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New in OS X Lion: Mail 5 [u]

8 April 2011 46,502 views No Comment

Once again, after seeing the kids off to school and wife to work with a peck and smile, I found myself greeting a visitor, Scruffy, the American Kennel Club certified feature retriever. He appeared at my door bearing screen caps and text descriptions of new features in Apple’s upcoming Mac operating system rewrite.

For folks with multiple mail accounts, OS X Lion offers a new way to assign specific functions — mail, iChat, iCal — to individual email accounts (screen cap, above).

System Preferences > Internet Accounts > Click on the account you want to edit

Why does this little feature need a System Preference Pane? I imagine Apple plans to add more functionality in future iterations of Lion.


The biggest change in Mail 5, according to Scruffy (tail wagging enthusiastically) is the new user interface, featuring an iPad-like fullscreen mode. Yes, fullscreen apps are an over arching theme in Lion and this core application is among the first to get the treatment.

Another Back to Mac adaptation in Mail 5 is message grouping, which gathers all emails in a thread into a single collapsable feed.

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Mail 5’s toolbar has gotten a makeover, says the Scruffinator (his new affectation). The most notable change being you can drag mailboxes, etc. to the toolbar and then drag to re-order those — this order is tied to Command + 1, 2, 3, 4… a fast and convenient way to move between mailboxes.

[u] Similarly, Mail 5’s new message window sports an updated menu bar. The funky conch shell, boxed in red, is actually a palette and clicking it brings up the OS X color picker.

The item on the far right brings up the Mail stationery menu — thar be templates!

A pooch with a purpose

Apple’s also advertising more powerful search in Mail 5, which Scruffy tells me delivers updated-as-you-type results. This feature will be good as long as text autocompletion isn’t too aggressive.

Mail 5 will be introduced with Mac OS X v10.7 Lion. Mail 5 will feature a redesigned iPad-like fullscreen UI, a more powerful search engine, and support Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. It will also group messages from the same conversation and display them in a streamlined feed, like in Mail on iOS Version 4 — Wikipedia

Related stories:

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New in OS X Lion: About This Mac
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Mac OS X Lion icons are bigguns

One feature that I rather liked didn’t make the jump from Mail 4.x to version 5 — the ability to bounce messages. Here’s hoping that’s only a temporary sin of omission.

Has Scruffy (Tip — Scratch him behind the ears) visited your home or office? Dish a little in the comments below on what you like, and not, in Apple’s OS X 10.7 Lion Developer Preview…

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