Maildash – Review

On September 27, 2008

App Type: Uncategorized

Maildash – Review

Our rating:

By: Maildash

Version #: 1.1

Date Released: 2008-09-24


Price: 2.99

User Rating:

Since making the move to Mac last year there are a few indispensable applications that I cannot imagine not having. One of them is a little application called Text Expander. Text Expander is, at its most basic level, a macro-making utility. For example, when I type “wwoip“ it replaces the text with ”“. When I type ”ewoip“ it replaces it with ”[email protected]“. While Text Expander can do a lot more than that, that functionality alone has saved me a huge amount of time in the last year. It has become absolutely indispensable to me.

Maildash takes the same concept and applies it to iPhone email. Like Replybutler and Quicksend (two apps we have previously reviewed), Maildash lets you shoot quick, pre-formatted emails to people. While the other apps had the potential to be huge time savers, they fell a bit short. Maildash, however, gets it right.

The idea is simple.

More often than not the majority of emails we send go to a small, select group of individuals. Moreover, the majority of THOSE emails are short and repetitive. For example, it isn’t uncommon for me to send an email like “On my way in, be there in half an hour, call if you need me before that.” to my assistant. Or, rather than play phone tag with Dimitri, I’ll often email, “Need to talk, call when you have a chance.”

While Replybutler and Quicksend worked well, Maildash (previously known as Mailgram) is in an entirely different league.

Maildash allows you to quickly and easily send pre-formatted emails. To use it, you select an email address from your contacts, select a message from the scroll-dial of prepared text and his “send”. That’s it.  But that’s not all! You can Edit the text that is part of the scroll-dial so that the messages are in your “voice” and, unlike the similar apps which I have previously reviewed, you can select a number of contacts as “favorites”.  This is a huge timesaver since most of the time these pre-formatted emails will be going to a select group of frequently emailed individuals.

Maildash isn’t great for threaded email “conversations” since, while you can use it to reply to a previous email, it always places the first words of the pre-formatted text into the subject line. It is, however, an excellent timesaver if you don’t need to keep the same subject line when replying. To use it when replying to a message you open the mail app, hit “Reply” in the previous message, hit the “Home” button, start Maildash choose a message and hit “send”.  Maildash will then add your new text as the reply while, as noted, changing the subject heading.

UPDATE: See the below comment from the developer – this issue will be resolved in version 1.2.

To add a favorite recipient you choose an email address from your Contacts and tap the blue star on the top left of the screen. To later send an email to that individual you tap the blue star and then select the individual from the list of previously chosen favorites. 
You can also edit templates, add additional templates and use “snippets” to enter phrases without having to type them.

A particularly powerful aspect of Maildash is the ability to personalize the impersonal, pre-formatted text. If you tap “Substitutions” you can insert phrases that get replaced with recipient data when the message is sent. 9If there is no corresponding data to be included it will simply be removed before the email is sent.

In short, Maildash is the most powerful email macro-creator yet. The interface is clean. The app is simple to use after a few minutes spent with it. It is highly customizable. Maildash has the potential to be a huge time-saver.

At first blush you might not think you need an app like Maildash. My suspicion is that after using it for a few days you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

Quick Take

Value:  High
Would I Buy Again:  Yes
Learning Curve: Medium
Who is it for:  Anyone who uses email a lot
What I like:  Works well, highly customizable, allows you to save contacts as favorites, has the ability to automatically personalize the email
What I Don’t: It would be great if, when replying to emails, the subject line was not changed from one email to the next

Final Statement:  While there are similar apps, Maildash is in a league of its own. It works well, is highly customizable and, I suspect, will quickly become invaluable. 

Read the Developer's Notes:
Love email, but hate typing? Maildash quickly sends email messages using stationery templates— saving you tons of typing and time. Use Maildash to send new emails, or respond to incoming emails. Simply launch Maildash, choose a recipient and message, then tap the Send button. Quickly choose a recipient from Maildash’s Favorites list. You can search for and choose recipients from your Address Book, or enter new email addresses (once the message is sent to the Mail app). Maildash comes with pre-built message Templates, which you can edit-- or create create your own stationery. In the Template Editor, use the keyboard to compose messages, or save time by choosing pre-built phrases that we call“snippets”.
Outgoing emails are personalized using smart substitutions-- replacing placeholder phrases in templates with names, dates, times, and greetings. For instance: based on a recipient’s name, {Hi Firstname} can become “Hi Kate” or “Hi John”. Based on the current time of day, {Good Morn/Noon/Eve} becomes “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon”, “Good Evening”, or “Good Night”. And Maildash is smart; knowing to exclude certain substitutions when you didn’t choose an email recipient.
Features:• Quickly sends emails using stationery• Personalizes emails using mailmerge-like substitutions• Email Favorites list - choose an address quickly• Customizable Templates - make your own message stationery• Templates include Subject and Body fields• Can send quick replies to incoming email• Use Maildash to create multiple email signatures• Customizable Snippets - make your own shortcutsO U R   T A K E . . .

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