Back in January I wrote that Apple iPhone Push Email is probably not for me. I get a ton of email each day — it’s a critical element of my business.
This is why I carry a Nokia E61i running Good Mobile Messaging (or, actually, a Motorola Q9 running version 5.0 beta of Good Mobile Messaging — but more on that soon) — that is, a proper email device that can cope with emails arriving every minute.
Well, I’ve been trying out the iPhone’s email functions recently. I’ve been using it in anger, as the phrase goes — I’ve dumped it straight into the deep end and swapped temporarily to using the device full time.
The email system is nicely rendered. It’s gorgeous. The UI is wonderful. I’m getting really good at using the on-screen keyboard too.
Yes, the iPhone was not built as an email-on-the-go device. It does not compare to Good Mobile Messaging. It has some brilliant features, but it is, I think, a weekend phone in the context of the heavily optimised messaging experience I need during the day when I’m out and about.
A fatal flaw for me is the T-Mobile GRPS network. I use 3.5g on my Nokia N95 and the data flies to the handset really fast. GPRS ain’t good. Not when I expect and demand my mails to arrive quickly and in real time. Often my time is limited during the day so I need near real-time for my mail. The iPhone can’t deliver this when it’s working via GPRS. Put it on WiFI and there’s no issue.
I am still very much used to using a QWERTY keyboard to write long replies. The iPhone is, at the moment, best for one or two line replies.
I managed to get my Fasthosts Exchange Server account to work with the iPhone easily. I just entered my server details, username, password and bish-bash-bosh, we were live. It’s effectively emulating IMAP, I think. That’s fine. I have email on the go with the iPhone… just, not entirely business critical, I don’t think. It is often having to …. tick… tock… check… for… email….. via the dead slow GPRS network. Stick a Blackberry or an E61 on the same connection and, particularly with Good Mobile Messaging, the messaging service is really fast.
But there’s nothing sexier than an iPhone. Not at the moment.