"Sent from my iPhone," "Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone," and the like. You've probably seen these lines on countless messages as more people are staying tethered to their mobile devices and using them to send and respond to messages.
Since the percentage of people with these email-laden devices is increasing, mobile carriers and some device manufacturers are increasing the amount of free marketing that they receive by virtue of the fact that these settings are often the default on devices when they ship. Back when smartphones were the exception, I imagine that people touted their ownership with pride and didn't mind so much that the default tagline was there for all to see. However, as these devices become more pervasive, default signature lines end up doing nothing except tell the recipient that the person responded while on a smartphone.
That said, I personally use the signature line to help recipients understand that any "interesting" autocorrects that might be found in one of my messages are because I'm using a mobile device. However, rather than keeping the default signature, I've changed it to read "Sent from my mobile device - please excuse typos." Now, of course, I keep audience in mind. If I'm sending something to someone sensitive, I reread and correct anything I might find — but if I'm just responding to something quick, I'm in a hurry, and the other end just needs an answer and doesn't care if its pretty, this signature line is a perfect fit.
So, how do you go about modifying or removing the signature line from messages?
iPhone/iPadOn your iOS-based device, go to Settings | Mail, Contacts, Calendars (as shown in Figure A) Figure A
Choose the Signature itemAs shown below in Figure C, provide whatever text you'd like to appear when you send a message from the device. It should be noted that the signature is common to every account you have configured on the device. If you have multiple email accounts configured, they all use the same signature. Figure C
Provide a new signature
Now, the next time you send a message, the recipient will see your new signature.
AndroidThe steps here will vary, depending on your Android device — but the basic premise is the same. In this example, I'm following the procedure for a Droid X running Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread). Go to the Email app, tap the Options button, and choose Messaging settings (Figure D). Figure D
Choose Messaging settings
On the Messaging settings page, choose the Email option.Figure E
Choose Email to change your email settingsWhen you get to the Email settings page, choose the Compose options setting (as shown in Figure F). Figure F
Choose compose options
Finally, provide an email signature that makes sense for you or simply remove the default one.Figure G
On the Compose options page, provide your new signature
As I mentioned above, the steps will vary for different Android devices. For example, if you have an HTC Incredible, go to the Mail app and then select the Menu | More | Setting |General Settings | Signature.
Note: A special thanks goes to Rick Vanover for his assistance in getting Android screenshots for this article!
Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive with CampusWorks, Inc. Scott is available for consulting, writing, and speaking engagements and can be reached at email@example.com.