Will iCloud ever add advanced email rules?

jagooch

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 17, 2009
542
148
Denver, co
I've waited since 2011 for iCloud to add support for decent email processing rules to do the 2 things I used rules for:
1) Apply multiple conditions to the same email. i.e sender matches on of these criteria and subject matches one of these criteria .
2) Take multiple actions on the same email. i.e forward and archive


But it hasn't materialized.

It's with heavy heart that I registered a custom domain for my email and moved to Exchange Online hosted email to get access to advanced server side email rules that run even when my Macbook Pro is turned off or otherwise offline.

  • I tried leaving my computer on and using client side rules , but that doesn't work well since my computer is frequently offline for extended periods of time.
  • I thought of doing complex setups where perhaps one service filters my email ( say gmail ) and then forwards it to my iCloud email, but I'm all about consolidation and simplicity in my setup, so that was out.
Since my email rules reference my contacts ( e.g. if sender is not in contacts move it to trash ) I moved contacts into Exchange. Since my appointments reference my contacts, I moved my calendar to Exchange, too.


All of the this because Apple does not offer advanced email rules. I'd pay for it. but I guess customers like me are not who the product is for. I've sent them feedback to add advanced rules every year since iCloud started, and I'll continue to do so. Maybe one day they'll get enough feedback to convince them to add them. But that day is not today.

Has anyone else gone through the same "journey" as I? Do you think Apple will ever listen to our feedback?
 
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niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,822
1,705
tokyo
hi

macOS Mail has Rules and you can create very complex rules using it.
i use them on my mac.
sorting incoming mail into downloaded offline storage folders on my main device (my mac).
this process deletes them from the IMAP server at that same time.

but iOS Mail has none of this.
just leaves mail on the server. period.
until you delete it. or manually Move mail to other folders that you have created.

i suppose that as much as I have wanted the above kind of Rules for iOS, what is more critically needed now is a a better way (quicker, less key strokes) way to deal with spam/junk on iOS.
manually clicking on each spam in edit to enable moving it to Trash gets very tiresome.
 
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campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
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Has anyone else gone through the same "journey" as I?
I'm not being snarky here, have you checked out the Rules in the web version of iCloud Mail? I use both O365 Business Premium for personal use and iCloud for both personal use and one of my Apple Developer accounts. The Rules aren't the easiest to set up in that they're set up one at a time, but they're pretty comprehensive in that there are 5 decent "canned" Rule types and one pretty powerful "canned" Rule, the latter utilizes the List-ID identifier. Every legitimate email account has a unique List-ID identifier, which shows up in an email's Header (I'm sure you know that, but it's here and I wrote it!).

I set up folders for each of the 3 iCloud accounts that made sense to me, and generate at least one Rule for each "bot" generated message (for instance, I route a bunch of emails to a folder I named "Crap" by means of one or more Rules. Emails from one bot may "escape" a Subject or "From" Rule, but they get routed every time by a List-ID rule. All of this happens on the server side, so every device I use gets the messages I receive in the same folder.

These Rules are not the same as the macOS Mail client, which can be used as a supplement to those in iCloud Mail. The cloud Rules are meant for iCloud accounts only (including forwarded messages) while the client Mail app applies rules for messages routed to the app.

I've got around 250 rules for my Dev account, and around 90 for one and 30 for my second personal iCloud accounts. The max number of cloud Rules is 500, per account.
manually clicking on each spam in edit to enable moving it to Trash gets very tiresome.
You may have missed that, while in the "Junk" email folder on an iOS device, you can select the "Edit" option in the upper right corner of the Folder Pane, and then you're presented with the "Delete All" option in the bottom right corner of that same pane, followed by a confirmation option to either Delete All or Cancel. Three taps, and you've deleted all of your spam in the Junk folder…
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,822
1,705
tokyo
[QUOTE="campyguy, post: 26436738, member: 882710"
You may have missed that, while in the "Junk" email folder on an iOS device, you can select the "Edit" option in the upper right corner of the Folder Pane, and then you're presented with the "Delete All"…[/QUOTE]

yes. if the spam/junk is already in the Junk folder.
however, if its in the Spam folder (the folder that the IMAP server uses as its spam/junk folder) then you need to click on each one individually and delete it, or, click on each one to move them to another folder such as Junk - from which you can do what you mentioned: delete them all at once.
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,413
951
[QUOTE="campyguy, post: 26436738, member: 882710"
You may have missed that, while in the "Junk" email folder on an iOS device, you can select the "Edit" option in the upper right corner of the Folder Pane, and then you're presented with the "Delete All"…
yes. if the spam/junk is already in the Junk folder.
however, if its in the Spam folder (the folder that the IMAP server uses as its spam/junk folder) then you need to click on each one individually and delete it, or, click on each one to move them to another folder such as Junk - from which you can do what you mentioned: delete them all at once.[/QUOTE]
A bit of a clarification in that I'm specifically alluding to iCloud-based email. iCloud Mail does not have, or route, spam email to a "Spam" filter - it's routed to the default "Junk" folder. FWIW, I've been using Apple's mail service since the iTools days (around 2000) and I've never seen a "Spam" folder in a default installation, and I've not seen iCloud-based email spam routed to a "Spam" folder.

More here and here, both Apple Support documents that you should take the time to read, although they're both US-English support pages.

Your assertion - "the folder that the IMAP server uses as its spam/junk folder" - is not correct, partly borne out by the two Apple Support web pages I linked to directly. Apple uses a default folder named "Junk", and has done so for several years.

