Apple provides Mac, iPhone, and iPad customers with plenty of useful applications. I don’t want to complain about what comes free or what is included with the obvious Apple Tax. Safari is a great browser. Calendar, Reminders, and Notes are superb tools to help us manage our day. Clock on iOS is one of the best apps ever.
Let me talk about Mail.
Everybody has an email application these days. At the top are Microsoft and Google. As with Apple’s apps, Google’s are free, and many of Microsoft’s apps are free, too, or available through an inexpensive subscription that comes with lots of frills, Office, and online storage.
As good as Apple’s Mail app is, it has some shortcomings that need to be addressed. For example, Airmail and Spark both run on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and both allow email accounts to be synchronized between devices. Apple and Mail do not.
What Mail is missing is what Microsoft’s Outlook has. Integration.
For example, let’s say you’re in Mail, dig through a message, and you want to create a to-do or reminder. How do you do that? Mail for the Mac has no integration to either Reminders or Notes, and no integration to third party task manager utilities.
See what you get in Spark on the Mac?
That kind of integration– where you can send information from one application to another– is rampant on iOS, available here and there on macOS, but not so much with some of Apple’s most used applications.
Microsoft’s Office is packed with such integration. Outlook.com users can set up bill-pay reminders which can then be added to a calendar event with a reminder two days before the bill is due.
That kind of integration is crucial to a good user experience these days. Outlook for Windows has other options where Microsoft excels (no pun intended). As an example, when in Outlook for Windows you can type in the location field and get options from Bing which can autocomplete a meeting destination location. Even Outlook on the web gets RSVP tracking and forwarding.
Both iOS and macOS have extensions which allow for information to be shared between applications. The coolest is called Continuity which is good for answering an iPhone on other devices, or use Mail, Maps, Safari, Calendar, Pages, and others to bounce easily from one Apple device to another.
What if you’re in Mail and need to create a reminder or type up some notes based upon a message?
No. Can. Do.
Yet, that seems to be exactly the kind of integration we would expect from Apple and similar to what you can get from Microsoft, Google, and many third party applications. Microsoft has what Apple’s Mail needs, but that’s merely one example. Another would be an option to click on a link in email and get a pop-up selection to send the link to a different browser.
No. Can. Do.
Even a Reminders item cannot be shared but a note in Notes can easily be shared.
That disparity in functions between Apple’s own apps is just wrong.