Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yahoo can't save iPhone failing

The Yahoo Mail experience on the iPhone is much better than the GMail experience. So much so (with one exception below), that I was ready to bail on Gmail and start using Yahoo. And too boot, the new beta browser Yahoo Mail is pretty cool, too.

Now, I'm really a Google apps fan ... I used to be all Yahoo but have switched everything but fantasy football to Google in the last year. Mostly that has to do with Calendar. I use the heck out of Calendar, but that's a post for another day.

Anyway, let's say GMail problems would have to be pretty severe for me to switch. Well, on the iPhone, they are, and they are documented elsewhere. The gist is that mail on the iPhone is a copy from your web account, so you have to manage both independently. You end up deleting messages twice ... once in your browser mail and then on the iPhone. Even that is tricky since 50 new messages will be downloaded. In short, I don't like it. To make matters worse, messages you send out come in as new messages on your iPhone.

(Now, in researching for this diatribe, I did find there is a way to set up GMail using a third IMAP account. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm tempted.)

But really, this is supposed to be rant on Yahoo. I forward all my work email (which is behind a firewall so I can't access directly) into a Yahoo account so I can keep track of what's going on when I'm out of the office. When I read that mail on my iPhone, it marks as read on the browser. When I delete on the browser, it deletes on the iPhone. It's a beautiful thing, except it's all forwarded so I have to delete from my work account all over again. I can't change the firewall, so that is OK ... but I want that functionality with my home email!

You see, I have my own domain with it's email address. I currently pull that mail into Google and thread ith with my GMail account and I'm very happy with the browser bit of it. And I thought ... If I could only pull that e-mail into a Yahoo account, with its superior iPhone support ...

But, alas, while it is possible, I get an error when I download. It seams the POP server my ISP uses does not understand the "LAST" command to pull only messages that have not been seen since the last download. Because of this, I get either no mail or I get all unread message whether I've got them before or not!

I messaged Yahoo customer service and they said (after many miscommunications) that it's my ISP's fault. This despite that gmail has no problem with their version of "last". They download from my domain account just fine.

I also saw where someone forwarded their GMail account to a Yahoo account then set the Yahoo outbound address to GMail. That's fairly clever.

OK, the Yahoo exception metioned above ... I think that Yahoo mail constantly checking on the server stalls the iPhone sometimes. I also think it drains the battery, but that is just a feeling.

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