Terry Blanchard, who led the engineering and QA teams for Apple Mail since 2011, is moving on. He’s not going far though. Terry will still manage an email team, but it’s for the Spark email app owned by Readdle. Here’s what this could mean for the future of Apple Mail.
Details Of The Move
Readdle is a small company based in Odessa, Ukraine. They have created a host of productivity apps like PDF Expert and Spark. Readdle wants to change the future of work, and email is a big part of that future, with Readdle CEO Igor Zhadanov saying:
Email is not going anywhere and has to be reinvented. The team has done a phenomenal job so far and we are committed to shaping the future of email. Terry is a valuable addition to the team and brings years of experience from one of the best companies in the world.
Terry says he shares this vision of the future of email with Readdle:
Spark is modernizing email as we know it. We share a fundamental vision of what the future of email should be. I’ve always admired Readdle for their beautiful and innovative products, which makes them the ideal company to turn that vision into a reality.
Of course, that begs the question: What stopped him from realizing this email vision with Apple? Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Apple isn’t innovating fast enough when it comes to email. It’s possible that Apple Mail is going in a different direction than what Terry Blanchard prefers.
What Does This Mean?
So what does this mean for the future of Apple Mail? If the email team isn’t innovating, what if the Mail team goes away like the automation team did? Or, Apple could acquire an email development team like its recent acquisition of Workflow.
If we look at other email apps, it becomes clear that a major trend is the introduction of smart mail with artificial intelligence built in. Mail does have certain smart features right now, like automatically adding events to your calendar. But there is much room for improvement, such as Siri having more of a presence within the Mail app, or automatically sorting email into categories, like rival Spark.
With the release of iOS 10.3, Apple has started to collect iCloud Analytics for users that opt-in. This could be a great way to improve Mail. And it’s also certainly possible that Apple is already planning to improve Mail in iOS 11. By this time of year, much of the development of the next iOS version is sure to be largely done, so let’s cross our fingers as we wait for WWDC 2017.