Can you search non-local mail on server in 3.0?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rhomsy, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. rhomsy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #1
    I'm glad that they finally incorporated search into the iPhone OS, and you can finally search mail, however, unless I'm missing something, it's pretty limited. It appears that you can only search the 25 (or 50 or 75, depending on your setting), mails that are local on the iphone, and not the mail that reside on the server.

    In other words, I sometimes want to search for a mail that I got a year ago on my MobileMe account. The search in 3.0 will not find that old email because it's no longer local on the iPhone. Yet, searching on the MobileMe website on a computer reveals that mail. Apple could have enabled remote spotlight for the offline mail. In the business world, this is really important.

    Am I not doing it right, or is this feature only half-baked?
     
  2. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    #2
    This is perhaps my favorite new feature of 3.0. You must have your mail setup as IMAP though, not POP... if POP I don't think it works.
     
  3. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000

    waterskier2007

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    #3
    i believe there is an option to continue the search on the server if it doesn't find it on the phone
     
  4. rhomsy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #4
    Really?? So it does work?


    Aaaahhhh. I just figured it out :eek:

    Ok. Now this upgrade really does rock. This is a fantastic feature.
     
  5. iSimon macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow
    #5
    Ummm... any chance you could share what it is you figured out? :)

    I can't find an option to search server-side for email (gmail on imap).

    Ah - seems you only get the option when you are doing the mail-specific search (done by opening mail and then swiping down to reveal the search box).
     
  6. rhomsy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #6
    Actually, maybe I replied too soon. It appears that searching the mail server only works with MobileMe. My exchange account doesn't provide the same option. Is this correct?

    With MobileMe and my Gmail IMAP, the bottom of the search results has a link to click if you want to continue the search on the server. My Exchange account doesn't have this feature. That sucks! Is there some reason why this doesn't work for Exchange mail.
     
  7. rhomsy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #7
    After some digging, it appears that server side mail searching is possible with Exchange, but only if your admin is running Exchange 2007. I think my office is running Exchange 2003. :(
     
  8. dj4uofa macrumors newbie

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #8
    Can't get this working

    Hey guys, can I get some help here? I have MobileMe and Gmail IMAP enabled, and for the life of my I don't see a "Search the server" option ever. How are you guys getting that? I am doing this in Mail, in my MobileMe inbox by swiping up to reveal the search.
     
  9. nikhsub1 macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    mmmm... jessica.'s beer...
    #9
    At the very top of your inbox there is a search box. Type your search there. Look at the VERY BOTTOM of the search results, there will be a link to 'continue search on server...'
     
  10. iSimon macrumors regular

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    Mar 3, 2008
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    Glasgow
    #10
    The option should appear once you start typing something in the search box - at least it does for me (my mail app is set up with gmail imap only).
     
  11. rhomsy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #11
    Go ahead and do the local search, then at the bottom of the results (if any), will be an option to search the server. At least that's how it works on my phone, and I don't think there are any settings to effect such a result.
     
  12. Carniphage macrumors 68000

    Carniphage

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    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    Sheffield, England
    #12
    It works...

    ...even with my own email server!

    I have a linux machine running PostFix. Which lets me have an unlimited mailbox.

    The server-side search works on that too!

    C.
     
  13. arpiuk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    #13
    "search on server" doesn't show on mine. Can someone post a screenshot? I can confirm it's a mobileme account
     
  14. dj4uofa macrumors newbie

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    Aug 29, 2007
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    Tucson, Arizona
    #14
    That is what is bizarre. All I get is "No Results" when I do that, with no option to search the server. What in the world!?
     
  15. mark34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    #15
    This works great for me on my MobileMe account... to me it is one of the most important updates.

    I have yet to get it to work on my Exchange email. My company uses a hosted Exchange service provider. I sent them an email and they are researching what they need to do on their end to make it work. They use 2007. I will update if I learn anything. I want this to work badly.
     
  16. dj4uofa macrumors newbie

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    Tucson, Arizona
    #16
    I found this picture online. This is what I CANNOT get to happen on mine. I don't have that blue "continue search on server". Any thoughts anyone?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. arpiuk macrumors newbie

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    Feb 19, 2008
  18. ksmith80209 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #18
    Probably a dumb question, but you are doing the search from the Mail app and not via the new spotlight, right? Mail will show the "Continue on Server" option, spotlight will not.
     
  19. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #19
    iPhone 3.0 E-mail search tests... very nice!

    I did some testing this morning of e-mail searching, and I wanted to put together a few findings. All of these are with an original iPhone working on T-Mobile's EDGE network, unlocked, in Chicago.

    1) E-mail can be searched in at least three loosely separate ways.

    - E-mail can be searched from the full-iPhone search tool (flick left at home screen). This only searches the headers that are on the iPhone. If one scrolls down to the bottom of an inbox and "gets more," then as long as these "get more" messages (allowing you to have >200 messages in one of your inboxes) are on the iPhone, they get searched. Mail with locally stored headers outside the inbox, such as sent mails, seem to get searched too. The search is "instantaneous," taking a few seconds to complete each search with the search results populating over time.

