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My Biggest Complaint About iPhone Mail

I saw this complaint about iPhone volume and thought I would throw my two cents in on my biggest complaint about the iPhone as well.

My biggest complaint about the iPhone is that there is no way to filter junk mail. Mail works great on the iPhone almost exactly like it does on your desktop but there is no junk mail filter for iPhone.

You don’t realize how big a deal no junk mail filter is until you don’t have a junk mail filter. The volume of junk mail is unbelievable. Not having the ability to filter junk mail on my iPhone renders email on my iPhone virtually useless. I’m almost afraid to check my email on my iPhone because I can’t filter the junk. For me, that means on a single check of my email maybe once every two hours would bring me 30 junk mail messages and 5 legitimate emails. This just isn’t a viable ratio. It kills the whole idea of productivity to have to sift through the junk to get to the real stuff.

My limited understanding of the iPhone is that it runs OS X more or less just like a desktop. So why not filter? I have 8GB of space on the phone, I’m sure I wouldn’t even notice a filter space wise.

I hope a junk mail filter for iPhone is something that is on the way with the next iPhone software upgrade, but until then, I won’t be checking my email on my phone.

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  1. You might want to consider letting Gmail do the work for you. Open a Gmail account, enter your current email address’ POP3 settings, let gmail collect those emails and then use the IMAP features on the iPhone and Gmail to keep the junk out and your email in sync. Click the link below to take a look at a YouTube video that explains the process.


    Good luck

  2. Does anyone else have any feedback on this? I’m looking to get an iPhone so that I can take my email with me. Although I get about 1000 junk mails per day. Does using this google tip help? What about the mail on my desktop? Thanks.

  3. I tried using the gmail as an option but the problem is manifestly worse than that.

    By opening a gmail account although Gmail will filter your mail great when it is sent to your gmail account, i also forward all of my business email accounts to gmail (7 in all) so that i have a single repository.

    When i added gmail to my iPhone i found that not only did gmail not deal with the email forwarded to me it also dramatically INCREASED the amount of spam i got.

    I DID love the imap feature in Gmail but rendered the solution next to useless for ME… not to say it wont work for others.

    I find that I spend the majority of my time in the edit mode of mail on the iphone deleting junk mail. I get probably 150-200 a day (oh how i wish i knew how i got on these lists), however email is TIME CRITICAL to my business so I HAVE to wade through the trash.

    I am currently scouring the net for a filter and should I find one I will certainly post a link to it

    Just my .79INR worth

    Shaun Kelly

  4. well I have to say I followed the “new” way of using the Gmail and am VERY pleased with the results.

    I have now disabled all of my “real” accounts and just use the gmail one using imap.

    One small thing that the video gets wrong is that you use “googlemail” instead of “gmail”. Other than that pretty happy. Of course I have now had to go and set up labels in Gmail as well as a bunch of filters, but i guess I should have been doing that anyway. (I really just used my gmail account as a backup bucket)

    So retraction on my previous comment and a big tick for the new.

  5. Try going into your yahoo email account and change the spam filter settings to delete upon receipt rather than storing in your spam folder.

    There is a small risk of not getting an email that is valid and marked incorrectly by the filter, but the benefits of not having to delete hundreds of emails is worth it. If an email sender is really trying to get something to you that is so important, then they would call you or you would notice you didn’t get it.

    Live dangerously and be free from junk email on your iPhone!

  6. is apple going the way of microsoft? honestly, i’ve been a mac fan all my professional life and it is quite shocking that apple leaves holes like this on their products and software ??? why not just pick up the settings from your mac when sinking? and how do you delete junk e-mails without having to go 1 by 1? even the 25 minimum is a pain… anyway it seems like for all practical purposes using the iphone e-mail as it is kind defeats the very purpose that it is intended for. lots of other holes on the interface and settings but that’s enough for now. and we should not have to be hackers to function with consumer devices… it is too much of a brain drain as it is.

    not that windows anything is an alternative to anything (it never was and never will) but that should not be an excuse for apple not to do their home work before releasing a product and specially of this relevancy. please…

  7. The iPhone is missing several features and this is just an example. The new MobileMe is missing the junk button as well, and does not have the ability to create rules to pre-filter.

    I am not sure what Apple has been doing since the last iPhone release, but they didn’t seem to listen to the consumer comments.

  8. Having the same problems with loads of junk mail… would love to hear any solutions!

    And Trish, I hope you’ve already found the way to delete them all at the same time?! You go to edit (i think?) then select all the junk then press delete once.

  9. I’m shocked to find out my new ,really expensive iPhone doesn’ t have a junk mail filter. I spend half of my time on the phone erasing unwanted and abusive junk mail. How can this be????? I’m considering closing down my mailbox on the phone entirely, which is ironic, considering receiving mail was one of the main reasons for getting the iPhone in the first place. Soooooo disappointed.

