Adnan Ali

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Adnan Ali is a Search Optimization, Search Marketing and Social Media Strategy professional from Lahore, Pakistan. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How to: Choose an Email Client for the Mobile Phone

We live mobile lifestyles. If we are not made already and dont live in a rural farm house, chances are that we will be telecommuting an average 30-45 minutes per day. Our schedules are tight and we are expected to stay connected with colleagues, clients, customers and family.

Email is the most commonly used mode of written communication. We write emails to our colleagues, clients, customers, bosses, juniors, family and friends. We use email to upload pictures to our blogs, update our online calendars, send ourselves reminders and most importantly, calm down an angry client while we find a fix for her problem.

It used to be that being away from the cubicle or home office meant we are out of touch with our email. But that is not the case any more. There are a number of email clients for the mobile device that allow you to send and receive email. Many of the high-end devices are expensive, or carrier driven email clients only cater to corporate requirements. If we can not afford a BlackBerry-esque solution, we need to find a consumer edition which supports most of the common desktop clients like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and POP3 / IMAP4 accounts.

Today we are going to look into what features should we be looking at and what applications are out there in the market. Most of all we would want it to be as free as possible.

Research Criteria

  1. Supports all popular email accounts like Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, POP3 and IMAP4
  2. Multiple number of accounts on the same phone
  3. Attachment handling
  4. Speed and ease of operation
  5. Push Email or SMS Alert on arrival of email
  6. News & RSS feeds
  7. Number of phones supported
  8. Cost

Research Results

  1. Flurry Mail
  2. Consilient Push (beta)
  3. Tricast Mail (Standard)

All three of the abovementioned clients offer good service. Sign up and download is relatively easy, although the process can be made easier.

Thus far, Flurry Mail seems to be the best solution because of its extra features like ability to search news and email on the phone, integration with MySpace and importing contacts.

Consilient Push is still in beta phase but its features like customization of email signature and locking down of the client in case of loss or theft make it worthwhile.

Tricast Mail (Standard) is a very good client and by far the fastest solution. One has to signup with alwayssend (a free web based client) in order to download a free moblie client. It allows the user to setup other clients but can only receive email from them. Only Alwayssend emails can be sent from the devices itself.

The user interface is also the best of the lot and allows for rich text email, advanced folder management and context-sensitive, auto hide menu system.

A PRO version of the Tricast Mail is available from their site which adds Push Email, Attachment Viewing, and Email Streaming as features.

Do not agree with my opinion? Let me know. Please leave a comment and I will reply right back.


Jamie said...

Good article. I've been using the Consilient Push beta for the past week and I really like it so far. I had some minor confusion on my part getting set up initially but I emailed their support department and they helped me straighten everything out very quickly.

I've tried Flurry in the past, and while it worked OK I just didn't like the product in general. The client wasn't good to use and in general I just wasn't happy with it.

I hadn't heard of the other one (Trimail) before, I may give that a try now, just to compare one solution against the other, but since Consilient offers 'Push' for free, I doubt I'll end up keeping Trimail.

adnan ali said...

Thanks for the comment Jamie. I had problems setting up with Consilient too, and then I found out that I had to first allow POP3 access from my Gmail account.

It works just fine now.

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