    - E-mail can be searched from any mailbox on the iPhone, including any Inbox as well as any Sent Mail or other folders. For folders that are infrequently used, the iPhone will insist on refreshing the folder before the search occurs, just as it used to insist on refreshing the folder before letting you view the contents. On all the server types I tested EXCEPT for Exchange ActiveSync, this was by default only a search on locally stored headers, in real time. This search also only searches in the specific folder currently being viewed. On Exchange accounts, these searches seem to automatically search the server for messages in the folder not stored locally. These searches are fast in my testing (see below).

    - Finally, for non-Exchange ActiveSync accounts (IMAP and, I think, POP), once the search is entered, an additional "continue search on server" button comes up at the bottom of the search results. This allows for a search of any message (to/from/subject, no body search) in that folder on the server. These searches are still pretty impressive.

    2) All methods of searching search either the to field, the from field, the subject, or all three of the above. No method searches body text.

    3) Searches seem possible in any folder the iPhone can see.

    4) Here is some test data on my e-mail accounts. Typically, when I did a search, I did a search for one of the oldest e-mails available. So, where I had about 12,000 messages on my GMail, I tried one from back in 2005 that was at the end of my inbox. The results suggest to me that the searching is probably not purely linear, as it seems too fast for that, although it's possible. I have not tried in detail to search messages at various depths to see if that makes a difference.

    GMail / IMAP: Searches the server when you request it, 5-25 seconds to find any message out of about 12,000 based on to/from/subject, on EDGE (time measured from clicking Continue Search on Server).

    Outlook / Exchange ActiveSync: Seems to search the server automatically. Searches are insane -- finding a message out of 1-2000 messages that are on the server is essentially in real time on EDGE. Granted this server is also here in Chicago, whereas the others are not.

    Hotmail / POP: I don't have enough messages (<200) in my Hotmail account to be able to test search on the server. Local searches worked fine.

    Yahoo / IMAP IDLE: I have 595 messages on my Yahoo account; searches took 15-30 seconds, but here... I tried several searches for things that were in the to/from or subject and Yahoo did NOT find any of them successfully on the server. Local searches worked fine.

    AOL / IMAP: I don't have enough messages (<200) to do a server search; local worked fine.

    Outlook via IMAP (not Exchange): There are about 1600 messages in this inbox; server search worked, similar 15-30 seconds to find a message after clicking on the continue button.

    So basically, there seems to be a difference in performance between Exchange ActiveSync and IMAP -- they both work, but Exchange is dramatically faster. I haven't been able to get a search on Yahoo's server to work. Questions:

    - I cannot do testing on a MobileMe account b/c I don't have one.
    - Can anyone confirm whether or not Yahoo server searching works for them?
    - Can anyone test a POP inbox with >200 messages for server-side searches?

    Overall, I'm very, very impressed by iPhone search! All these tests are on a 1st gen, EDGE, iPhone via data services, too, so many of them are "worst" case, with presumably much better performance on a 3G S on UMTS... which I think itself is quite astonishing. I would not have been surprised if search were useless on the oldest, slowest iPhone, but I think this is not the case at all.
     
  20. dj4uofa macrumors newbie

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    Aug 29, 2007
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    Tucson, Arizona
    #20
    Yep, within Mail. I decided to restore my phone to see if that fixes it. I will get back to you.
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #21
    I did some detailed testing on this in another thread, so I merged that thread into this one (see my post a couple lines above). I was too busy testing while y'all were talking about it. :)

    So so far, it seems...

    - You actually have to have additional messages in that folder that are not stored locally.

    - It has to be IMAP, Exchange, or MobileMe, according to reports above that POP doesn't work (as I noted earlier, I didn't have an account with enough e-mail to confirm that).

    - Unless someone has it working, it seems it cannot be Yahoo (it shows up but doesn't work for me... "nothing" found.
     
  22. dj4uofa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #22
    I think this is what I need to check out. I have been expecting that if I search the inbox, that it will search the server and ALL of my individual folders. What I am hearing is that this is not the case.

    Only if I have messages that are not showing up on my phone, in that one particular folder, but ARE on the server in that folder, will I have the option to "Continue search on server". Is that right?
     
  23. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #23
    Yes, I think so. Although, as I noted, Exchange (and MobileMe?) is/are different. Exchange seems to do it automatically without being asked. But in my inboxes where there are not messages on the server that are not locally available, the option doesn't even come up.
     
  24. dj4uofa macrumors newbie

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #24
    Yep, that was the problem. I just misunderstood it. When I search within a folder that has more than 50 messages, it gives me the option to search on the server.

    So basically there is no way to search all your MobileMe folders in a Spotlight-like way, unless they are all downloaded onto the phone? Is that right? If you want to find a particular email you have to know what folder it is in?
     
  25. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #25
    This seems to be the case for all mail services, yes. Either one must know which folder the message is in, or it must be recent enough that the message is stored locally so that the iPhone global search tool can be used.
     

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