Blog Post

Smarts in Mail?

The upgrade to Leopard has improved more than just the OS – it made Mail, in my opinion, much more usable.

One of the best features is the data detection in the mouse pointer. Running your mouse over a date produces a small drop-down arrow that gives you the option to add it to iCal. The menu for addresses offers to find them in GoogleMaps, and names offer to add to Address Book, or show the Address Book entry, if one already exists.

The date feature can even recognize fuzzy dates, like ‘Wednesday after next’ and add them to iCal, complete with time, if that was included in the email. This effectively brings the link between Mail and iCal full circle, with the other half being reminder emails from iCal.

It’s got its flaws, sadly. For starters, it’s convinced that there is someone named “Rhode Island” who keeps emailing me and who desperately needs to be added to my address book. And, of course, it doesn’t do this in all parts of the OS. But the rest – it’s the little things that keep many Mac users using it, as opposed to the various other flavors of *nixy systems or even, gasp, Windows. This is a very elegant little thing.

2 Responses to “Smarts in Mail?”

  1. I find it very variable in its success on a UK machine. While it does guess that 28/12/07 is the 28th of December, it is just as likely to decide that 01/10/07 is the 10th of January – causing me to wonder where the resulting iCal appointment has gone.

    It seems that Apple still have a few bugs to iron out on this one…

  2. And what amazed me is that even though my system is in English and I haven’t installed any extra language pack, it even recognizes dates in French and other languages in the emails i receive from foreign coworkers like “aprés-demain” or “mañana”, respectively for “the day after tomorrow” in French and “tomorrow’ in Spanish! Neat!

    One annoying thing though, the feature always tries to add MY OWN email to the newly created entries in the Address Book.