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WWDC 14 Recap: OS X Yosemite Mail Enhancements

by: E. Werner Reschke | Jun 02, 2014
Categories: OS X, Review, WWDC

OS X Yosemite Mail EnhancementsOS X Mail is as old as is OS X — as Mail was one of the core apps with the original OS X 10.0 release. Since then Mail has gone through many updates as has OS X. While the Keynote at WWDC 14 introduced the predictable bug fixes and enhancements to Mail syncing and application speed, there were three absolutely huge new productivity tools added to Mail in OS X Yosemite.

Mail Drop

Mail Drop is an incredible idea, and once you use it you’ll wonder why someone didn’t think of this before. Mail Drop solves the problem of sending large attachments through email. As we all know, the experience is iffy at best when emailing someone a large attachment. Sometimes the email goes through, sometimes it doesn’t — for a myriad of reasons.

OS X Yosemite Mail Drop

If your email recipient is on a Mac using Mail, Mail Drop will not attach but link your attachment to the email message. What happens is that the large file is uploaded to iCloud, where it is encrypted and reassembled back in the recipient’s Mail program. The email recipient will know nothing different — seeing the attachment in their email message as they do today. However if the recipient is using another Mail client, like Yahoo! or Outlook, the message they receive will contain a link to the iCloud storage location so they can easily download it.

This feature not only solves the problem of email servers rejecting large attachments due to space, it also makes storage of such large files less demanding on the recipient’s computer — because the attachment is really in iCloud until saved locally.

Markup

Markup makes annotating photos and PDFs within Mail a breeze. OS X Yosemite Mail comes with a Markup tool bar that allows you to draw on a photos and PDFs just like if you exported the file and edited in Preview. Another way of stating this is that OS X Yosemite Mail now makes use of many of the Preview annotation tools. What’s more the tools are even better, allowing you to draw arrows or thought bubbles freehand and Markup will change those to professionally looking objects. Very cool and most of all very handy for responding to emails with diagrams and pictures right inside of email rather than exporting to a drawing app to make such notations.

Signatures

Just like with Preview, OS X Yosemite Mail includes Signatures. Signatures let’s you add your signature to a PDF document without leaving Mail. While this feature was not demoed in detail, we image Signatures to work very similar in how it works in Preview today.

Overall OS X Yosemite Mail gets three huge productivity features. Moreover, the better interface, the under the hood updates to better syncing and reliability will make this version of Mail a very welcomed tool in the new OS X Yosemite.

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4 Comments

  1. DJ ~ June 03, 2014 12:55

    I'm curious about the workflow of Mail Drop. If I e-mail a Word doc, say, to a colleague who opens the message in Mail and double clicks the attachment to edit it, will those changes be saved in my iCloud version? #
  2. Aaron ~ June 03, 2014 18:34

    I use Outlook, and would be happy to switch to Mail if there was an easy way to migrate my existing mail over from Outlook. Will future Mail have this capability? #
  3. John ~ June 04, 2014 18:47

    Will you have to use an apple-supplied email address to use mail drop? Great feature, but I don't want to have to switch email addresses to use it. #
  4. E. Werner Reschke ~ June 04, 2014 19:01

    Hi John. I don’t think so, but that wasn’t specified. Since it was a feature in Mail for OS X and not something mentioned during the Continuity portion of the presentation, I think it is a feature of Mail.app in Yosemite and not a function of and iCloud email account. #

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