Bye Bye POP3, Hello IMAP!
Bye Bye POP3, Hello IMAP!
By: Kevin Clark
Jan. 1, 2000 12:00 AM
Trying to find the right wireless e-mail service is confusing. With so many options and features, how do you make the right choice? Messaging, broadly defined, includes SMS, instant messaging, paging, e-mail, voice mail, and faxes. They are essentially communications between people on many different mediums.
E-mail is the undisputed "king" of Internet applications. For most computer users, checking e-mail has become a daily routine. With the advent of wireless technology, checking e-mail while away from your computer is rapidly becoming a reality. Millions today use wireless e-mail; it will be one of the most widely used applications for the wireless Internet. However, there are many different wireless e-mail offerings on the market with varied levels of capability. Here's an overview of the basic classes of e-mail service.
Standards for E-Mail
Wireless POP3 Mail
Accessing wireless e-mail with your WAP phone can get expensive, especially when you're paying for air time. Alternatively, there are e-mail clients on more advanced devices, such as Palm and PocketPC, that can read POP3 directly. Device limitations constrain the size of e-mail that can be read and stored on the device, but these applications allow you to work on e-mail even when disconnected from the Internet.
Using POP3 has an inherent limitation. E-mail that's "popped" off the mail server resides in a client machine/device, so people who read e-mail from work and home can have e-mail in two places. Therefore, most people configure secondary readers such as a wireless device or HTML e-mail access to leave e-mail on the POP3 server. Then when they get to their primary workstation, e-mail can be fetched from the e-mail server, and managed locally with e-mail software such as Outlook, Eudora, Notes, Netscape Mail, or others. Once e-mail is fetched from the e-mail server, it's no longer accessible from wireless devices without some creative solutions.
Wireless E-Mail with Desktop Components
Corporate Wireless E-Mail
Wireless IMAP E-Mail
Enter NotWired's IMAP e-mail service. Introduced in beta in August, NotWired is a large-scale public IMAP server with added value applications called groupware. It allows you to centralize all POP3 and IMAP e-mail into one location and utilize standard IMAP e-mail readers to manage your e-mail. If you delete something on your wireless device, it will be removed from your laptop after invoking a quick update command that all IMAP mail client software applications provide. Therefore, the same e-mail you deleted or moved on your cell phone will be synchronized automatically on your laptop. Powerful group features such as scheduling, calendars, and task and contact management enable you to handle all your contact communications.
IMAP e-mail overcomes the basic limitations inherent with POP3 e-mail, and provides a standard means for all compliant e-mail software programs. Since all e-mail is stored initially on the server, it will free you from keeping multiple e-mail on different machines. Various services will allow you to manage e-mail anytime, anywhere, with all the advantages of desktop software and all the mobility of cell phones and PDAs. The best of both worlds!
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