Engineering Manager | Trail Runner | Stockholm, Sweden

iCloud Calendar invite email language

A colleague showed me today the email she got about my Calendar invite: it had been in Japanese.

I’ve received emails from Apple in Japanese before, for example about password resets, due to the fact that I registered my—then—address while I’ve been living in Japan. I didn’t mind it much. However, in cases like above this behaviour might cause certain problems…

But what sets the language of service emails about Calendar invites or iMessage device activations? Apparently the language setting of the website has nothing to do with it. A quick search pointed me to and sure enough it had a section called Language and Contact Preferences with the preferred language set to 日本語.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 16.01.52

So long, Sparrow

Today Sparrow announced that it was acquired by Google. An excerpt from the notification email they sent:

We will continue to make available our existing products, and we will provide support and critical updates to our users. However, as we’ll be busy with new projects at Google, we do not plan to release new features for the Sparrow apps.

I came to like Sparrow, as an email client designed specifically for Gmail. Since Ustream uses Google Apps, I happily utilized Sparrow for my work mail while I kept my private iCloud account in OS X Mail. This separation seemed to work well, even on the iPhone, where the lack of push notifications for Sparrow ended up to be a feature for me: I didn’t get a ton of notifications during the day when I was sitting in front of the computer anyway.

Reading this piece of news however prompted me to remove Sparrow and transfer my work account to Mail as well. I don’t plan to invest in dead software. Anyway, on the upside, one email client eats up less resources and I have to learn only one set of keyboard shortcuts. Keeping it simple, stupid.


Partly due to the horrid implementation of the stock IMAP mail app on Android and partly due to the elegant new look of the web interface you may recall that I made the switch to Gmail a while ago.

After a few days of use I devised the following inbox-zero method:

  • Mail I read and been done with gets archived.
  • Mail that requires some kind of action later gets starred then archived.
  • After processed, starred items are un-starred.

This seems to work well enough so far.

However, the one thing I have issues with is search. I’m spoiled by the MobileMe / power-search which indexes everything instantly rendering the use of folders and the like obsolete. Say I am looking for the confirmation email from my hosting provider, Laughing Squid: a quick search pops all messages with these keywords no matter where they are or how long ago I received them. Why would I want to organize mail into folders then? Or, for that matter, stick labels on them.

Enter Gmail: for some reason the search does not find all the emails I want it to find. Maybe it doesn’t search in messages received years ago or doesn’t index them all, I don’t know. Alternatively, something got messed up during the import and some of the emails weren’t copied over…

On the desktop I bought Sparrow because it was made specifically for Gmail. I am yet to test it but I’m afraid it will suffer from the same search problem. One solution would be the shiny new Lion (which indexes everything) but would that be able to use the archive method Gmail prefers with the labels?

On that note I still haven’t found a use for labels.