OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 Discontinuities Drive Me Crazy

Go into Calendar on OS X and look at an appointment. Put an address in that appointment — best done from your Contacts — and you get this:

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 5.49.22 PMYou can get travel times!  You can set travel times based on addresses in your Contacts, and if you have two adjacent appointments at different places, you get the travel time between the two destinations!  Then you can get the alerts based off of the travel time, not off of the start of the appointment.  That’s wonderful.

You can’t do the same thing in iOS 7.  [Edit]: The travel time alerts work just fine, but they’re not really user visible.  See below:

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You get the address, and you see alerts that will be set, and they will go off, but no estimate of travel time is given.  Also, this travel time thing could be smarter: this assumes that I’m leaving from home, but what if I ran an errand before going and lost track of time?  If I was closer in to that appointment, I could “use” the extra room; if I’d gone further away, I’d need the alerts moved.  You could do that on iOS, but …

… you can’t even set these travel times yourself.  You can see the address listed above, but you can’t create it on your own in iOS.  Typing “Dana Summers’s work”, which is the exact Contacts data object, does nothing.  Hopefully this answers Brandon’s question.

Start an email in Mail on iOS 7: if you have multiple email addresses, it will start with your default email address:

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… unless you start an email to a person that you regular correspond with on another email account.

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… and then it switches to sending from the account you’re using to the one you regularly use to contact that person.  It even works with combinations of people: I might email Mike and Allen from one account when I do that separately, but when I do it together, it might be another one entirely (generally, if I’m sending a larger email, it’s to bitch about our hockey team).

But if you send email on OS X Mavericks, it does the time-honored practice: sending from the default account1 unless you start a new email while selecting an email in your INBOX2, and then you’ll be sending from that account instead.

They just don’t have the same behaviors, and it’s maddening.  If I could only get one, it would be the smart email account selection from iOS Mail mapped onto OS X Mail, but that just goes in a long list of necessary improvements to be made to OS X Mail3.  But presumably you can get this in the other direction, because right now, my iPhone knows that it will take me five minutes to drive home from the coffeeshop:

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Now, maybe the Contacts —> Calendar thing is coming to iOS.  I just tested it to make sure that I couldn’t add a Contact address into a Calendar item, and you just can’t.  This drives me crazy.

This function is something that I’ve wanted to have since I first got my iPhone six-and-a-half years ago.  I want my phone to be smart enough to know where I am, where I have to be, and how long that it will take for me to get from A to B.  It needs to be smart enough to figure out whether I’m walking or driving: distance matters, as does weather.  If I’m at work, going to another work building, I’m walking, right?  Let me set GPS points for places that I routinely visit.

I want my devices to clear out a lot of the cruft for me.  I’m going to get lost in whatever I’m doing — phone calls, meetings, work — and I want my phone to nudge me out of that when I need that.  I also want my devices to make it easier to provide context for my communication.  This is happening imperfectly.

I’ve been thinking about these two things lately, and finally it just got to be too much today.  What drove me over the cliff was the send-from-selected-email’s-account thing.  Now I’ve gotten the frustration out and can go back to important things like getting my head on straight for my fourth semester of graduate school.

 

  1. Which is subject to change if OS X Mail decides to re-order everything, which it does every so often. []
  2. Presumably this behavior happens if you start an email from a different folder, but I’ve never run across this. []
  3. See also: tagging, archiving with a simple keystroke, etc. []