One of the coolest things about my new iPhone is the email client. It’s real IMAP email. I have absolute confidence that what it displays is what is on my IMAP server. It is, of course, in complete contrast to the mail client that shipped on my N800 which was unreservedly shit. (it was, hoever, better than the IMAP client on the K800i which was an exercise in frustration). I came to some sort of compromise with the N800 which really involved not having more than 1 email account configured on the device and that improved matters. Things started to go well when I simply stopped using it for email. We’ve both been very happy with the email handling since then. Sadly, despite the developer community around Maemo, there isn’t a good replacement for their built in Email client (a lament that really harks back to an earlier comment about how Open Source never innovates). There is a replacement. But it’s not designed for humans.
Email is still, to a degree, a killer app. I still have some friends and family who don’t use email at all and crazy as that sounds, they don’t seem too badly affected by it. Honestly it made me consider that this whole Digital Divide thing might be smoke and nonsense. I mean how can Western Europeans in 2007 survive without email? It simply cannot be. Even my Dad, who dates from about 1684 AD has email.
Anyway. The thing that flabbergasts me, as a heavy email user since about 1991 is that email is still very much the province of “computers”. There’s email on mobile phones but that’s more of a pain in the butt than anything and there’s email in your TV, as an additional subscription service. Is it just that people are more familiar with email as a Web Service a la Hotmail, GMail, Yahoo Mail as opposed to a device feature?
I’ve always hated webmail and much preferred receiving email on my workstation, laptop, handheld, whatever.
I guess I’m looking for a golden convergence. I want the portability of my email on my iPhone. But I want to have email on my TV so I can make use of the big screen as well as on my computer where I have a big screen, excellent keyboard and all the other goodness – and all accessing the same online mail stores which are also aggressively cached. There’s precious few UK ISPs offering IMAP services for a start but surely that has to change, right?
I don’t want to use something that looks like webmail (due to the 14th commandment as handed down by Moses – “You shalt not use webmail as it looks ass”)