If you check your email a lot on your iPhone like I do, you now have some awesome choices as to which iOS mail client you use. Quite frankly, as I have said before, Apple’s default iOS Mail client can’t compare to the recently released third-party mobile apps, including Mail Pilot, Mailbox, Cloze and my favorite, the one trick pony Triage.
Each of the above apps has unique features, but if you want to actually do something with your emails, and get the functionality of many desktop mail clients, then you might want to check out the recently released Dispatch ($2.99) email client for iPhone.
Dispatch includes core features that you find in most mail clients, including the ability to favorite, archive, reply to, and delete emails. It utilizes the finger swipe features of the iPhone, which allow you to quickly slide and archive selected messages. You can also quickly undo any of the basic actions you perform in Dispatch, so making a mistake is not a big deal.
Dispatch is compatible with IMAP-based email accounts, and works with Gmail, Google Apps, iCloud, AOL, and Yahoo!. Other mail servers will require you to provide additional information — such as the IMAP and SMTP addresses, port numbers and authentication methods — or may fail to work altogether. Dispatch does not support POP and Exchange mail accounts, such as accounts from Hotmail, Outlook or Windows Live mail.
When you swipe a selected message to the left, you get options to mark the message as unread,
star, archive or mark as spam , or delete them all together.
If you want to quickly archive a message, long swipe it to the left. Unfortunately, Dispatch doesn’t seem to have a bulk archive feature.
Action Based Features
What makes Dispatch unique from the rest is its action-based features. With Dispatch, you’re not limited to simply reading and replying to emails. You can quote text from messages, store and use frequently used snippets in original messages and replies, and export messages to several supported third-party apps.
The Dispatch email client for iPhone actually provides a convenient way to quote text from a sender’s message and use it in a reply. You simply select the text as you normally do on an iOS device, and then Dispatch will present you with a menu pop-up for quoting and pasting the selected text.
Dispatch also allows you to grab snippets of text to use in your original messages or replies. To perform this action, you tap the snippet icon that appears on the bottom-right of a new message or reply. Type a few letters in the search pop-up search field for the snippet you want to use, and then tap on the result to insert it in
Dispatch includes a few dozen boilerplate snippets to get you started, but you can of course customize and create your own. It works similar to TextExpander for iOS. Dispatch can import TextExpander snippets from email attachments, but it does not support TextExpander’s fill-ins and date/time functions.
Perhaps one of the best features of Dispatch is that you can triage messages to supported apps. Dispatch works with dozens of iOS default and third-party apps, including the iPhone’s Reminder, Calendar, and Messages apps, plus Instapaper, Drafts, Due,
OmniFocus, Things, Dropbox and Evernote.
To perform a share action, tap on the Share button on the bottom-right, which brings up the supported apps for that message. Depending on which apps you have on your iPhone, you can select to copy or attach the message to a supported app.
For example, if you select your Reminder app, Dispatch will create a reminder using the subject line of the selected message, and will add it to the default Reminder list. Dispatch will copy and paste an entire selected email when you select to send it to the Message app.
When you tap on a URL in a message, Dispatch will give you the option of loading the webpage in Safari or Chrome, or you can send it to Instapaper. If the URL links to the site log-in, you can even open it in the iOS version of 1Password to begin the log-in process.
While Dispatch doesn’t have a built-in web browser, it does open images and PDF files within the app, where they can also be exported to other supported apps, such as Evernote or Dropbox.
The developers of Dispatch are very upfront about what their email client for iPhone is lacking, compared to other iOS mail clients. These limitations include:
- No push notifications for emails (and no plans for them)
- No support for POP/Exchange-based email (and no plans for them)
- No support for attaching files or photos to new mails
- No search function
- No access to any folders other than the Inbox
- No access to drafts stored in Dispatch from other mail apps (drafts are currently stored locally and not saved on a server)
Because of its limitations, Dispatch may not be useful for many iPhone users, but if you write or reply to lots of emails, Dispatch could be a time saver with its embedded snippet and quoting features. Let us know if Dispatch would useful for you or whether you prefer a different client by leaving a comment below.
Download: Dispatch for iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad ($2.99)