Apple demos new features of a new Mail version coming with Mac OS X Lion

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller, announced some new features of the new version of Mail that comes with the latest version of Mac OS X Lion.

With the new layout, and the option of a two or three column view, Mail now looks a lot like the Mail app on iOS. On the left hand side you will have a list of all your emails; on the right you see the selected email.

Besides a completely new layout, Mail also got a hugely improved search engine built in that provides the user with search suggestions. So, as soon as you start typing into the search field, Mail suggests search terms and names of contacts you have in your address book. You can also have search tokens which are set terms in your search field, and of which you can have as many as you wish. During the on-stage demo, Apple gave the examples of “from,” “subject” and “when” tokens that can be filled out accordingly and Mail will find you the emails these rules apply to. It’s a bit like the rules for Smart Folders in OSX.

The new version of Mail also got an all-new conversation view. Each email that’s part of a conversation is displayed as a little piece of paper in the right column of the window so that you don’t have to deal with those differently coloured quoted text-snippets. But you can still switch back to the traditional view for conversations, if your prefer. Another new feature concerning email conversations is the easy ability to save a conversation by just dragging the email preview from the list to wherever you want to save it to and drop it there.

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