We have all seen the notorious yet ubiquitous “Sent from my iPhone” signature, and perhaps it is not worth analyzing something so trivial. But we love analyzing everything, and therefore we’re going to analyze the meaning, usage and existence of the “Sent from my iPhone” signature. Android and BlackBerry users (if there are any still out there), worry not. You guys are included in this discussion as well.

Before we got smartphones, we used to look at these default smartphone signatures with a little bit of envy. “Oh look at so-and-so, s/he has a smartphone and can send emails.” We wished we were that cool. Then we got smartphones. We kept that signature in as a way to brag. “LOOK AT US PEOPLE, WE HAVE SMARTPHONES, HA!”

Signature then

Signature then

Apparently though, some people have legitimate reasons for keeping in the default email signatures:

-Not knowing how to remove the default signature
-Legitimately writing differently on our smartphones than our computers. For example, our smartphone emails are much shorter, and perhaps filled with words that for some reason only seem correct to the beast known as autocorrect.
-Ehh, it doesn’t really mean anything

Unfortunately, none of these “excuses” apply to us. We do know how to remove the default, don’t let autocorrect butcher our writing, don’t let our email length vary with device (some of us even have written 400-500 word blog posts, essays and letters on our smartphones – to the profound dismay of our thumbs), and clearly it means something to us because we’re clogging about it.

Before we knew it though, the age of default smartphone signatures then came to be replaced by the age of everyone having multiple mobile devices each with their own default signatures. We quickly came to know that (almost) everyone had an iPhone and an iPad and insisted on switching devices for each email.

Signature a little later

Signature a little later

Around that time, when we bought more mobile devices, we realized that computers were no longer the norm for sending emails, and now almost all of our emails recorded their point of origin. It was then that the sight of reading “Sent from my  [insert device name here]” became unbearable. We began to lose sleep over it. We agonized for hours over how to resolve this situation. Then, like a sudden burst of genius, it dawned upon us to remove the signatures. Now recipients of our emails can only guess as to whether these emails were typed with all 10 fingers, or just two.

Image source: Tejas Dave, The Daily Californian

Christian said:
Oct 16, 2012 at 10:53 am

This article literally has no content. Quick summary:

“Phones have default signatures. Now mobile devices have default signatures. Luckily, we can change them.

So yeah. That’s a thing.”

Is there a point to this article? What does the signature say about the greater adoption of mobile devices? How does it help us identify new versus existing smartphone users (e.g.: A grandparent will never change that signature, while a 20 something will)? There’s something here, but instead this is a 140 word article that could have been written in 140 characters.

Anon said:
Oct 16, 2012 at 11:32 am

don’t let our email length vary with device (some of us even have written 400-500 word blog posts, essays and letters on our smartphones – to the profound dismay of our thumbs)

Then you journalist types are strange creatures. The rest of humanity writes brief one-liners in mobile emails, because we have places to be and obstacles to watch out for while on the road or sidewalk. The signature is a mea culpa to the recipient, “my email is terse not because I don’t care enough, but I’m trying to finish this before I obliviously walk into an intersection and get run over by a car”.

I suppose if you while away your days sipping mocha in a coffee shop, you probably have enough spare time to write your thesis on your phone, and thus that signature is unnecessary.