iPhone email failures – review Mail.app Settings

Our #1 son had been doing well with email until recently. He thinks he’s sent an email but it’s gone missing. It took a while for him to be willing to have him watch him use the app. I think he may be accidentally hitting the unsend button — a relatively new feature of iOS Mail.app.

This led me to review Settings and simplify his email experience. I turned off threading, turned off various include/suggest features, and especially turned off the unsend feature. I made the app more or less the way it used to be. The “helpful” smart features and the new unsend feature are added complexity.

I also saw that his iPhone was using his iCloud account to send messages — which is not how I thought it was set. I changed it to use his gmail account to send.

The lesson of the story is that complexity creeps into all the apps our people use — and over time it can render an app unusable. It can be very hard to get help, especially if one used to be proud of the ability to do email. If you’re supporting someone with a cognitive disability you need to be thinking “check-settings-to-simplify” whenever a critical apps seems to have stopped working.

Now if only he’d let me observe how he uses the Music app …. (I think he may listen to Music he’s purchased by using the iTunes Store app. It can be done and it’s a much simpler interface in a way …)