16 Comments

Summary:

In what must be related to an internal policy decision on behalf of Apple, yesterday saw the release of five separate applications (Compose, TouchType, Sideways, Lettera, and Wide Email) that allow you to compose emails in landscape mode. Each application boasts the ability to type out […]

In what must be related to an internal policy decision on behalf of Apple, yesterday saw the release of five separate applications (Compose, TouchType, Sideways, Lettera, and Wide Email) that allow you to compose emails in landscape mode.

Each application boasts the ability to type out email text using the much more user friendly (especially for those of us with meaty fingers) landscape iPhone keyboard, which should dramatically decrease the need for rewrites. The apps are not themselves email clients, more like notepads with the ability to export to the iPhone’s native mail application.

While some of the applications offer different spins on the landscape typing trick (including faux-vintage typewriter styling and the ability to send as .PDF in Lettera), all these ponies are essentially giving the same show.  Why the sudden flood?  A batch release of apps with similar functionality like this points towards a bottleneck in Apple’s approval process, possibly caused by an internal decision on what exactly exactly constitutes “duplicat[ing] the functionality” of Apple’s own software.

With issues like cut-and-paste on the iPhone, Apple has seemed to favor an “Either we do it or no one can” type of attitude when it comes to developers seeking to to fill perceived gaps in functionality.  The inability to compose emails or text messages in landscape mode has been yet another such disappointment among iPhone owners, along with things like the lack of MMS messaging and A2DP Bluetooth support. 

The release of these applications is at least a step in the right direction, and provides hope that there are perhaps elegant and functional third party MMS apps just waiting for Apple decision makers to admit they can’t do it all themselves.  And please legitimize Podcaster.  Seriously.

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  1. Tom Markiewicz Thursday, October 9, 2008

    Just purchased TouchType and it’s quite useful. Works as advertised and a nice buy at $0.99

    Although this would have been better as functionality provided by the built-in mail app…

  2. Wide Email is $0.99 and offers a Subject field an saves drafts of your emails. The others make you type in the Subject in the mail app defeating the purpose and the drafts are nice as you can use them as a template if you have several similar emails to send.

    Lettera is really not an landscape email app.

    Check the review here:
    http://www.reelsmart.com/2008/10/08/review-four-apps-that-allow-landscape-email-on-iphone/

  3. Mac About Town Friday, October 10, 2008

    Developer of Sideways here. My v1.1 update (submitted but not yet available on App Store) offers the option of a subject line as well as a couple of other things I believe people will appreciate. Although not immediately obvious, Sideways is the only one of these apps that maximizes vertical height by not having a top navigation bar. You sacrifice a small amount of width for more height, which I beleve is a good trade-off given the greater width while in landscape mode. Thanks to everyone who has purchased Sideways. Also of note is that Wide Email currently DOES NOT work properly with accented and other special characters, whereas Sideways does. The developer of Wide Email indicates that this bug is fixed and is waitingn for Apple to post. Great job everyone on providing choice for iPhone and iPod Touch users.
    Cheers,
    jeffrey.w.lynch

  4. 5 (Yes, 5) Landscape Email iPhone Applications Released Friday, October 10, 2008

    [...] Via theappleblog [...]

  5. Apple and AT&T must do something to improve the user experience around MMS and the iPhone (or let a third party developer do it). I make my case here: http://blog.mcmanus-family.com/2008/09/the-case-for-mms-on-the-iphone.html

  6. Loosening of the AppStore & iPhone Tech Talk World Tour | IphoneTweakers.com Friday, October 10, 2008

    [...] are able to compose messages in landscape mode and not only in portrait orientation. Here’s a link to a story that the Apple blog wrote on this. Then, in other news, it seems that in an attempt to help [...]

  7. iPhonorama #7 « Obelis Saturday, October 11, 2008

    [...] naudodamasis iPhone Mail programa, tau bus įdomu sužinoti, kad vienu metu App Store atsirado net 5 programos, kurios leidžia rašyti laiškus “landscape” režimu (Compose, touchType, Sideways, Letera ir Wide Email). Iš esmės visos programos daro tą patį – [...]

  8. Loosening of the AppStore & iPhone Tech Talk World Tour Sunday, October 12, 2008

    [...] are able to compose messages in landscape mode and not only in portrait orientation. Here’s a link to a story that the Apple blog wrote on this. Then, in other news, it seems that in an attempt to help [...]

  9. Loosening of the AppStore & iPhone Tech Talk World Tour | iPhone Holders R Us Sunday, October 12, 2008

    [...] are able to compose messages in landscape mode and not only in portrait orientation. Here’s a link to a story that the Apple blog wrote on this. Then, in other news, it seems that in an attempt to help [...]

  10. Loosening of the AppStore & iPhone Tech Talk World Tour at iFonePlanet.com Thursday, October 16, 2008

    [...] are able to compose messages in landscape mode and not only in portrait orientation. Here’s a link to a story that the Apple blog wrote on this. Then, in other news, it seems that in an attempt to help [...]

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