I read a review of an iOS mail app called Dispatch awhile back but given that there wasn’t an iPad version, I pooh-poohed it. Upon realization that I do tend to do most of my e-mail reading, management and responding on my iPhone, I decided to download it and check it out after all. It has since then become my new favorite mail app and had earned a place on my iPhone Dock.
I have several email accounts so was happy to see that Dispatch offered a unified Inbox. A quick swipe to the left reveals your individual mail accounts, allowing you to quickly filter your display by account. Speaking of filtering, on the bottom of the Inbox screen are three icons which allow you to filter your messages by Unread, Read or Starred. I found this feature especially handy. Another feature I love is the ability to set the font size to extra large – my aging eyes appreciate it.
Reading & Acting on Messages
Tapping on a message displays it in a separate read message screen. From this window, you have several options. You can toggle the read status of a message, archive or delete it, mark it as spam or move it to another folder with just a tap. The up and down arrows on the bottom of the screen allow you to quickly navigate through your messages.
You don’t need to read a message in order to act on it. Swiping on a message in the message list window displays a row of action icons, which are, from left to right: toggle read status, star, archive, move and delete. This alone makes processing your inbox a snap.
Send To Feature
In my opinion, the real power of the Dispatch app lies in the last icon on the message screen: The Send To icon. From here, you can choose to send the message to a variety of different applications such Evernote, Clear, Fantastical, Omnifocus, Drafts and Due. According to the developer’s site, there are currently 31 apps with which Dispatch can communicate. I find myself constantly sending messages to Omnifocus or Evernote, a feature I use several times a day.
Dispatch includes a handy Snippets feature which you can access by swiping to the right from the main screen and tapping on snippets.
From here, you can create and manage your snippets. Snippets are frequently used replies or blocks of text that you can quickly insert into your messages. When composing a message, click the Snippets icon and then choose the snippet you want to insert.
When composing or replying to a message, click the insert icon on the bottom right of the message window to display a quick insert window. From here, you can quickly insert photos from your photo library as well as files from Dropbox, Droplr, Google Drive or Box. I found inserting files or photos to always be kind of kludgy on iOS. With Dispatch, that’s no longer the case.
Other great features include auto-salutation, undo support (one of my favorites!) and swipe to reply. From the reading messages window, swipe to the right to reply to a message — Dispatch even inserts a salutation for you, which you can remove or replace with a custom salutation.
You can also add other email addresses as aliases and have your mails sent from these addresses instead. Nice.
Since moving to Dispatch, I can process my inbox quicker and more efficiently than ever before and its integration with other applications makes it especially useful. I now consider Dispatch to be one of my essential iOS apps. The only way they could make this better, would be to come out with an iPad version at some point. Recommended!
You can check out Dispatch in the App Store