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Friday, 3 April 2009

Email: Nokia Messaging and OnePennyMail updated

Push email - Nokia Messaging & OnePennyMail
Nokia Messaging

In an attempt to make things easy, push email client Nokia Email was renamed to Nokia Messaging (which required Nokia's instant messaging program to live with the name Chat on Ovi, err I mean Contacts on Ovi). But when you install Nokia Messaging, it puts an icon on your phone called (surprise!) "email." Enjoy that simple name while it lasts, because there's a pretty good chance that Nokia's marketing department will find out and rename the email program to something with "Ovi" in it.

The new Nokia Messaging can now read Hotmail all by itself, something that required a trick in older versions of Nokia's email program.

Nokia Messaging can finally display HTML email too, but don't expect it to work well. The page layout is not what the author intended, and some inline images don't display at all.

When I closed Nokia Messaging it left a bunch of processes running that kept my internet connection alive. To make sure you really go offline when you shut down the email client you'll have to enter the options menu and go offline before you shut down the email program.

Nokia asks for your phone number before it lets you download Nokia Messaging. Why can't they simply put a download link online instead of insisting on an on-the-fly install from an SMS?

The push email service is free for the time being, but it may cost money after the beta trial is over, and payment by SMS is definitely an option. Maybe that's why Nokia wants to know my phone number?

Nokia Messaging


The poor man's push email solution OnePennyMail is a minimalist mobile Java email client that doesn't have to cost you a penny. It reads mail from POP and IMAP mail accounts, which includes GMail, GMX, Hotmail, and other popular free email services.

OnePennyMail asks you for your phone number before it lets you download and use the program, but in return you get a mailbox which notifies your phone when you get new mail in the form of a missed call. If you put the OnePennyMail phone number in your contacts list and call it something like "you've got mail," OnePennyMail will work like push email without having to sign up for push email. It's almost as good as the real thing.

There were some annoying "features" in the previous version of OnePennyMail, and none of them is fixed in the current version:
- OnePennyMail won't let you organise your mail in folders.
- It won't let you choose between keeping your mail on the server or deleting it.
- OnePennyMail adds an advertisement for itself to your outgoing mails.
- Scrolling up and down an email takes two button presses per line on my Nokia phones. OnePennyMail won't scroll continuously by keeping the navigation button pressed, and there are no shortcuts for "page up" and "page down." Reading a long mail becomes very unpleasant this way.

Even if you don't want to use the creative push email substitute you'll still need to hand over your phone number, because OnePennyMail won't do anything until you enter a code that you can only get by SMS.


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