5 (Yes, 5) Landscape Email iPhone Applications Released

16 Comments

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.

16 Comments

Mac About Town

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

Tom Markiewicz

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…

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