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IMAP vs. POP (and who cares…)

Over the years, email has changed dramatically.  In the current 2010 world, most companies still offer POP as well as IMAP for receiving email.  In many cases, automatically adding an email address to a new computer or iPhone will use the POP method for getting email to you.  What difference does it make?  Ah, hence this little post…

Again in our 2010 world where many of us have a personal computer at home, a Blackberry or iPhone and occasionally (or more) work computers provide web access to our personal email it can be a pain to read and re-read a message on multiple devices.  This is where the IMAP and POP difference comes into effect.

When using POP [wikipedia] the device (in this case, iPhone, computer or other device), grabs the new mail from the server and removes the email (unless some settings are changed on the system to “keep mail on the server”).  In cases where you see the same mail on your phone and computer but they both show as unread (until you read them in two places) the system is using POP.  The other drawback is when you send a message using POP the device that sends the message retains the message locally (meaning if you are at work and you send a message that morning from your home PC, you will not see that message).

POP was valuable in the past, especially in years past when email storage was very limited (10-100MB, not the 7.5GB world of gmail).  Getting emails off the servers was important and a requirement to keep from “bouncing” mailbox full messages.

The thing that bothers me these days is if you set an email address up on an iPhone or iPad using GMail, the system makes it very easy but uses POP.  A quick adjustment to the account will make email a much more efficient tool with the use of IMAP.

IMAP [wikipedia] is the newer of the two protocols and again is supported by most email systems.  With Google’s email system, using IMAP allows you to read a message on your iPhone or Droid and when you check the message on your home computer, that message will show as read.  If you replied, that too will show up.  Do you have folders (or labels as google calls them)?  IMAP will also display those in your email program.

The bottom line is check your email settings and switch to IMAP if you are comfortable doing so.  It will make the use of email so much more seamless.

  • For Google’s GMail, check this page for clients and settings
  • The page for setting GMail up on an Apple mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
  • Apple’s MobileMe IMAP setting page
  • Yahoo does NOT provide IMAP without purchasing Yahoo Plus (I would not suggest investing in this)
  • AOL’s page for setting up IMAP

If you have questions or concerns about changing your email setting, please let me know.

If you made these changes to your system and have seen improvements with the way the system(s) work, again, let us know.


Google Docs becomes mobile ready

Google Docs now works smoothly and provides with mobile devices (specifically iPhones, iPad and Android devices). Google continues to move to HTML5 and optimizing their solutions to work better with numerous mobile devices…

In this Google blog post, another goal of Google is to have gmail load on mobile devices with HTML5 in under 1 second!

For as contentious a relationship Google and Apple have had lately, their technology goals seem to be lining up. Hopefully we will see them holding hands again soon and making up 🙂

Thoughts about Google docs on mobile devices – please share…

Google working on TV integration

Google is working in Google TV for the fall of 2010 ( This solution is designed to be a standalone device or integrated into an upcoming series of new televisions. This solution will not only provide access to things like netflix but also provide google search for shows that may be on hulu, abc or other online streaming resources.
If this also provided storage so I could take a collection of media that I have encoded, this would be the killer AppleTV (which is lacking the Internet streaming component). Still a few months before anything is seen, touched or confirmed, but shows some promise…

SuperBowl Ad from Google (a little late)

Google presented an tv advertisement during the Superbowl which surprised a lot of people. It was simple, it got a response (I heard a number of people say they has a surprising emotional response) and it was “google”. Check it out (if you did not see it during the Big Game) or if you just want to check it out again.

Nexus One – Google’s Phone

Google has released “their own phone” with the help of HTC. The Nexus One is a phone that Google has worked on from the ground up with HTC to address a number of things.

First, it is running the Google Android (Google’s Operating System) version 2.1 (The Motorola Droid from Verizon is running 2.0). Google has said an update to phones running older software will be available shortly – so you should be able to update the Droid (and maybe the Eris) to 2.1 – that would be cool… (the talk is that around the 22 of Jan an update will be available to the Droid and Eris).

Everything about this phone looks and seems to be going in the right direction – this review from David Pogue at the NYTimes I believe is a great summary of the Nexus One.

Read, review, consider… I know I am…

A few notes: right now the Nexus One is being subsidized by T-Mobile ($180) or unlocked ($~500) and an expected verizon option is in the works and should be available the first half of 2010 (I’d guess close to the T-Mobile price). Carriers are a big part of the solution today (for example the iPhone is a great device, but a average phone). Again options are not a bad thing!

Merge all duplicate contacts in Google Contacts

Just yesterday, Google released a “find duplicate” option in Google Contacts. About 2 hours before I was attempting to do just this manually (export a CSV file, remove dupes, upload the “clean” CSV file). After about an hour of frustration with the CSV file, I was about to bag it and saw this note.

I re-imported the duplicate-laden (1600 contact) file to Google Contacts, clicked the button and watched the system merge and clean my contacts to about 450 (in 15 seconds).

I have this technology knack of doing something with technology that is time-consuming and frustrating only to find in the following 12-24 hours it has been done easier and better than I just did it 🙂

If you have contacts in Google (use Gmail or Google Apps), check this out – it is wonderful and saves a lot of headaches…

Offline Gmail graduates

Google has “graduated” offline gmail [gmail blog]. For those users that may not always have an internet connection (commuting for instance), this option pulls a set amount of email onto the computer and allows for the system to be used while “offline”.

Once the internet connection is restored, information syncs and the system works normally. This is fantastic for people (like myself) that enjoy working with Gmail but do not want to rely on a client (e.g. outlook).

Check it out in Settings>Offline