Apple announces new MobileMe Mail upgrade beta program

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
MobileMe subscribers can now join a new beta program to access the upcoming version of MobileMe webmail app right now.



The opt-in beta program allows MobileMe users to test drive new features of the online Mail web app, including a new widescreen view interface, improved performance, server-side email rules, a formatting toolbar for adding rich text to emails, and new SSL security when composing and sending email.



Users opt in by clicking on a "request an invitation" link inside MobileMe. Joining the beta program has no effect on how MobileMe mail works with desktop or mobile clients, and users can leave the beta program at any time.



New features



Apple says the new widescreen view "lets you see more of each message with less scrolling. Choose compact view to hide your folders or classic view to see more of your message list." The new view is more like the user interface for Mail on iPad, and less like the "Classic" three pane display of Outlook (below).



New support for "server-side" mail rules "help you reduce inbox clutter by automatically filing messages into folders you select ahead of time. Set them up at me.com, and your rules organize your incoming email on the web and everywhere else ? on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC."



Apple's previous Mail strategy lacked a strong server side component because Apple didn't sell a server. Mobile Me should now act a lot more like "Exchange for the rest of us," enabling sorting rules that work even when the desktop client isn't open, and therefore work across multiple mobile clients as well.



Apple also touts "single-click archiving" as a new feature. "Click the Archive button and the selected message is quickly filed into the Archive folder where it's always available for future reference."



A new formatting toolbar allows you to "create great-looking email messages using formatting buttons to bold or italicize text, change font color, insert images, and more. You can even create formatted web links to hide long URLs." The new beta also supports a range of keyboard shortcuts to allow web users to apply bold, italics, underline, or indent text in emails, as well as select, undo, redo, open, and print within emails.



Apple says Mail at me.com "loads your inbox and messages faster. And with interface refinements such as the ability to scroll through your entire inbox without having to manually click to load the next set of messages, you'll be able to work more efficiently." Performance is a significant problem for MobileMe today, so gains in



Thanks to increased security with SSL, "accessing your email on the web is more secure than ever," Apple says. "Your inbox is protected to prevent anyone from eavesdropping on your webmail. As always, you receive SSL protection when you use your MobileMe Mail account on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC."



As noted earlier, Apple's existing MobileMe service has been criticized for not offering SSL security within its web interface, enabling the potential for users to have their data spied upon while using, for example, an open WiFi network.



While the addition of SSL security is nice (as long as it doesn't slow the interface down noticeably), users should be aware that email is inherently insecure, and even SSL security between the email client and serve means nothing once the email leaves Apple's server and heads across the internet to its destination server as an insecure, plain text communication.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    Wow they were not kidding, it's much faster !!!

    I like the new layout as well.





    Excellent !
  • Reply 2 of 78
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 4,366member
    Just signed up...new format kind of resembles iPad...although I have not used an iPad yet!
  • Reply 3 of 78
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Market_Player View Post


    Wow they were not kidding, it's much faster !!!

    I like the new layout as well.





    Excellent !



    I signed up, but no change yet?
  • Reply 4 of 78
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    I signed up, but no change yet?



    Yeah, I signed up this morning but it's still the same so far. Well the SSL seems turned on, but the rest is the same.
  • Reply 5 of 78
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!
  • Reply 6 of 78
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Is there any editorial control at all? There is a sentence in here that is at best only half written.



    It is really not that hard to get it right. Simply get the Apple PR then select copy and then select paste.
  • Reply 7 of 78
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post


    Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!



    What
  • Reply 8 of 78
    djames42djames42 Posts: 298member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevetim View Post


    I signed up, but no change yet?



    As did I - Apple will likely send out email to those who are accepted into the Beta.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post


    Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!



    Um, this is the MobileMe webmail client. While it does allow you to connect an external email account via POP, I don't see Apple opening that up to everyone gratis!



    I'm really looking forward to this - I do like the current webmail interface, but its lack of formatting capability is very limiting. Being able to set up what I assume are server-side rules/filtering is also gonna be awesome!
  • Reply 9 of 78
    pretty
  • Reply 10 of 78
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post


    Apple should make that available for Mac OSX, not just for Mobileme and iPad. We are all Mac users. No discrimination!!!!!



    it's basically modeled on the ipad mail program.



    and who knows what will happen with future OS updates.



    right now they just want feedback and doing it on the web version is a way to get that.
  • Reply 11 of 78
    lowededwookielowededwookie Posts: 1,054member
    With the server side rules are these going to be just rules or are they going to be Smart Mailboxes?



    I use Smart Mailboxes all the time in Mail as they are a lot handier and simpler to set up.
  • Reply 12 of 78
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    Can someone who's got access please load up some full size screen shots so we can set what it looks like.
  • Reply 13 of 78
    heavydheavyd Posts: 8member
    I've signed up for it, but haven't received my invitation yet. Base on the screenshot, it looks great! I wish Apple would offer that layout in OS X Mail.
  • Reply 14 of 78
    guyrguyr Posts: 50member
    It looks like Outlook, looks like Apple is now copying Microsoft
  • Reply 15 of 78
    ud3323ud3323 Posts: 1member
    I wonder if Apple built this new web mail app using Sproutcore or if they are using Gianduia...
  • Reply 16 of 78
    milkmagemilkmage Posts: 152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames42 View Post


    A

    Um, this is the MobileMe webmail client. While it does allow you to connect an external email account via POP, I don't see Apple opening that up to everyone gratis



    um, so that makes it impossible to tweak the UI in mail.app? see there's a native version of mail client for the mac (comes with OSX) I think they posters were saying it might be nice if the mail.app client adopted the same look/feel.
  • Reply 17 of 78
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by milkmage View Post


    um, so that makes it impossible to tweak the UI in mail.app? see there's a native version of mail client for the mac (comes with OSX) I think they posters were saying it might be nice if the mail.app client adopted the same look/feel.



    It's not that big of a deal. Instead of summary headers up top they moved them to the left in a column.
  • Reply 18 of 78
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Hopefully your email won't get lost this time.
  • Reply 19 of 78
    rmbrmb Posts: 1member
    their webmail app has been a piece of crap forever



    lost emails, poor performance, etc



    I stopped using it a long time ago - it was basically unusable



    massive numbers of complaints in Apple's support forums on it



    hopefully it works now, but I have little interest in going back to it...
  • Reply 20 of 78
    timgriff84timgriff84 Posts: 912member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple says the new widescreen view "lets you see more of each message with less scrolling. Choose compact view to hide your folders or classic view to see more of your message list." The new view is more like the user interface for Mail on iPad, and less like the "Classic" three pane display of Outlook (below).



    Err no, Mail on iPad and this both just look like Outlook. Particularly this with the 3 column design. Mail on iPad was more of a trimmed down Outlook. No getting away from it, the 3 column design is basically a copy of outlook.
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