Dispatch, a new email client for the iPhone launches with a unique approach that makes it stand out in a sea that seems to be filled with clients. If you read Mac Daily, you know how I didn’t take well to Mail Pilot, or didn’t like the approach of Mailbox. My brain is not wired into believing that Mail is a good task application. I also mentioned how I really enjoy using Triage as my inbox management app. It allows me to make quick decisions on mail that comes in and deal with other actionable email when I have time. This is where Dispatch shines. They don’t want to be your task application and they want to help you make a quick decision on what you want to do with your email. Genius!
Dispatch’s greatest feature is that it talks to 14 iPhone productivity apps. You can send all of your actions from your mails easily into your app of choice. In my case, Things app. Whenever a mail comes in that demands an action, I hit the share icon and those apps that I have designated in settings to be used as options show up in a sheet. I simply tap on my app of choice and the subject line of email is added as a task and the body of the email as a note on Things. It is a really well done approach that I really like. Other apps like Due, allow you to setup a reminder for that specific email and it allows you to get back to the app with a “Dispatch” pop-up when the task is entered into the app. I use Due, but not for email, so this is not the right tool for me, but I do appreciate the intuitive approach.
You can also manage your emails by swiping to bring up options to mark as unread, star, archive, mark as spam or delete. If you keep swiping to your left, it quickly archives the email. You can compose new email and it automatically gives you the sheet to compose your email. But you won’t see any recipient and subject options, only the body of email. The purpose of this is so you can worry about writing the mail and later decide to include the recipients and additional data. All you do is swipe down and in accordion style, the features appear. Very sweet animation, though not very useful.
There’s also a “snippets” option where you can create a keyboard shortcut for some often used sentences or phrases. You can also quote some content from original emails and it adds it to your new mail in quote fashion. Add to this the auto greeting to your email (not sure how I feel about this, I’m not a “nice greeter via email”) and you can see that Dispatch means business.
Not all is perfect when it comes to Dispatch’s approach to email. With no built-in search, access to folders, ability to add photos or files, it makes it difficult to be your only mail client. Personally, I think it makes a very compelling mobile email client. For heavy lifting, you can continue to use your Macbook or desktop email applications for the “hard” parts of email.
I like Dispatch, it is a fantastic and much needed approach for those of us who rely on our second brains (task managing apps). The fact that they link to my favorite app is enough to win a spot on my homescreen. Swiping to archive, and ability to quickly reply to email makes it even more compelling. I do miss search and access to my folders, but I don’t rely on this on a daily basis.
I don’t know what iOS7 will bring when it comes to email, but until then, I have found a new email client for my iPhone.