  10. I am shocked that Apple doesn’t have filtering to your inbox similar to Blackberry RIM which allows you to set up filter rules to avoid sending valid but non-urgent email by sender, subject, etc to the PDA. I already have good spam filtering but I still don’t want all of those trivial emails that I get daily (notifications, etc.) sent to my iPhone.

  11. I over came that problem by creating folders In my email frm my desktop. This can be done b setting emails from your saved contacts To go to your inbox and every other email goes to your junk. The only problem is that you Cant view the junk mail from your iPhone, u will have to go on your desktop to view your junk mail. Of can be a lengthy process but once it’s done, emails on the iPhone work like a dream.

  12. Unfortunately much of this problem may be due to Apple’s obsessive desire to keep developers out of the core of its OS. 60,000 applications and not one for spam filtering? Gmail is not an option. If you use your email for business, you need pop or imap from your account and that’s all there is to it. How about this - zero document management on the iPhone. You have to wirelessly send documents to every application. The iPhone needs a ton of work to be useful for business and, as apple is doing it, the Pre will have 50,000 apps by the time you can download an attachment. Ridiculous.

  13. Apparently Apple has locked off all access to its OS so that developers can create useful addons. The desire is to make the phone less useful so that it can be the sole provider of revenue producing utilities, e.g. MobileMe. This situation has become so frustrating in so many ways that I’m probably dumping my iPhone for my old Blackberry or the new Palm Pre or Android. There is no way to effectively manage spam except buy a Mac and purchase services (and I’m not even sure mobileme will completely do the job.) Sad.

  14. It’s a shame that Apple has omitted the most important aspect of the iPhone, namely to be able to check email without having to sift through tons of junk or ’spam’ emails. While the Mac has a ‘junk box’, apple’s iPhone DOES NOT ! Checking email in iPhone becomes a very tedious and formidable, time consuming task with tons of junk mails staring you in the face. Apple needs to fix that as soon as possible.

  15. I’ve been unsubscribing every spam I get if I can.
    It’s working. Now all I get are the ones that I can’t unsubscribe
    from like the ones from nigeria etc. I’ve also been investigating
    the spam features of my pop3 provider. I used to get around 300 spam per day. Now I probably get 15-20

  16. So far this has worked great. Thanks for the suggestion and thank you gmail.

  17. This is crazy. I should have gone with the Blackberry. The access to my pop account for work is the reason I moved to a smart phone in the first place. What a joke.

  18. Just create a rule in the Mail.app that stops all mail not in your address book to be deleted… problem solved… M Xmas and HNY…

  19. Eigentlich bin ich ja nicht so der “Blog-Fan” aber nach deinem Artikel überleg ich mir das glaube ich nochmal… Danke!

  20. Same problem here. I get well over 1000 junk emails a day. Outlook filters some but I still get all the usual viagra… stuff in my inbox. I deal with it by selecting bulk emails at once and deleting, usually takes a minute or two.
    On the iPhone I get all of my emails, nothing is filtered. And there is no neat way of being able to delete groups of emails based on visual rules. And there are no packages that can filter because Apple won’t provide access to the necessary calls in API via their SDK.
    So now I am watching the Windows mobile OS market - the HTC2 looks good. It’ll be interesting to see if the development community can work bettwer with MS or Google (Android) becuase as much as I like my iPhone, I dislike it equally for the lame “laws” their dev group put in place.

  21. If you leave your desktop Mail app running (whichever you use) , and have it check your mail periodically, it will do the junk mail filtering for you.

    If you’re using IMAP, the junk messages just disappear, even after they’ve come to the iPhone.

    If you’re using POP, be sure that messages are not removed from the server immediately. Check whatever setting suits you best.

    That’s what I do and it works great! If you need help with this, let me know.

  22. I have orange email on my iphone 3gs, as well as a forward rule form my yahoo email account.

    Only thing I found that helps is unsubscribing to every spam I receive. (and not being fooled by the ‘your unsubscribe request has been received’ message on some sites. They need you to enter your email address again and hit enter AGAIN. crafty.)

    It’s a painful solution to start off with but it’s made my inbox a lot healthier already and i’ve only been doing this for a week… If it doesn’t improve things anymore I will try the gmail account solution. I do have Gmail, but I don’t use it at the moment…

  23. What’s the problem…switch to hotmail and use the hotmail app.Whatever appears on my laptop, appears on my iphone and vice-versa.Same goes for cleaning out and sorting through the junk folder.
    The only thing I can’t figure out is how to make a new folder in the iphone hotmail app.Maybe it can’t be done.

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