The Microsoft solution to a Gmail problem on Apple

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No talking sign © Arkadi Bojaršinov -

Previously, I’ve written about my dislike of conversation view for emails. Some people love it – I am not one of them. I find it confusing and often miss emails as a consequence.

Working with different clients I have email addresses which are hosted by different means. This makes it very difficult to have one email client (software to view your email) that is fit for purpose for all. Especially across different devices. 

I find the Apple mail app on my phone particular cumbersome when using a gmail account. I’ve got used to the filtering actions of the promotions and social tabs. Once you load gmail on to your Apple mail app all the emails from those tab filters appear in your inbox. The labels can also be problematic and don’t always sync in the right way.

As a result I have been using the gmail app for my gmail accounts with everything else loaded on to my Apple mail app. This solution works for me – I don’t mind too much using two separate apps for email. However, despite having the conversation view turned off in my gmail settings there is no option to switch it off in the gmail app.

I had resigned myself to accept that viewing my gmail accounts from my phone will be frustrating – I tend to do most of my email management via the browser, so it is only when I’m out and about that it becomes an issue. Periodically I do a Google search to see if the issue is fixed, but to date – Google have not made this option available.

Imagine my surprise when I recently searched for a solution and the answer that came back was Outlook. “That can’t be right” I thought. So, I decided to test it!

Would you believe it – Microsoft have done it! Or at least, so far so good. The Outlook app has vastly improved since the last time I used it. 

It’s simple to load and switch between different accounts. You can easily set up email signatures for the different email addresses. You can even turn off notifications for different email addresses, being alerted to new emails in one inbox and not in another. 

But what about the social and promotions tab, do they work in Outlook? Well yes and no – Outlook has a focused inbox function that works in the same way as those tabs. If you turn it off, all your email will go to your main inbox. If you turn it on, they’ll sit away from your main inbox.

So there you have it, a Microsoft solution to a gmail problem on Apple. Who’d have thought it! I’m still testing the functionality of the Outlook app but so far, it’s the best solution I’ve found.

What cross company solutions have you discovered that have surprised you?

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