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.)