Stock iPhone: how to email or reply to email w/ multiple file attachments (iPad too!)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by nnacrumors, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. nnacrumors macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014
    Since this functionality has 'eluded' iOS for years I figured I would make a guide on how to use a stock iPhone to email multiple attachments or reply to an email with attachments. Now while this is not the most eloquent way ever... it's currently the only way possible that I know of on an iOS device.

    So the problem begins with how on the iPhone most of the time if you try to attach a file the only two options you are given are photos or videos. I'm going to show you below how you can attach ANY type of file (doc, spreadsheet, ppt, pdf, voice memo, mp4, etc) to an email on your iPhone.

    NOTE: iPad users can use Safari and skip the below steps 1, 2 and 5 (iPhone users need a different browser than Safari).

    Step 1: Download a browser that let's you set the 'user agent'. By this I mean how in a browser like iCab (my personal recommendation) you can go under settings and switch the user agent so that a website thinks you are using a firefox, internet explorer, or other non-mobile browser.

    Step 2: Set the user agent to a desktop type browser. Now this won't always work on the first try. Sometimes you have to try each one until you find one that works. On iCab I use 'internet explorer 10' user agent.

    Step 3: Log into your gmail account

    Step 4: Click the 'desktop' button at the bottom

    Step 5: Click the 'gmail view: standard' button at the bottom (This step is why if you are using an iPhone you need a browser that you can set the user agent. If you are using Safari and press this button it will force you back to the mobile iPhone view of Gmail)

    Step 6: Now that you are in the real desktop version of Gmail, you can compose a new brand new email or reply to an email

    Step 7: Click the paperclip file attachment icon located at the bottom of the email you are typing in.

    Step 8: Click the Google drive triangle icon next to the paperclip.

    Step 9: Click 'My Drive'

    Step 10: Double click whichever files you want to attach. Single clicking a file won't select it. You can tell once there is a check mark on the files you want to attach. At this point you can attach as many as you want.

    Step 11: Click the blue insert button

    Step 12: Hit send!

    Now the only trick left is finding applications which allow you to upload files from your iPhone to Google Drive (which there are TONS on the app store). Almost any worthy files app will have this ability built right into the app. If you are confused about this simply let me know and I will give some examples of apps that let you do uploads of various files to Google Drive.

    Now, I can already hear the ungrateful moaning in advance:
    "But but but... (insert any of the below)
    - There's too many steps involved"
    - Android is soooooo much easier"
    - I don't want to use Google Drive"
    - Why doesn't Apple make this easier"

    For those people, I can't help you. Either don't use this method or go with another smartphone OS. This trick is simply for those who are grateful to have the capability on an iPhone (or iPad) in a pinch.

    For those who actually find this feature helpful, I'm glad it helps plug up an annoying gap of iOS. Once you get the hang of this it becomes very easy and only a few clicks.

    Cheers! :)
  2. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    If I understand this correctly, this only works if you are using gmail. People use other mail services, too. Also, it's strictly speaking not sending the email from iOS -- you are uploading files to google drive, and sending them out from there.
  3. nnacrumors thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014
    So they can either sign up for a Gmail account or put in the time themselves like I did to figure out a similar way to send attachments from their iPhone. As I said it won't please everyone (especially the ungrateful ones), but at least the option is there for those who need it.

    Yep. You upload files to google drive, and attach them in the email you compose to whoever.
  4. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    TL;DR - Apple needs to do something about this. It's not 2008 anymore.
  5. nnacrumors thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014
    Sorry I couldn't make things even simpler for you. If you don't need this method then simply don't use it.
  6. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    No need to get tetchy. My criticism was aimed Apple, not at you.

    But - apologies, I guess this isn't the thread for that discussion. Your guide is very useful and I'm sure will be appreciated by many.
  7. nnacrumors thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014
    My apologies as well. Mistook it as criticism of me for trying to help others. Sorry good sir :)

    p.s. I hate Apples restrictions as well. Wish they would finally make a native way to attach files for iOS :(
  8. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    No worries m8 :)

    Yeah...but maybe iCloud Drive will make things a bit easier at least. And given how they're opening up to 3d party keyboards, maybe more good surprises are in store for us :cool:
  9. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    It's not about ungrateful one or anything like that, it's about having a general way of doing this using any account and the stock Mail app in iOS. While this method can be useful for some of course, it isn't one that shows how this can be done for any email account and/or using the stock Mail app in iOS.
  10. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    This would be good in a pinch. Appreciate the effort you took to do this.

    However (ungrateful rant lol), my work email services don't have a web based interface.

    I'm messing around with ideas but I can't seem to think of a way to do this via Apple based email addresses either (@icloud). Any idea?
  11. R.C.Armstrong macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2011
    San Diego,Ca.
    Here is my work around for replying to emails and attaching file(s) using apple email.

    I use an app called FileBrowser to store my files. In FileBrowser you are able to send file(s) out via email using the apple email. So what I do in FileBrowser is email the file(s) to myself. Then go to the email account in the apple email and open the email. Copy the file(s) then go to the email where you need to reply with attachments and paste the file(s) in the body of the reply email.
  12. BeeGood macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2013
    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    I really think (hope) that Extensibility in iOS 8 will fix this by giving services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, etc the ability to extend files into the native mail app.

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