Why Apple Should Combine iOS Favorites and Mail VIPs

Why Apple Should Combine iOS Favorites and Mail VIPs

Hey there! I want to share my thoughts on something that I believe could make our Apple experience even better. You know those nifty features on our iPhones and iPads called Favorites and VIPs? Well, I think it would be awesome if Apple merged them together into one amazing feature. Let me explain why.

First, let’s talk about Favorites. These little stars allow us to quickly access our most cherished contacts in the Phone app. It’s super handy when we want to call or message them in a jiffy. But here’s the thing—I often find myself thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could have the same VIP treatment in my Mail app?”

That’s where Mail VIPs come in. They let us prioritize important emails by tagging certain senders as VIPs. This way, we always know when an email is worth our immediate attention. It’s a fantastic feature, no doubt. However, I can’t help but wonder, “Why can’t I have the same level of convenience for my favorite contacts?”

Imagine if Apple combined Favorites and VIPs into one spectacular feature. Here’s how it could work: When we mark a contact as a Favorite, not only would they appear in our Phone app, but they would also become our VIPs in the Mail app. This means we’d have all our treasured people easily accessible in both our calls and emails. Talk about streamlining our communication!

But it doesn’t end there. With this merged feature, Apple could take things up a notch. Picture this: Whenever a favorite contact sends us an email, we’d receive a unique notification sound to let us know it’s them. It would be like a secret sign, instantly grabbing our attention. Plus, we could have a special email folder dedicated solely to our favorite contacts. It would be like having a VIP lounge in our inbox, exclusively reserved for the people who matter most to us.

So, Apple, what do you say? Merging Favorites and Mail VIPs would undoubtedly enhance our user experience. It would bring the best of both worlds together, making our lives just a little bit easier. So let’s make it happen!

Apple Should Merge iOS Favorites and Mail VIPs

Apple has always been committed to providing users with a seamless experience across all their products. With just one Apple ID, you can buy and access iTunes content on iPods, iPhones, Macs, and the Apple TV. And with one iCloud account, you can synchronize calendar events and app data. However, during a recent conversation with Vern Seward from The Mac Observer, I realized there are still two areas that could use some improvement: contact favorites and Mail VIPs. These two features have a lot in common, and I believe that merging them into a single interface would align with Apple’s goal of making things simpler and more unified.

It only makes sense that you should only have to designate a contact as “important” once.

But before we delve deeper, let’s take a moment to understand the background. Contact Favorites have been a part of the iPhone experience since the very beginning. Users could select any contact with a phone number and add them to a special “Favorites” list for quick access. As the iPhone evolved into iOS and new features like FaceTime were introduced, Apple also allowed users to add contacts with only an email address to their Favorites list. Today, the Favorites list is quite versatile, as contacts can be added with either a phone number or email address. Users can also choose the default settings for contacting them via mobile network or FaceTime.

On the other hand, Mail VIPs is a more recent addition by Apple. It was introduced in iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion, and it allows users to designate specific contacts as “VIPs”. This places them in a special category in the Mail apps on both mobile and desktop devices. In OS X, messages from VIPs are separated into a dedicated folder, while in iOS, users receive notifications on the lock screen and in the Notification Center. Essentially, Mail VIPs ensure that important emails from chosen contacts don’t go unnoticed.

Apple Merge iOS Favorites and VIPs

These two features come together to give us really helpful and important functionality. They work so well together, yet Apple has chosen to keep them separate. Maybe it’s time for a change. It just makes sense that I should only have to label a contact as “important” once, no matter if I mostly talk to them on the phone, through FaceTime, by instant message, or via email. All these ways of communication are coming together, so it’s necessary to have a unified method of managing them.

To be fair, Apple is pretty close to that already. iCloud contacts are actually very capable, and they currently let us store all the different ways we can contact someone. Once we set it up right, this data syncs between all our devices. The only thing we need now is a new way to manage important contacts within the Contacts app we already have.

Usually, it’s a good idea to trust the design experts who work in Cupertino, but here’s how I think this could work. Apple already gives us options when we mark someone as a Favorite. If the contact has multiple phone numbers and email addresses, they make us choose which one to add as a favorite and even which way we want to contact them: phone call or FaceTime.

Apple Merge iOS Favorites and VIPs

So here’s a thought: what if there was an easier way to mark someone as important in your contact list? Picture this: just a simple button that says “Add as VIP.” When you tap it, a little star icon appears next to their name, and a whole list of VIP-only options pops up. And get this, each option has an on/off switch, so you can choose exactly how you want to stay in touch: Phone Call, iMessage, FaceTime, Email, you name it. Then, like magic, iOS takes care of syncing your preferences across all your devices. It’s like having a personal assistant that knows exactly who deserves that special treatment.

Apple Merge iOS Favorites and VIPs

When you toggle the “Phone Call” switch, the contact is added to an iPhone’s Favorites list, now known as “VIPs” in this case. Similarly, toggling “FaceTime” adds the contact to the iPhone Favorites list as well as the iPad and OS X versions of the app. Toggling “Mail” creates Mail VIPs in iOS and OS X. If the contact has multiple phone numbers, a pop-up menu allows you to choose which one to use.

Aside from being simple, this method also makes setting up a new Apple product easier. While Mail VIPs currently sync across devices via iCloud, the Favorites list for the iPhone and the OS X FaceTime app are specific to each device. This means that whenever you get a new iPhone or Mac (or have to restore without a backup), you have to recreate your favorites list from scratch. Having a VIP setting in the Contacts app for every device (iOS, OS X, and even on the Web through the iCloud.com interface) would allow you to maintain a unified list of important contacts no matter where you are or which device you’re using.

Apple knows the importance of communication. They have recognized that the way we communicate with each other is constantly evolving due to mobile and online technologies, and it’s essential to adopt new ways of thinking. Apple should be commended for the steps they have taken so far. Despite its flaws, iCloud is a great platform to build an Apple-centric future, and Apple fans generally benefit from it. However, simplicity is also crucial. As I mentioned before, a user should only have to mark a contact as “important” once. It’s easily achievable to have a unified approach to managing the significant people in our lives, and it aligns perfectly with Apple’s mission. I hope to see this development in the next iOS update.

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