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Good Mobile Messaging absolutely rocks

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For a long time I’ve been aware of Good Mobile Messaging. But I’ve never tried it, not up until recently. Good was never on my radar because I’m Blackberry through-and-through. Ever since Blackberry launched in the UK about 4 years ago (from memory), I’ve been a user.

With this in mind, if you’re even a tiny bit interested in what Good has to offer, this post should be worth reading. It’s a long one.

From being a BlackBerry user for 4 years, let’s fast forward to 5 weeks ago.

Good’s representatives phoned up and asked if I’ve be interested in testing their service out.

‘Mehh,’ I felt. You know, I felt ‘so-so’. I didn’t *really* want to take much of a look at Good because I’ve spent so much time being failed by other services. I didn’t want to do a half hearted ‘er, it’s ok’ review.

‘Will it work on my N90?’ I ask the chap.

‘Well it works on the Symbian platform, but you should really try it on a Nokia E61,’ he says.

‘I’m, errr..,’ I begin, gazing at my new 8700 Blackberry with Google Talk running, ‘I’m err, really quite ok with the Blackberry actually.’

‘We’ll send you out the E61 with Good on it, will you take a look at it?’ the chap asks.

‘Sure,’ I say, ‘I’m a huge Blackberry fan though,’ I warn.

I arrange to meet the representative and I’m passively excited to see the Nokia E61 box in his hands. Moments beforehand, whilst stuck on the bus in traffic on High Holborn, I’d just bought VirtualReach’s brilliant RSS reader for the Blackberry. I was actually content putting up with my 8700 and the rather rag-tag instantemail solution.

He’s charged the E61 up and he asks for my sim card. Within moments the E61 is booting and he hands it to me.

‘Right, there you go. Now, installation is really easy,’ he says.

I stifle a grunt of knowing laughter. I’ll eat my hat if it’s as simple as the three points he’s got written out for me on a piece of paper:

1. Go to get.good.com in your mobile browser.

2. Type in these details (he had a username and password waiting for me corresponding to a demo email account on Fasthosts).

3. Wait for the application to download then run it.

I’ve been around the block with mobile — I know the realities. I was mentally prepared for an embarrassing half hour trying to get the thing working.

I typed in my username and password and waited briefly while the Good applications downloaded.

All of a sudden the E61’s screen went white and a ‘Good’ logo appeared.

‘Hmm. Nifty,’ I thought, ‘At least the first bit has worked.’

‘OK, that’s it. Try sending me an email?’ he says, taking out his own E61.

Er. Surely that’s not it all ready to rock?

I keep my mind open as I browse the rather familiar interface.

‘Good has kept the interface as recognisable and intuitive as possible,’ he explains, ‘So that it’s just like your desktop Outlook. It also works for Notes users too.’

Within moments I’m creating an email and sending it to him. This is the moment of truth for me. Just how fast is this? Remember I have no tolerance slowness.

‘Remember you’re on a hosted service from Fasthosts,’ the chap reminds me.

I prepare myself.

‘It’s not working, I don’t think?’ I say as I hand him the device.

‘No, it’s ok, that means the mail has gone,’ he explains. Oh. Gosh, well that was quick.

‘Here it is,’ he says, as a little beep emits from his E61. He shows me my email in his inbox.

Ooookay not bad, not bad.

‘Right, you send me one,’ I say. I’m almost opening up my ‘oooh this could be quite smart’ box of tricks in my mind. I’m not quite ready to celebrate until I’ve seen how fast the device receives mail.

‘Ok and it’s….sent!’ he says. I look across at my inbox. For a moment I think, ‘oh noooooooooo,’ and then his message arrives. Couldn’t have been more than what, 3-5 seconds? Fast. Very fast indeed.

At this point I’m sold.

He then begins to show me the calendaring, ‘Remember that’s now synched with your desktop Outlook,’ he explains. Then the contacts.

‘I’m definitely getting one of these,’ I think to myself.

‘Look, try the service out for a few weeks, see what you think?’ he says.

So that’s what I’ve been doing.

I dragged about 600 meg of email over to my Fasthosts account and waited to see what happened. Within seconds, Good had replicated my folder structure and within a minute or so, I could see my whole back archive arriving.

Now, I’m a total mobile email demon. I can query 800 meg of email right from my hand. I absolutely LOVE it. Just yesterday I was sat on the train extremely frustrated about the delays. However, I took out the E61 and began methodically sorting through my older email, replying, filing and deleting. I love how when I get to one of my computers, I see an exact copy of what I’ve just implemented on Good. I’m saving a lot more time now than I used to with the Blackberry.

Of course, now having the power of Microsoft Exchange on the back-end is rather wicked. My colleague Hetty can add appointments and they automatically appear on my device. When I add a new contact on the E61, the details are immediately available when I arrive at my desktop. Pure nirvana.

(I’ve had quite a lot of enquiries from people recently asking how precisely I got Good to work and what services I’m using (e.g. Fasthosts) so I shall be posting more on this shortly.)

