about to open eml (Forwarded emails from certain applications) on the iPad.

To wrap up, Mail on the iPad is great for when you’re away from your mail desktop/laptop or just want to quickly write an email/view an email. At this stage, I probably won’t be solely relying on it for my email, but rather leaving my email in the cloud and have the ability to access it when required.

1 of the last iPads in the store…

Following my purchase last Friday, I showed it to 1 of my clients on Tuesday who fell in love with it within 60 seconds…he loved the keyboard (although all he typed was his name), he loved the email system (all he saw was a test account that I set up and a email I sent him that said “Test from Andrew’s iPad”) he just had to have one…only problem, he is flying out this Saturday, and wants one before he goes. By the end of the day I was assigned this task: Find an iPad that I can buy before Saturday, and let me know of any accessories/apps/add-ons that I may need. So then started the search.
Again, starting at JB HiFi, they had a couple of the 64GB Wifi +3G models lefts ($1048), and were expecting a new shipment of others in the coming weeks…coming weeks! We wanted one now. I then preceded with a bunch of other “electrical” retailers such as the Good Guys and Harvey Norman to hunt down another iPad…no luck, I got the same old answer “We don’t stock those, and don’t know if we even will”.
The report back to the client went something like this:
The only place that has one left in town is JB Hifi for $1048.
Since you are flying out you will need at least a cover for them, they are about $25-$40 from JB Hifi.
All you mail/calendar/contacts will sync, just like you iPhone (The great thing about MS Exchange servers).
Apps you might want to buy are: Pages ($12.99) and Numbers ($12.99).

Later that night I received this email:

Hi Andrew

We managed to get one from JB Hi Fi walked in about 5.55pm (they close at 6) and then out of the store and on our way home 6.05pm.  We’ll have to get you to set up tomorrow so we don’t bugger it up first.


And that was it, 60 seconds playing with mine, and 24 hours later he had one in his hand. (He also got a case and stand with it)
It just shows what a great job Apple has done at attaching an experience along with this product. Yet I’m finding more and more that each person has a different “experience” attached to it.

A chilly Friday, no line, no waiting, no breakfast, one iPad.

Yep today is the day…Apple have launched their new iPad range in Australia. I decided this morning to give JB HiFi in a town a ring to see how sales were going. It turned out that the new iPads where only walking, not running out the door like I had expected. So instead I ran out the door, jumped in the car and drove down to pick up a new iPad. It was around 9:30 by the time I got there, I was able to walk upto the counter, enquire, make a decision, pay and walk out, all within under 20 minutes. (Anyone who has ever brought anything from JB Hifi that they kept out the back knows that it takes a while for the paper work to be done so that the device can be signed out of the store).

Upon arriving home, I ate some breakfast while the latest version of iTunes downloaded. After updating iTunes, going though all the sign up and registration processes, Next, Next, Next, I agree, Next, Finished, the iPad was ready.

By this time, good friend Phillip Day had arrived and we began to explore. Like little kids on Christmas morning, we pushed buttons, pressed things here, there, found out new things, it was all rather exciting.

I’ll post more information about the iPad and what I like and don’t like in future posts.

In the mean time, head over to Tekzilla (http://revision3.com/search/search?q=ipad) and check out their in-depth reviews about the device.

Have you brought an iPad? If so let us know what you think in the comments section.