Are 'Sent From My Phone' Signatures Useful Or Annoying?

Depending on who you ask, a mobile signature in email is either a clever time-saving trick... or just plain annoying. Which side of the fence are you on?

When you see that "sent from my" signature, the sender may or may not really be on a mobile device. They might just be trying to get you to cut them some slack for short answers, typos or other email shortcomings. Huffington Post's executive tech editor Bianca Bosker admits she uses this tactic and cites a study published by the Journal of Applied Communication Research last year indicating people really are more tolerant of mistakes when they see that "sent from my iPhone" phrase at the end of a message.

Others, however, may think that signature and accompanying lack of detail in the message inconsiderate.

What do you think?

Why I Include "Sent from My iPhone" — Even When It's Not [Huffington Post]


Comments

    The casual observer might fall for this, but the email headers will reveal the truth. And if you're trying to be sneaky, you'll just lose credibility.

    Try obnoxious. If we are talking about corporate e-mail. A lot of people get company devices because they meet the criteria of a certain threshold of importance within a company, and will use their device to let everyone know that. They use their company granted mobile device rather than waiting for a more appropriate time of the day to answer the e-mail properly. This helps them justify their need to keep said device as well. The worst offenders are people without directly reporting staff.

    Typically I will disregard the "sent from my iPhone" e-mails unless I know the person was genuinely isolated from the office for the day.

    With BYOD becoming popular most people i know have mobile email, I use it so if i am stuck somewhere i answer a few quick notes and it saves doing it when i am back in the office.

    I leave the signature on so people excuse the short reply and typos. I also tend to only reply to internal staff or external people i have an existing relationship with.

    I find them annoying.

    I really don't care where you send an email from. The "Sent from my *insert device here*" lines at the bottom are nothing more than shameless advertising. Email is email. Who cares where it was sent from?

    Last edited 06/07/13 11:12 am

    I've turned off the signature on my phone. I've set up a rule to automatically move anything with "Sent from my device" (with new devices added as they come) to a folder that gets only checked briefly once a week or two.

    Last edited 06/07/13 11:26 am

      Where's the point in that? The manufacturer's signature might not be a cool thing, but this seems to be an unnecessary discrimination against people who happen to have taken the trouble to write to you via their mobile device. What if you're in a conversation and the other person is briefly on the move and shifts to checking their email on a phone? Suddenly you don't want to see that particular reply?

        They can send any email from the phone they want. They don't need to use a "Sent from my device" as a signature. It's just a way of telling the other person "I'm lazy, so want to use this as an excuse for any typos I make." Most people don't use any such signature when sending emails from their phone.

        Last edited 06/07/13 1:44 pm

          Not necessarily an excuse for typos. It might also be saying: I'm clueless about changing signatures (not a Lifehacker reader obviously), or I'm very excited about having a smartphone, or I can't be bothered to change it, or my phone is new and I haven't set it up completely yet.

          Given that these signatures are set by manufacturers/carriers as an advertising strategy, you really can't assume that those who leave them in place are consciously trying to excuse typos. And even if they are, to use that as the basis for delaying looking at their message for up to half a week… kind of counterproductive.

          Look, I agree, such signatures should be changed as part of the process of setting up your phone. And in my experience, most people – as you say – do customise their signatures. But to go to the extreme of delaying your attention to the few who don't? Just seems a bit punitive. And it could hurt you more than them if the message is important or time sensitive.

    These supplied signatures are just advertising on the part of the phone manufacturer. And so not cool.

    I regard anyone who doesn't immediately replace the "sent from my [device]" signature in much the same way I regard people who go out in public with the cashmere label still tacked to the sleeve of their coat, or the vent pleat of their skirt still stitched together. Such people are rubes.

    A signature is the place for useful information. Your full name, your mobile number if you want to be called, your email address… Not for bragging about the fact that you have an iPhone (a yawn worthy fact nowadays) or for justifying a brief or careless response.

      Many devices append the 'Sent From' on to any signature so they can have both. See above re: being a dick.

        I'm not aware of any device/carrier that appends a signature which the user can't change or remove if they want to, either case by case or in the settings. Which ones have you come across that do this?

    It's a pointless signature. If you're to busy to reply, don't until you have time. If you can't type on your phone, try something new like reply with a phone call. Short responses with an excuse that it's a phone just says the person on the other end isn't worth your complete attention for a properly formulated response and a short semi - useless answer is just a brush off so you don't have to deal with the question later.

    If something is fairly urgent and needs an immediate response, I tend to get a reply that says "I'm out and will take a look when i can in an hour or so" to acknowledge receipt, at which point s signature stating you're in a mobile is really just repeating yourself or adds zero value.

    I couldn't care less what device someone is using when sending an email. Likewise, I assume other people don't care about what I'm using to send my emails, so I've disabled that signature on my iPhone.

    I find that the people who still have the "sent from" signatures are the same people who "humble-brag" about how they can't possibly go out to dinner because they're constantly dealing with work messages; ie. people who are desperate to feel important.

    People who really are important have staff who can deal with that stuff when they don't want to and will only get called on in true emergencies. When I hear people complain like that I think "Congratulations, welcome to mediocrity"

    It's only cool if you have a Sony Ericsson Xperia phone.
    ---
    Sent from my SEXphone :P

    I use "Sent from my phone, apologies for any brevity" as *that* is the point I try to get across.

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