Love the iPhone, but EMAIL is disappointingly limited

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Deanster, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Deanster macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    So, I stood in line, got my phone Friday, and have spent the weekend working with it. It's a great tool, and will be a fantastic addition to my life.

    Now for the inevitable 'however'...

    However - the e-mail application is just not up to snuff in some ways. I LOVE the ability to read the first few lines of each mail, and I like the display, and I even like the keyboard.

    The inability to check mail automatically more than every 15 minutes is a REAL problem. I've been using a Treo 680 with Chatteremail, and am used to having mail show up instantly. I'd be willing to wait a minute or two, or even five in a pinch. But for modern e-mail usage, 15 minutes is a lifetime.

    When corresponding with Blackberry or other push-mail users, by the time I've seen a mail, several others have responded, a conversation has taken place, and I'm just coming into the conversation. There's a reason that Push has revolutionized mobile usage, and the iPhone just isn't involved in the Push revolution at the moment.

    Second - it's just insane how hard it is to figure out if you've got new mail, and in which accounts. Chatteremail puts a red icon at the bottom of the window for each account with new mail - I'm used to being able to review all new mail in four accounts with a total of four icon touches 'Work'->'Personal'->'University'->'2nd Work', and know if there's new mail in each by reviewing the icons at the bottom, so I only need to check the ones with new mail. Maximum of four touches, and usually only one or two show new mail, so it's one or two touches to be done.

    That same task in iPhone EMAIL is Personal->Folder list->Inbox->Folder list->Work->Folder list->Inbox->Folder list->University->Folder list->Inbox->Folder list->2nd work->Folder list->Inbox->Folder list->Mailbox list - for a total of 16 touches - 4x what it should be!!!!

    And since it only flags unread mail, as opposed to newly downloaded mail (an important distinction for a shared account where several people are using one account to distribute work), I have to check all four each time.

    My final item is 'sleep hours' - this is a very common tool for handheld devices where the e-mail software doesn't fetch mail during user-selected hours, so you can have your device on your bedstand for emergency phone calls, but not chirping and vibrating all night when spam comes in. iPhone never sleeps, and will happily chirp all night, unless you turn off the mail account manually - a giant pain, especially with multiple accounts, and hard to remember to turn back on.

    I don't expect a v1 product to be quite as well-defined as Chatteremail, which is a super-tight and well-honed program that's gone through a ton of work to get where it is today, but this is just out of control - I'd say that the EMAIL app is not only not 'business ready', but it's questionable whether it's ready for anyone with more than one or two accounts, and any need to check mail more than hourly.

    I love my iPhone, but the mail app is just not up to speed - it shows tremendous potential - the overall notion of mail-handling is good, and the interface is excellent - all of which just makes the lack of what is well-defined functionality for most mobile e-mail devices very frustrating.
  2. Furgster macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2007
    i see what you mean and hope that many of these issues get fixed in future software updates
  3. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I too am a child of Chatteremail, and feel your pain. One can only hope version 1.1 of the iPhone software fixes some of this.

    The iPhone supports push email similar to chatter, but ONLY on a account. Any other IMAP server does not work, which is either a bug or a deliberate attempt to give Yahoo some sort of exclusivity. If I could chage the "reply to" email ID, this would not be a problem - I would have my email forwarded to my account, it would get pushed to my iPhone (which works just like Chatter), and I reply. But replying with a address is inappropriate for my business.

    Maybe version 1.2... ;)
  4. AustinSTI macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    Photo attachments to emails on the iphone would also be a nice feature which is currently MIA.
  5. BobbyDigital macrumors member

    Sep 13, 2006
    I agree with everything Deanster said. I think email is very limited on the iPhone
  6. diabolic macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    You can attach a photo, you just have to start on the photo itself and click the "email photo" once you bring up the menu.
  7. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    My understanding is you can mail pictures. You have to go to the photo first, not from the email client.
  8. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    You can also check your email anytime you want to, you just have to open the mail client. :D
  9. Deanster thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2005
    Yep, same story - you can open any URL from iPhone mail, as long as the phone recognizes it - if there's a break, or other problem, there's no way to move the existing text to the browser...

    I honestly don't understand the thinking - cut and paste in e-mail, the ability to quote only part of the text, to take something from one e-mail and put it in another... these are all very basic behaviors, and Steve seems to have decided not to support them.

    Between the very weak e-mail handling and the EDGE outage today, I'm painfully frustrated - I LOVE the phone, but I NEED an email client that checks frequently or pushes, I NEED to be able to cut and paste, and I NEED to not be writing things on my hand because I can't move them around within the phone...


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