Push mail the easy way
Whilst thinking further about the Nokia E61 and
Sony Ericsson M600 I
was wondering whether their email functionality would actually be any
use for those of us who don't pay to use a proprietary push email
system or run a costly solution like Microsoft Exchange, i.e. normal
Joes who just use standard mail servers with POP3 or IMAP access.
There's a simple solution: IMAP IDLE. Rui has a great collection of IMAP resources, including
RFC:2177 the IMAP IDLE command.
Here's a sample IMAP IDLE session using telnet, the commands I typed
are in bold, with a few of my comments in
italics, all the rest is traffic back from the server.
jim@server:~$ telnet example.com 143
Connected to example.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
* OK [CAPABILITY IMAP4rev1 UIDPLUS CHILDREN NAMESPACE
THREAD=ORDEREDSUBJECT THREAD=REFERENCES SORT QUOTA IDLE ACL ACL2=UNION
STARTTLS] Courier-IMAP ready. Copyright 1998-2005 Double Precision, Inc.
See COPYING for distribution information.
we'e connected to the server, spot the word IDLE in the
? LOGIN jim password
? OK LOGIN Ok.
? SELECT INBOX
* FLAGS (\Draft \Answered \Flagged \Deleted \Seen \Recent)
* OK [PERMANENTFLAGS (\* \Draft \Answered \Flagged \Deleted \Seen)]
* 606 EXISTS
* 0 RECENT
* OK [UIDVALIDITY 1152176239] Ok
* OK [MYRIGHTS "acdilrsw"] ACL
? OK [READ-WRITE] Ok
+ entering idle mode
time passes ... and a new email arrives!
* 607 EXISTS
* 1 RECENT
at this point we could use the FETCH command to grab the new
message, but for simplicity we'll just bale out
? OK IDLE completed
* BYE Courier-IMAP server shutting down
? OK LOGOUT completed
Connection closed by foreign host.
As you can see, the basics of getting the IDLE command working for
a client are pretty straightforward, and the best bit is that native
email client on a number of phones such as the Sony Ericsson P910
and the Nokia 6680
already appears to support IMAP IDLE. So who needs a Blackberry? :-)
Updates: A quick thanks to Rui who confirms that most recent
Symbian and Sony Ericsson phones (such as the K610i) should
have IMAP IDLE support, and also to Martin for investigations
that prove our hosting provider JaguarPC
supports IMAP IDLE - all for a mere 8 bucks a month.
[Thu, 06 Jul 2006 21:36
Bloglines giving you more control
Hurrah, it looks like Bloglines have finally resolved their 301 handling. Also they've announced a Publisher Tools programme to help Bloglines to work better with your blog. It still needs the "publisher" to be a Bloglines user, but it's certainly a start.
Now what about some of their other problems?
Update: The "claim my feed" process is a complete pain in the arse, and I've not managed to get it to work yet despite the required codes appearing in both my feeds and htm. This is not the sort of freedback that Bloglines were after, but I guess it's best they know.
[Thu, 06 Jul 2006 13:06
Is UIQ holding back the M600i?
I had an interesting experience the other night, a quick play with a Nokia E61 and a Sony Ericsson M600i. Not an in-depth review, nor even a 15 minute guided tour of the two devices, just a quick hands-on play in the pub. Is this a relevant experience? I think so, it's not that disimilar to a the brief experience in a phone shop that is often many people's sole knowledge before deciding which phone to buy.
Conclusions? The E61 was much as expected, it's an S60 phone so all the usual buttons did all the usaul things, I had a quick ferret around to spot some of the new features, but all in all I wasn't too bothered. The form factor and lack of camera rule it off my wishlist from the word go; the phone is actually lighter and smaller in the hand than I'd expected, so that was a pleasant surprise, but the missing camera is still the deal breaker for me.
The M600i is a different kettle of fish altogether, it looks like a phone, not a device to chain you to the workplace. The dimensions are very pocket friendly, think flattened K750, and you'll not be far out. Then you get to using it, and I had one of those "where do I start?" moments. Sure I've used UIQ a little before, but never for more than a few stabs and scribbles with a pen.
For starters, look at that keypad, where's the function keys? There's no joystick, no softkeys and despite the qwerty nature there's only one more button than on my my 6680's keypad (one less if you include the 6680's softkeys in the button count). Compare the M600 to the E61 and the difference is immediate, the M600's touch screen isn't really there to enhance the user experience, or to woo Treo die-hards (both of them). The touch screen is an integral part of M600 usability, it's kept the button count low and hence the dimensions within sane bounds.
This comes at the price of instant out-of-the-box usability, only previous UIQ users or the rarely spotted manual readers are going to be fully using this phone from the word go, for others there's a steep learning curve. Will most users remain on the nursery slopes or get beyond basic usability? Is this another case of smart phones in a dumb world?
[Thu, 06 Jul 2006 06:18