I access my four email accounts through Apple’s Mail application on my Mac, iPhone and iPad. Up until iOS 6, all incoming emails were treated equal. By that I mean, the same alert tone was used to announce incoming emails from everybody regardless of the email account. So, without checking, I didn’t know if I was getting an email sent to my personal email account or one of the others.
With the release of iOS 6, we can customize the tone used for incoming mail on an account by account basis. (Plus some other things I’ll get to.)
To customize incoming mail alert tones: Go to Settings > Notifications > Mail. Select an account, then select New Mail Sound to change or turn off the alert tone. If you have more than one email account, consider using a different alert for each. Or even turning off the alert tone. Since these settings are unique per device, I can set them one way on my iPhone and another on my iPad.
Also within the mail account screen, you can customize a variety of other settings…how the alert will display on your screen (Alert Style), whether the App icon will display badges* (Badge App Icon), if a preview of an incoming email will display on your screen (Show Preview) and if that preview will display when your screen is locked (View in Lock Screen).
With the release of Mountain Lion for the Mac and iOS 6 for iPhone and iPad, Apple introduced a new email group called VIP. Email from people on your VIP list will go into a special mailbox, making them easy to sort from all your other email. (This is a variation of the Smart Mailbox feature that’s been around a long time on the Mac.)
You can assign a unique alert tone to this group: Go to Settings > Notifications > Mail > VIP. Select an alert tone from the list. Now, without looking, you’ll know if an incoming email is from your VIP group.
Don’t know how to make someone a VIP? Stay iTuned…
*Badge is a fancy name for the icon with the number inside it that appears in the upper right hand corner of an App icon. It denotes the number of something…unread emails, new updates available, etc.