Customizing Your Mail
Slide out the left panel while you’re in your email, and swipe down until you see Settings in the More section. Tap Email Settings, and you’ll see a few settings that you can play around with (4.37).
4.37 Email settings control everything from text size to the downloading of attachments.
By default, the text in the Mail app is kind of small. Tap Default Message Text Size to choose a new size from five options (I usually go with Medium) (4.38). The font size is changed immediately, though it only impacts the text size of email messages, not the rest of the Fire’s interface.
4.38 The five text sizes available in the Mail app.
Next up are three options that can be toggled on or off:
Show Embedded Images: Leave this on if you want images in emails to be shown automatically. When this setting is off, a Show Images button appears in emails with images (4.39). Tap it to show images in just that email. The button then changes to “Always show images from this sender” (4.40). Tapping that will automatically show images in all messages from that person in the future.
4.39 Tap Show Images to download and display the images in this email.
4.40 Show images once, and you can tell your Fire to always display images from this sender.
- Automatically Download Attachments on Wi-Fi: Off by default, this setting will download attachments only when your Fire is connected to a Wi-Fi network. This will save you a tap (usually you have to tap to download the attachment and then tap again to open it), but keep in mind that your Fire has limited storage capacity. If you often get emails with large attachments, you should probably leave this off.
- Include Original Message in Replies: You’ll notice when you reply to an email on your Fire, the original email’s content is copied into the new email and your response is on top. If you don’t like this, toggle this off and the new email will just have your response. I find that it is helpful to include the original email in responses because it maintains some context, but it is a stylistic choice.
The next three settings affect how you interact with your mail.
After you delete a message, you are taken back the message list of whatever folder you were in. Tap “After delete, go to” for two other options: Newer Message and Older Message. Tap one, or tap Cancel to keep the setting as it is.
Tap Conversation Settings to see the options for grouping conversations (4.41). Your Fire can group, or display together, conversation threads in the message lists. If you toggle this on, your Fire will group any emails with the same subject line together in the message list and display a blue number that represents the number of emails in that conversation (4.42). You can move and delete the conversations as a group.
4.41 Conversations group emails by subject.
4.42 Conversations display the number of emails in the conversation to the right of the subject line.
When you tap a conversation, the most recent message is displayed with excerpts of the previous messages displayed above (4.43). Tap any excerpt to see the full contents of that message.
4.43 Reading a conversation.
Now you’ll notice that only the emails that I received are included in the conversation display. If you turn on Conversations Include Sent and Drafts Folders, then your responses (and responses you are drafting) will be included in the conversation display.
Swipe up or tap the left arrow at the top of the conversation settings to return to the Email Settings screen, and tap Email Notification Settings.
Your Fire has several ways it can notify you of new email. By default, it will use notifications to show you a preview of new email (4.44). Swipe down from the top of the screen to see your notifications; they’re listed under the Quick Settings.
4.44 Email notifications tell you how many new messages you have.
In 4.44, I have seven new messages in my Wharton account. Notice the three lines in the middle of the notification. If I swipe down on those lines I get a quick preview of the messages (4.45). Tap a notification to be taken to the message list so you can read, respond to, or delete the message.
4.45 Expand to see more information about the email.
If you don’t want these notifications, toggle them off at the top of the email notification screen.
You can also toggle on banner notifications here. Banners slide down from the top of the display no matter what you’re doing and show you the subject of the new email and who sent it (4.46). They slide back up after a couple seconds, but if you’re a quick tapper you can tap a banner notification to be taken to the email. Don’t worry if you miss a banner when you’re trying to tap them, because they are available in the notifications area of the top panel (swipe down from the top of the Fire) until you dismiss them (by swiping either to the left or right along the notification).
4.46 Banner notifications slide down from the top of the screen.
If notifications and banners aren’t enough, you can also have your Fire make a sound and vibrate every time you get a new message. Keep in mind that these notification settings are shared across all the email accounts on your phone, so you can’t set a sound to play when you get email in your work account and your phone to vibrate for your personal email. It is all or nothing.
Tap No Sound (which is the default) in the Sound section to choose which sound is played when you get new email. The Fire comes with a number of different alert sounds, and as you tap one to assign it the sound plays. Swipe up and down to scroll through the list to find that perfect sound. Once you’ve found the one, tap the checkmark at the top right of the screen to return to the notification settings. The Sound section will now display the name of the alert you picked (you can come back here at any time and change this sound to another or to change back to no sound).
Right under the Sound section is the Vibrate section. When this setting is on, your phone will vibrate every time you get a new email message.
When all the notifications are turned on, this is what will happen when you get a new email in any account:
- An alert sound plays and your phone vibrates.
- A banner slides down from the top with a preview of the email.
- A notification appears.
- A badge on the Mail icon displays the number of new messages.
- The Carousel preview shows you the latest messages in whatever view you have it set to.
You’ll have no excuse for missing an email with all these settings on!