OK, so a friend is raving about his Droid phone, and it sounds quite cool. The Palm Pre has some good ideas too. Hopefully a little competition will keep Apple from being Apple — “we know what’s best for you” — too often.

So, a few things that would dramatically improve the email experience on the iPhone, for this humble user anyway.

  • Unified email view: Allow me to see all my email messages, from multiple accounts, in one list. The Blackberry does this, and they combine SMS into the same view while they’re at it.
  • Status-at-a-glance: How many new email messages do you have? There is no way of knowing on the iPhone. I can see the count of unread ones, but then I’d have to remember what that number was an hour ago to know if anything’s new. And please, why must I log in to find this out?
  • Email folder bookmarks: I haven’t seen anyone suggest this yet. Allow me to place a bookmark directly into a specific mail folder or account, on my home screen. Update that icon with a badge indicating new/unread in that folder. This will dovetail very well with the filters I have set up in Gmail.
  • Unified contacts: The Palm Pre does this: it brings in pictures and other info from your Facebook, LinkedIn, etc and matches them with your contacts. A little Gravatar integration might be clever, too.