Also, the "Edit>Delete All" option works for every mail folder in iOS for iCloud Mail. Other servers may or may not have those options. If you have issues with iCloud Mail, follow the instructions on Apple's Support web pages and contact Apple directly. If you disagree with me regarding the Junk folder bit, please, back it up with proof.
 

niji

Contributor
Feb 9, 2003
1,822
1,705
tokyo
[QUOTE="
Also, the "Edit>Delete All" option works for every mail folder in iOS for iCloud Mail. Other servers may or may not have those options. If you have issues with iCloud Mail, follow the instructions on Apple's Support web pages and contact Apple directly. If you disagree with me regarding the Junk folder bit, please, back it up with proof.[/QUOTE]

no one is talking about iCloud Mail. its mail that is on servers other than the iCloud server, which is set up in iOS Mail / macOS Mail to access.
 

campyguy

macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
3,413
951
no one is talking about iCloud Mail.
Did you read the subject title? "Will iCloud ever add advanced email rules?" is the subject of this thread. My OP linked directly to iCloud Mail, the OP is describing iCloud Mail.

No offense, I disagree with you. Start another thread about your issues at hand. I'm reporting your reply to be addressed in a new thread. Good luck.
 
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jagooch

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 17, 2009
542
148
Denver, co
As I said, I tried creating rules at iCloud.com but they were too basic.

Apple macOS mail.app rules are more sophisticated but are client-side only.

Trying to rubber-band several systems together plus keep a mac running 24-7 to process mail to me is the opposite of simplicity.

Btw, some of the feature of Exchange Online are

  • Email Sweep - quickly find and apply an action to a large amount of email that meets criteria.
  • Email policies that you can apply to one or more folders. I'm using one now to delete deal newsletters older than 30 days. With Apple mail I had to write and schedule an AppleScript to do that. When I was using G Suite I had to write a Google app in javascript to do the same.
  • Spam blocking - they let you use your contact list, whitelist, and block list to decide what email is considered spam and what isn't. You can also mark email as spam/not spam.
 

Hylton Conacher

macrumors newbie
Oct 9, 2019
2
0
I've waited since 2011 for iCloud to add support for decent email processing rules to do the 2 things I used rules for:
1) Apply multiple conditions to the same email. i.e sender matches on of these criteria and subject matches one of these criteria .
2) Take multiple actions on the same email. i.e forward and archive


But it hasn't materialized.

It's with heavy heart that I registered a custom domain for my email and moved to Exchange Online hosted email to get access to advanced server side email rules that run even when my Macbook Pro is turned off or otherwise offline.

  • I tried leaving my computer on and using client side rules , but that doesn't work well since my computer is frequently offline for extended periods of time.
  • I thought of doing complex setups where perhaps one service filters my email ( say gmail ) and then forwards it to my iCloud email, but I'm all about consolidation and simplicity in my setup, so that was out.
Since my email rules reference my contacts ( e.g. if sender is not in contacts move it to trash ) I moved contacts into Exchange. Since my appointments reference my contacts, I moved my calendar to Exchange, too.


All of the this because Apple does not offer advanced email rules. I'd pay for it. but I guess customers like me are not who the product is for. I've sent them feedback to add advanced rules every year since iCloud started, and I'll continue to do so. Maybe one day they'll get enough feedback to convince them to add them. But that day is not today.

Has anyone else gone through the same "journey" as I? Do you think Apple will ever listen to our feedback?
I too am also waiting on Apple. Apple have STILL NOT materialised with advanced iCloud Mail filters as at 2019/10/09.

I use a locally based Parallels VM to host a Ubuntu Dovecot IMAP server that can handle the extreme complexity of over 270 sub-folders. I could have used Procmail on Linux to sort the email yet prefered the local method of using my email client. I use Thunderbird to access the mail store and the Thunderbird filters sort all the incoming email in the Inbox into the respective folders which in turn is stored on the mail store in Dovecot. Apple can only dream about filters as good as Thunderbird as they offer multiple matching criteria, and also allow multiple actions to be taken ie moving to several folders etc.

I REALLY hope someone at Apple is on this forum and gets the devs to work on it as Apple are losing money, especially as users would need to increase the size of their iCloud storage.

Of course the new Catalina release also fubar'd the Parallels file system so I thankfully have a copy of the email on Thunderbird but am now looking at moving to iCloud to store it.
 

Hylton Conacher

macrumors newbie
Oct 9, 2019
2
0
I've waited since 2011 for iCloud to add support for decent email processing rules to do the 2 things I used rules for:
1) Apply multiple conditions to the same email. i.e sender matches on of these criteria and subject matches one of these criteria .
2) Take multiple actions on the same email. i.e forward and archive


But it hasn't materialized.

It's with heavy heart that I registered a custom domain for my email and moved to Exchange Online hosted email to get access to advanced server side email rules that run even when my Macbook Pro is turned off or otherwise offline.

  • I tried leaving my computer on and using client side rules , but that doesn't work well since my computer is frequently offline for extended periods of time.
  • I thought of doing complex setups where perhaps one service filters my email ( say gmail ) and then forwards it to my iCloud email, but I'm all about consolidation and simplicity in my setup, so that was out.
Since my email rules reference my contacts ( e.g. if sender is not in contacts move it to trash ) I moved contacts into Exchange. Since my appointments reference my contacts, I moved my calendar to Exchange, too.


All of the this because Apple does not offer advanced email rules. I'd pay for it. but I guess customers like me are not who the product is for. I've sent them feedback to add advanced rules every year since iCloud started, and I'll continue to do so. Maybe one day they'll get enough feedback to convince them to add them. But that day is not today.

Has anyone else gone through the same "journey" as I? Do you think Apple will ever listen to our feedback?
Visit https://www.apple.com/feedback/ and select iCloud Mail and ask that they implement multiple criteria rules on iCloud Mail
 
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