Here’s a screenshot of me reading an email:
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There are a ton more screenshots to come.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

12 replies on “Good Mobile Messaging absolutely rocks”

Good for you! I used Good on my Treo 600 & Treo 650 for a few years and absolutely LOVED it. I can’t wait until I get an opportunity to try Good and also the new Intellisync client that is coming out.
Cheers

[…] Our hosted Microsoft Exchange email service includes revolutionary “push” email technology, allowing customers to receive email in real-time on their mobile device, with no manual synching required. There are two flavours of push technology – Exchange Direct Push for Windows Mobile 5 devices, and Good Mobile Messaging (GMM – formerly GoodLink). Here’s a recent review of our Good Mobile Messaging service on SMS Text News, a well-read and influential blog. If you have a Windows Mobile 5 device, you might be interested in our post about the Exchange SP2 enhancements we made in October 2006. […]

Ok, yeah, After weeks of hearing both Jay and yourself banging on about how great GMM is I’m sold…. HOWEVER!, in the past 6 months, especially what with being away from home for so long, GTalk on my BlackBerry has become a total lifeline.

So what, if any, GTalk/Jabber clients are there for Series 60 that offer the same great level of integration and seamless operation as GTalk on the BlackBerry?

Help me break free of having to carry two mobile devices!

I have a couple questions.
1. Can I have multiple email accounts with Good and all be fully functional like what you were talking about?

2. We don’t have FastHost in the US as far as I know. I have my website/email with a local webhost provider who rents space on a server in some server farm. What do you recomend I do in that case? Can I still run Good but keep my website/email with this small company?

Love the blog, please talk more about Good and what IM program you use. I personaly need MSN IM and the program I was using just stopped working. So suggestions would be great.

Thought I’d update, since my previous enthusiastic comment I went out and purchased an E61 with the express purpose of consolidating my BlackBerry and crappy HTC Universal into a single device.

First thing I try and do is sign up for Fasthosts’ hosted exchange product with Good Mobile Messaging.

All goes well with the signup and away we go with the GMM activation…. which fails miserably. Possibly because I used a dot in my username but who knows?!

I file a support request and open a second Fasthosts account because, well, I’m impatient.

Good appears to work on this one (no dot in my username!) but I don’t really go much further into using it as I discover a massive security hole that affects the privacy of every single user on the Fasthosts Exchange servers.

I file a support ticket with Fasthosts and am quickly told that I’m wrong and that there is nothing to worry about. I re-iterate the issue in easier to understand terms and await a response.

I called up on Monday to find out what was happening with the security issue and am told that they are “working with Microsoft” to fix the problem which they claim exists in Exchange (it’s not an Exchange specific problem, it’s their implementation of Exchange that is at fault). A quick fix could be issued to maintain the security of their existing users at but this has not been done.

I also requested on Monday that my domain name be released from my broken (and now closed) first account so that I can add it to the second account and at least sample GMM until their security hole is fixed. This should be a simple task (that to be honest should have automatically been done when they closed the account) but has so far taken three days.

I’m giving serious thought to using the T-Mobile BlackBerry service on the E61 instead of Good.

Speaking of BlackBerry, the Fasthosts’ service requires you to dedicate your whole domain to the Fasthosts servers, I’d much rather sign up for a single e-mail account with an address of (for example) user@pushmail.fasthosts.co.uk and have this account masquerade as my real e-mail address. This is how the non BES BlackBerry services work and, for me at least, is far more useful than Fasthost’s solution.

Hopefully Fasthosts will pull their finger out and get all this sorted soon (I’ll post another comment if they do!) but for the time-being my advice is to avoid them, it’s such a shame that they are the only GMM providers in the UK.

Well, Fasthosts really did pull their finger out. I received a call the day after posting the above comment and a very helpful chap in R&D fixed the problems I was having and even continued to reply to some of my questions well into the evening.

I’m not sure if the security hole I mentioned has been fixed yet but when I spoke with them on the phone they had a solid plan of how to plug the hole that wouldn’t take too long to implement.

Once over my initial problems I found getting accounts setup and running Good was an absolute breeze.

I’m still getting to grips with not having the BlackBerry around me 24/7 and getting used to the differences between that and the E61 runnng Good might take me a while (especially since I upgraded the firmware on my E61 today).

Thanks for all the useful info on this site. I’ve been looking around for a device such as this for some time. I already have an Exchange account with Fasthosts so this seems ideal. Now I just need to get myself a Nokia E61.

OK, I got myself a nice Nokia E61 and added GMM to my Exchange mailbox. Everything is synced nicely and I have to say I was amazed at how easy it was.

Just one thing. All my contact information is linked to the exchange account so no contact information has been stored in the phone’s internal address book. Therefore, if a contact who’s number is in GMM address book calls me the number just appears and not any contact name etc. Is there a simple way that you have found to sync the GMM address book with the phone’s internal one?

Ryan, the latest E61 firmware will read from the Good contact database instead of the built-in one (so incoming calls and the SMS composer will pick up names from Good).

Trouble is, Nokia haven’t released the update for UK handsets yet (and probably never will), a couple of us (Ewan included) have forced the US upgrade on to our handsets without any negative side effects so if you’re feeling brave you might want to give that a shot. I believe Ewan posted instructions on this blog a few weeks ago.

Great to hear the N61 works well with GMM. I’ve just bought myself an N95 on the assumption that it would work with GMM (I have been using this very successfully on an 02XDAIIs for a couple of years) but it seems not! The OTA download seems to work, but when I am asked to enter the PIN for Good Messaging service the N95 will not accept it? Do you guys know of anyone who has managed to get Good Messaging to work on a N95? Many thanks.

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