In the latest iOS 8 beta released by Apple, we noted changes to the Mail app settings. You can now customize what the swipe actions do to your mail through the settings. This is useful if you want to change the default swipe actions that come with iOS 8.
I want to mention here that the customization isn't all that extensive. In fact, it's pretty limited at the moment (we're hoping they'll add more options by the final beta or GM.)
How to Customize Swipe Left and Swipe Right Options in Mail, iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad
- Open the Settings app
- Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars
- Tap on Swipe Options
- To configure options for swipe left (this is the most frequently used), tap on Swipe Left
- To configure options for the right swipe, tap on Swipe Right
The Swipe Left and Swipe Right options work in a different way.
How it works: Swipe Left
When you set an option in Swipe Left, the option only gets added to the swipe left action. If you select Mark As Read under Swipe Left, you will see More, Mark as Read/Unread and Flag (or Archive.)
How it works: Swipe Right
When you select an option for Swipe Right (let's say Archive), go on and swipe all the way right on an email thread. The email will be archived (or deleted depending on mail settings.)
The swipe right more or less works as a single option while the swipe left provides three. But the long-swipe action is customizable only in Swipe right. A long swipe left usually only archives.
Apparently, all these feature additions are things we've seen before. For instance, the Mailbox app (which was recently acquired by Dropbox). Gmail's official app has these features too.
Apple's implementation of the swipe direction customization seems half-baked. But nevertheless, if you rely on iOS Mail app for all your email communication, this should be a little more useful.