July 11, 2007

Deleting Emails on the iPhone

Yikes, is the realization I'm having, with trying to deal with email on the iPhone.

I'm generally loving the iPhone, like everyone else, but one thing that's driving me crazy is deleting emails. Lots and lots of emails.

I'm on the road right now and during the day I've been checking email via the iPhone. Works great.

Lots of spam, of course, and trying to DELETE stuff is a major pain. It seems like the only way to delete email is as follows:

First you have to go into "Edit" mode in your inbox, say, and then you have to touch the icon consisting of the little red circle with the minus sign in it, and then you have to, um, wait until the "Delete" button appears, and then touch that, and then wait, and then the message goes away.

Well, that is fine if you are deleting one or two. (And yes, you can also view the email contents and touch the trashcan icon while reading and the message deletes that way too, but it's SLOW to load the contents of each email and delete, so I don't go that route).

BUT if you are trying to delete, oh, dozens, or scores, or HUNDREDS of emails, this touch icon, then touch button, then wait, then touch icon, touch button, then wait, method, doesn't, shall we say, scale.

What's worse, I get so many incoming emails (and it's not all spam, despite my example screen shots here) that I find I cannot KEEP UP with the iPhone -- more mails are COMING IN than I can deal with. I cannot delete them fast enough!

So either I am missing some cool way to delete LOTS of messages or say, ideally, DELETE ALL or DELETE SELECTED (I sure miss that feature from my Treo!), or there isn't a way yet to do this on an iPhone.

Assuming there is no way to delete multiple emails yet, I hereby offer one suggestion to Apple:

You'd touch the minus icon, then when the Delete button appears, drag your finger down (or up) and "select" all the emails you wanna delete in one fell swoop. As you would drag, more "Delete" buttons would appear, and when you're done dragging, you would just touch any one of them and ALL the selected emails go bye-bye.

Whatdya say, Apple, could you implement that? Please?

Posted by brian at July 11, 2007 11:01 PM


Swipe your finger from left to right across the email in the list and the delete button appears directly (you don't have to be in edit mode). It's still two actions, but the swipe puts your finger in the more or less right place to tap the button.

Also, since it seems your server is tagging your spam anyway, perhaps it'd be reasonable to filter out those messages before they even get near your client.

I'm not saying this is a good workaround, but it might help in the meantime.

Posted by: Paul Knight at July 12, 2007 11:57 AM

You also can open an e-mail and a trash can icon will appear along the bottom. From there you touch the trash can it will delete the current message and move you to the next. Touch, Repeat. Quicker but they still need some sort of purge option.

Posted by: Mike at July 27, 2007 12:26 PM

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