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Checking and Reading Your Email

Now that your accounts are set up, it’s time to actually check your email. Launching email is as simple as tapping the Mail icon at the bottom of the home screen.

You can see a few recent messages in the preview beneath the Mail icon in the Carousel (4.14). Tap one of those previews to go directly to that message in the Mail app.

4.14

4.14 Email is previewed on the Carousel.

Tap the triangle under the icon on the Carousel to set what is included in the preview (4.15):

  • VIP: You can designate certain contacts as VIPs, which allows you to highlight messages from them. More about VIPs in Chapter 5.
  • Combined Inbox: Combined Inbox is what I have my Carousel preview set to because I have two email accounts on my Fire: my work email and my personal account. This view shows me email from both inboxes together, sorted chronologically. The emails themselves are still in the individual accounts; this view just makes it easy to see all your email across your inboxes at once.
  • A particular account: Display only emails from one account.

    4.15

    4.15 You can select which inbox is previewed.

Tapping the Mail app icon brings you to your inbox. The upper-left corner tells you what account and folder you’re in. In 4.16 we’re looking at the combined inbox. Unread messages are in bold, and each message has a colored bar on its left edge. Each account gets its own color so you can quickly see which account this message was sent to. The sender’s name is displayed above the subject and a brief preview of the message.

4.16

4.16 Emails are color-coded by account in your inbox.

Swipe up to scroll through the messages, and swipe down to return to the top of the message list. If you pull down (swipe down and then release) while you’re at the top of the message list, the Mail app checks for new messages.

The mail app’s left panel allows you to jump to different email accounts or directly to folders within those accounts (4.17). Just swipe or tilt to the right to bring the panel up, and tap the account or folder you’re interested in.

4.17

4.17 The left panel shows all your accounts and folders, as well as special folders like VIPs and the combined inbox.

Tapping Search reveals a search field at the top of whatever view you’re currently looking at (4.18). You can search the From, To, or Subject fields by tapping one, entering your search term, and then tapping the Done key. The search results appear. Tap an email to see the whole thing.

4.18

4.18 Search results update as you type.

The right panel in the inbox or folder view is pretty neat (4.19). It lists all the attachments in that folder or inbox. Swipe up and down to go through the list. If the attachment has been downloaded, just tap it to open it, but if it still needs to be downloaded to your Fire (if it has this icon on it downloadneeded.jpg, the attachment needs to be downloaded), the first tap will start the download process. When the attachment has been download, tap it again to open it.

4.19

4.19 The right panel displays all the files attached to emails in your inbox.

When you’re in an email, the upper-left corner shows the icon of the person who sent you the email (4.20). This is either the picture assigned to this person in your contacts or their initials. Right next to that are their name and the date you received the email. Below that are the To field and a downward arrow. Tap the arrow and you’ll see the time and date that the email was sent.

4.20

4.20 An email.

The subject of the email is displayed in blue, and below that is the body of the message. In some cases you’ll see a Show Complete Message button. That’s because that message was rather large, so the Fire didn’t download the whole thing. Tapping that button displays the entire message.

Along the bottom of every email message you’ll see four buttons:

  • Delete: Deletes the email.
  • Respond: Tap this button and you get three options: Reply (send a reply to the sender), Reply All (send a reply to the sender and anyone in the CC field), and Forward (send this email to someone else so they can have a copy).
  • Archive or Delete: For Gmail accounts, you’ll see an Archive button, which will move the message out of your inbox and into your archive so you can search for it later. All other email accounts have a Delete button to trash the message.
  • Menu: Tapping this reveals a number of options. Move brings up a list of the folders in that email account (4.21). Tap one of the folders and the message is moved into it. Flag puts a little flag next to the email so you can reference it later. Mark Unread changes the state of the message from read to unread (it will be displayed in bold in the Inbox view). Label is another one of those Gmail-only options; “labels” are Gmail’s folders. Tap Label and a list of the available labels is shown (4.22). You can apply as many labels as you like to one email message by tapping the check mark next to each label. Uncheck labels by tapping once more. Tap Apply and the labels are shown in small letters at the top of the email. Tap New Message to create a new, blank email.

    4.21

    4.21 The Menu button gives you access to some useful functions.

    4.22

    4.22 Labels in Gmail are supported. Tap to add a label.

While you’re reading an individual email, the right panel (swipe from the right edge to the left, or tilt the right edge toward you) shows you recent messages from the same email address (4.23). Scroll through emails by swiping up and down, and open one by tapping it. Tap an avatar (the circle with either your contact’s picture or their initials) to mark that person as a VIP, denoted by an orange star (4.24) (more about VIPs in Chapter 5). Swipe or tilt to the right to dismiss the panel and return to the message.

4.23

4.23 While you’re in an email, the right panel displays al the email you’ve received from the sender.

4.24

4.24 Marisa is now a VIP in my contacts, as she should be.

You can quickly go to the next or previous email by swiping from the center of the message you’re reading. Swiping to the right goes to newer emails (based on the date and time the email was delivered), and swiping left brings you to older emails.

To get back to your inbox, you can either tap the name of the inbox at the upper-left corner of the screen or bring out the left panel and tap whatever inbox or folder you want to hop into.

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