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  #14  
Old 04-02-2008, 07:27 PM
elp elp is offline
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I certainly wouldn't recommend using the built-in email S60 application to any non-technical person. It's just far to flaky and unreliable. As much as I dislike Java application, Google Mail Mobile is definitely the way to go for any non-technical person who want to access their emails on the go. It doesn't have an automatic retrieval feature but at least it's dead simple to use and it works flawlessly. In practice it's also much faster than the built-in email client, which takes ages to do just about anything despite being a native application.

Being one of these technical person, I decided to try out Messaging on my E90 and set it up for my 2 GMail account via IMAP4 with auto-retrieval every 5 minutes between 9am and 6pm. It's just an endless stream of problems.

For a start, Messaging usually displays HTML emails as garbage. No matter what you opinion is about HMTL emails (and I certainly despise them), they there and they're here to stay. The only way to get these emails to display properly is to select "Attachment.html" and open it in the web browser. Sure, it's more of an annoyance than a real problem, but it's hardly the most practical, intuitive and user-friendly feature.

Problems start to arise with the auto-retrieval feature. Every-time Messaging fails to connect to the email server (which obviously is not a rare occurrence as mobile networks are inherently unreliable), it will purely and simply disable auto-retrieval for you. So you think that your phone is checking your emails every 5 minutes and that it will alert you whenever you get a new email when in fact your phone is sitting idle doing absolutely nothing. The only way to solve the problem is to open your inbox, go to the email settings, go the auto-retrieval setting, re-enable auto-retrieval and exit. In practice, I'm doing this 2 to 3 times a day.

The biggest problem though is that sometimes Messaging simply gets stuck and stops updating your inbox without telling you anything. This has started to happen after a few weeks of automatic retrieval and is almost a daily occurrence now. You get back home at night thinking that you've had no emails during the day only to realize when you switch on your PC that you actually received 15 emails. Messaging appears to be still connected but won't download any new email. Selecting Options->Disconnect has no effect. Killing the GPRS connection has no effect either. The only way to get Messaging to work again is to either reboot the phone or go the email settings which forces the connection to close and then re-connect. A bit of a joke for a 600 business device.

And of course, as soon as you've got a few hundred of emails in your inbox, which happens fairly quickly, Messaging starts to choke and takes ages to update the inbox. Even if there's only one new header to download, it can take several minutes (yes, minutes!) for Messaging to update your inbox no matter whether you're connected via 3G or Wifi. Clearly, they never tested this application with more than of couple of emails.

On my E61, after having accumulated a few hundred of SMS and email (can't remember the exact number), Messaging refused to launch at all. It would constantly crash with an out-of-memory error when trying to display the inbox. I managed the salvage the situation by rebooting the phone to free as much RAM as possible, starting Messaging and deleting everything (it took a few attempts but luckily it worked at the end). Else, I would have had no other option than a re-format and at least half a day wasted to re-install and re-configure everything.

That's how good Messaging is. Do not give this to newbies or they'll run away from S60 as soon as they can.