By an incredible fluke I discovered the Mobile java application the day after it was launched. Not quite knowing what I was in for, I immediately downloaded the applet to my cellphone. What a little gem! I have been using it daily ever since.
Sure you can configure most new and not so new phones to fetch mail from your existing pop account, but there are some real limitations. You invariably only download the message headers, you cannot keep too many message on the phone as they clog of the little space you available on the phone, old messages are hard to find etc.
One real advantage of using this little application is that your messages are resident and stay on Google's servers. This means no massive data downloads when fetching that message with a massive Powerpoint presentation you didn't know was attached.
Also, as the mantra goes, you never need to delete your messages which combined with their rapid search option means you can always find that email from months ago that contained John Smith's telephone number you just lost.
They have also made quick number key shortcuts for easy (in fact easier than the web version) navigation. As an example, pressing the number '7' on your keypad twice will delete the message you are currently viewing.
Here's a quick step-by-step guide as to how I set it up so I can use it for both personal and business emails i.e. multiple email accounts.
- If you do not already have one, get yourself a gmail account. You no longer need to wait for an invite. Just make your way to http://mail.google.com and sign up.
- Set up your existing mail server to forward all mails to your new gmail address. Most ISPs have a setup option on their webmail page to do this. Do not forward from your mail client (eg Outlook) as it makes for a very messy inbox with a whole lot of "fwd's." Also it's difficult to ascertain who the mails are originally from.
- Sign in to Gmail and modify the account setting "Send as" options. Add the account you want your recipients to see when in 'Sent By' in their inbox and make it your default. By doing this when you send mail from the Gmail account from your cellphone your recipients can still reply to the email address of your choice. I would also suggest activating and adding a default signature for all mails sent.
- Go to the Java applet on your cellphone, sign in, and you are up and running.
The costs, just the data sent and received. I still use GPRS only and the response is impressive and the cost not exorbitant. Check your data package charges with your provider.