Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Web Browsing and Mail Retrieval Alternatives for your smartphone

I've just been investigating how to best view my Gmail account on my Nokia N91 smartphone.

I've had the Gmail/mobile app installed for a while, and I thought it was a godsend. Unfortunately, it's FULL of limitations that makes it completely unsuitable for business use.

Here are the key Gmail/mobile limitations in my book:

1. It's not possible to save attachments in email you've received.

2. There is no way to resize downloaded photos, and they're actually not downloaded. They're simply in a view window that you can't save from.

3. When replying to a message, you cannot see the original text you're responding to. This means that if you're responding to a complex business message, you have no way of verifying what you're answering, until AFTER YOU'VE SENT THE MESSAGE!!!

4. There is no way to 'save a draft' of a message you're writing.

5. Gmail arbitrarily decides on a message-length limit, at which point, it simply truncates the message, without giving you any means to view the truncated part. So if someone sends you a long message, you most likely will not be able to read the entire thing.

6. If you've got the free document viewer loaded (this is a non-Gmail app available from Microsoft), Gmail applies the same arbitrary truncation rule to that. So, if you've received a big Word document, and you're viewing it, it's cut off at the point Gmail decides. And because you can't SAVE the document -- you can only VIEW it!!!! -- there's nothing you can do about this until you get yourself to a real computer.

7. Gmail prevents you from seeing any quoted text. So if I've responded to a message of yours using the traditional email quoting system, you actually cannot see the context that I'm quoting. Gmail strips it out. With no way of seeing it.

I'll give you an example...

Here's what I've typed to Mike...

Mike said:
>I really love the way your last Creativity Seminar ran, Roy

Roy replies:
Cool, dude! It was a pleasure!

This is what Mike actually SEES on his Gmail/mobile app on his phone:

Mike said:
Roy replies:
Cool dude! It was a pleasure!

NOT acceptable!

So far, the only way round this on a Symbian phone such as mine was to use the built in web browser. which is an authentic nightmare. It's the WORST web browser I have EVER encountered. And I've been on the internet since the very beginning.

So what's the answer?

Prabhu has it solved on the Gmail Help Forum. Here's his solution...

Dear All,
"Gmail mobile in India"
Is a big topic right now I just give small and very inportent
information to all gmail user in India

Option 1:-
Download "OPERA MINI" to your mobile
Start opera and type
Enter your User id and password in gmail window
And surprise your mailbox is open save this page as a bookmark on
starting window
Note:- you have to refresh this page every time for new mails as its
working great
And its free

Option 2:-
Download "Flurry" in you mobile
URL:- (you have to register with flurry and its free)
Enter your email id and password on up to 5 Accounts
Once you email address and password verified you can read and send your
email to others

Please try it and enjoy
I am using SE W700i with Airtel NOP service and it's great for me.

Thanks and best regards,

Thank you Prabhu! You've saved my life. And you've saved my phone. I LOVE my phone, make no mistake about it. But every single time I get a truncated message on my Gmail app, I have to restrain myself from flinging the phone against a wall.

I've just installed the free operamini webbrowser, and it's a dream. I see EVERYTHING in my Gmail account. Including the quoted text.

Blue skies

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