More than ever, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is responding to customer emails. Perhaps the most exciting revelation is that the iPad -- and iPhone -- will gain a universal inbox. That will be a welcome upgrade. What other secrets has Jobs revealed?I haven't emailed Steve Jobs to ask Apple-related questions, but plenty of other people do. Lately, Jobs has been responding, and his responses have provided some interesting new information about Apple products.
The most pertinent one this week refers to the iPhone (and iPad's) email inbox. A user sent Jobs an email asking if the iPhone would have a unified inbox. Steve Jobs' reply? "Yep."
So, what is a universal inbox? The iPhone currently supports multiple email accounts. Unfortunately, the messages are kept in separate inboxes, forcing users to exit the current account and then enter a different account. The process takes at least four presses of a button. It's tedious and annoying. It would be better if all the emails from all the accounts were merged into one master inbox. This is something Research In Motion has done for years. Apparently, the iPhone will soon be able to do this. Thank goodness. I am anxious to see exactly how Apple's implementation works.
Other newsy nuggets from Jobs' iPad? Apparently it will be possible to transfer Google Docs to the iPad via iWork and/or iDisk. That means people will be able to work on their documents even when not connected to the Internet. Score one for productivity.
Another user queried Jobs over the iPad's ability to run Google's Picasa photo software. Jobs replied, "No, but iPhoto on the Mac has much better Faces and Places features." Not a big surprise that the iPad won't support a competing product. We'll have to see just how well iPhoto performs on the iPad.
Maybe these aren't earth-shattering revelations, but it's fun to see what Jobs responds to and what he says in those responses.