iCloud email question

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by reese2147, Oct 15, 2014.

  1. reese2147 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #1
    Reading some about the iCloud VS Gmail message string made me think of this question...

    I presently use Outlook.com for my email. It syncs flawlessly with my iOS devices. Specifically, if I am browsing on outlook.com and receive a new email, I will get a notification on my phone and the red "1" badge indicator on my iPhone's mail app. If I read or delete the email message through my web browser, the red "1" indicator badge will go away without ever opening up the mail app on my phone.

    iCloud email will push to my devices, but find that the badge indicator on the mail app does not function the same way, it will not automatically update unless you open up the mail app.

    Does anyone know why this happens?
     
  2. impaler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    #2
    Yes, I do, and while it can seem to be mildly annoying (I'm in that camp as well), it's a conscious decision on Apple's part in the way they implemented iCloud mail on iOS devices; namely to conserve precious battery power. They went and used Apple Push Notifications (APN) to implement the "push" of iCloud mail to iOS, while using IMAP IDLE for OS X Mail. While the benefit is similar in receiving new emails, the behavior is different in syncing read/unread status.

    The best article I've ever seen on this is here: http://tidbits.com/article/13344
     
  3. reese2147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #3
    AH! I'm happy that someone knows what I'm talking about! lol

    Has there been any research as to how much extra battery life is saved from this method of "push" vs outlook.com push? Naturally, I would expect it depends on the amount of mail being pushed.

    While I appreciate apple's approach to conserve battery life, the badge notifications are very annoying to me, along with having to "refresh" my mail each time I open the app. I guess I've grown too accustomed to the push outlook.com provides
     
  4. impaler macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    #4
    I'm sure there's been research. I don't have any direct links; however, I do know there was a thread just last week (I was on it too) that basically stated that for those that have lots of email volume, that fetch may be better than push. In this case, the device only polls the mail server at a fixed time (never, 15 min, 30 min, or one hour on iOS). If you don't get lots of email, push is better for battery, as it only polls after being told there's something new. Thus, if you say don't get an email within an hour, the system will not check every 15 min, 30 min, etc., and just push as needed. For me, I have a fair amount, but not tons, of email, so push works best for me. Apps like the Gmail app do update the unread badge immediately, but as I understand it, maintains a more persistent connection to Gmail...and to me, that would have a worse affect on battery life.
     
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #5
    The underlying technical reason is that Apple implements push in a somewhat kludgy way, by combining the IMAP protocol with push notifications. The push notifications can only contain a small amount of data, not enough to fully update the state of the sever-side mailbox. Rather, it just tells the mail client that "something" has changed. The client then has to run a full IMAP sync. Because this is a relatively heavyweight operation, it is not done immediately when the push notification arrives (instead, iOS Mail seems to sync only when you open the mail client).

    With Outlook.com, the Exchange Activesync protocol is used instead, which was specifically designed for efficient mobile syncing. It is more efficient because it allows more granular control over which notifications are sent by the server and which items synced, and it uses the TCP protocol in a more efficient way, especially when multiple folders are being monitored.

    There is a proposed IETF standard that adds similar capabilities to IMAP (IMAP Notify), but it is not widely supported yet.
     
  6. reese2147 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #6
    Thanks for the input guys. My email volume is not overly high, so I'll continue sticking with outlook.com email unless I notice a significant change in battery usage on my phone.
     

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