do not step out
postal services
08/Aug/2006 | 02:40

I'm at WWDC 2006 this week, and today Apple showed off two new features of Mail 3. I've heard some people begin to compare it to Outlook, and I thought it was worth dispelling this soon-to-be-everywhere myth.

The first new feature of Mail is called "Notes". It's pretty much what you think: start a new note from the main Mail window, jot something down, save. It's then accessible via Mail and searchable with Spotlight. This seems bloaty, right? Let's look at both the inspiration and the goal for the feature for a second.

Right now, in Jaguar, Tiger, or OPERATING_SYSTEM, a crazy-huge amount of people are already sending e-mail notes to themselves. My boss does it. My co-workers do it. I do it. Why? It's convenient. It's easy. Remember that PEOPLE ARE LAZY and WORK IS HARD, and launching another app while I'm trying to remember that idea I just had is WORK. Screw it, I'll just e-mail it to myself while I'm reading and sending mail.

Apple's not adding something people aren't doing, they're giving them a better way to do what they're already doing.

So, myth #1 is no more. What's all this about the "To-Do" button in Mail 3?

The To-Do feature in Mail 3 isn't so much a "Mail 3" feature, but a system-wide service that Leopard's Mail just happens to incorporate. Think of it as a flagship demo of how nice the feature is. So, not really Mail bloating up like a whale, but Mail taking advantage of a service that any app can implement if the developer so desires.

Imagine being able to mark things in Mail as a To-Do, then doing the same in OmniOutliner and SomeOtherApp, and seeing them all show up in iCal automagically. Now picture not being able to do that in Mail. Starting to sound less like bloat and more like obvious now, right? Right.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled developer conference.


Agreed. And this was shown more for the developers than the end users anyway so they know they can incorporate Notes and To Dos in their apps.


posted by David Rodgerson on August 08, 2006 at 11:19