Email Attachments on iOS 9

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Emailing on the iPad on iOS 9 has become so much easier thanks to the new Attachments option. Previous versions of iOS required me to copy and paste pictures into emails, or using third party apps (like Dropbox or Outlook) to add files to my emails for me. However, as of iOS 9, the Mail app has really grown up.

Attachments can come from a number of Locations: iCloud Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. iCloud Drive works by default as long as you have that service turned on, and Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive become available once you install those apps.

Actually adding an attachment in Mail is accomplished by using the paper clip icon on the Shortcut Bar, or by tapping and holding, then swiping over to the “Add Attachment” option on the pop-up menu.

One thing I was worried about was whether or not iOS would actually append an attachment to the email. Some services choose to include links to the cloud files, which isn’t quite as convenient for certain things (like pictures or PDFs). Luckily, iOS 9 works as expected: adding an attachment actually adds that file directly to your e-mail.

The caveat is that you first have to have that file on one of your storage locations, and if that location is the cloud, the file will need to be downloaded before you can add it as an attachment. Certain other apps like Notes and Reminders have options to store files locally (“On My iPad”), but no such area seems to exist for Mail. The closest equivalent is to use an app like Readdle’s Documents, and store your important local files in there (so you can send those attachments without having to download them first).

The only other thing I might want in this system is the ability to select multiple files for attachment, but iOS’ document picker can currently only handle a single file at a time. However, I usually only send a handful of files in a single email, so this hasn’t been a real issue so far. Right now it’s just liberating to be able to attach files on my iPad just like I can on my Mac.


Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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2 thoughts on “Email Attachments on iOS 9”

  1. I am not getting my hopes up. The mail app on my iPad has been non-functional for months! Nothing I have tried to fix it has worked. I gave up and started using the Dropbox email app.

  2. Hi,
    So if I understand it well, you are able to attach local files stored in the Readdle’s Documents app on an iPhone using the “Add Attachment” option in the mail app?

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