screenshot00121On August 2008, Nokia introduced a beta level software called Nokia Email Service, which would drastically improve the way e-mails are read in phones. The service is currently being tested around the world by a lot of beta testers. I am also amongst the beta level testers.

a few weeks back I was fortunate enough (thanks to WOM World!) to have an interesting conversation with the product manager of NES, Andrew Mahon and what came out of the conversation is there for everyone to read.

Till then I had not even started to use the service. After the conversation I decided to try it out as it seemed very exciting to me. It was like having Blackberry Connect without the Blackberry! Also the application was finally supporting the N82. I started using the application on the E71, which I was trialling (again a big thanks to WOM World). The application worked like clockwork. I was amazed by its efficiency. There were a few things missing within the application, but the fact that I was getting emails on the move and was able to reply to them on the move was simply amazing. The native client I had tried on the S60 (within the Messaging application) was good, but this was much better.

What really impressed me was that the NES would automatically configure the native email client, I mentioned above, if the user wanted. It was very fast and did not take long to go about doing its job once everything it needed was provided. The service is capable of allowing the user to sync upto 7 different email addresses. Nifty indeed!

After the E71 was packed, ready to be picked up by DHL, I downloaded the client for the N82. And I started using it on my N82. Till date I can’t tell you how much I value this application. I have found this to be one of the most important applications for me. If there was one application I had to name that I use most often in the phone, it would without any second thoughts be the NES. So much so that it has become on of the applications in the standby screen of my N82 (that means its of a lot of importance to me!).

So is it perfect? Well the answer is no! Since it is a beta level application, there are a few chinks. Nokia Email Service lists a few known issues. Let me quote this…

Thanks for helping us test Nokia Email service. Before sending in your feedback, please consult this
list for the most common feedback questions and answers we have seen. If your question is on this list,
there is no need to submit that feedback, but we welcome any other feedback you may have.

Device Support
We did announce N96 support which we don’t have right at this moment. The N96 and other S60 3.2 devices
require a firmware update, which will be made available as an firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) update over
the course of the rest of 2008, and we’ll have more information on that in the coming weeks. Please do not
install Nokia Email service if it’s not a choice on email.nokia.com

Folder Support
We’re currently working on IMAP folder support that will sync between your Nokia and your webmail, and
in this beta version of Nokia Email we have taken out support for local folders.

Cancel Accounts
If you have canceled your account accidentally and wish to continue using Nokia Email service, your
canceled account will be deleted from our system automatically within 24 hours. After that period,
you can sign up for that email address again at email.nokia.com. Please do not send in feedback
asking to delete your account as this is now an automated process.

Google Apps Support
We are working on Google Apps support (and other similar hosted domains, where the email servers are
different than the email address’s domain name).

HTML Mail
The beta version of Nokia Email service does not render HTML mail. It is clear that a lot of us want this.

Sent folder fix
A few people are noting that the Sent Folder doesn’t seem to be syncing, when it does in fact function.
That’s because by default that setting is turned off. Go to Settings / What to Sync / Sent Folder /
SyncSent Items and set it to enabled.

Reply-to display name
While email.nokia.com allows you to set your reply-to display name, that functionality currently isn’t
working. We’re actively working on fixing this.

Notifications
In this release, you’re notified of new mail with a sound, audio-alert and an “@” in the menu bar. The
technical answer is that Nokia Email is a separate application, so it requires integration work to more
fully interoperate with the S60 Messaging application. This is one of the top ‘device integration’ items
on our to-do list.

Active Standy / Auto-Start
Right now Nokia Email service doesn’t allow you to configure whether you’d like these to be turned on
or off – we’re working to give you that choice.

Remove older than settings
On the Nokia Email server, we store the past three days of email. When you first get your email set up,
you received these three days’ worth of messages. The “Remove older than” settings allows you to decide
how much email to store on your phone. These messages are stored on your device and consume memory.

Apart from this there are a few things which can be improved. For starters, if I am reading an email, the D-pad can be used only for highlighting some links which I could click. I would really like it if by scrolling left and right I could read the next email or the previous email of that particular inbox. The up and down scrolling could be used for highlighting possible links within the email. Wouldn’t that be more practical?

Another thing which I have not seen implemented within the NES is the ability to switch from a GPRS/EDGE or what have you, connection to a WiFi connection. I know it’s a bit difficult to implement it. But I would really like it. What’s the use of this? Let’s see, suppose I am using the GPRS connection
and I go to a particular place where I do not get any network coverage, but there is WiFi connectivity available. I could use the NES there without the loss of network connectivity affecting me. It would also help people to reduce their data costs.

There is a bug also regarding the connection type. Suppose you delete the carrier settings for accessing the net on your phone and download and save new ones, the NES will recognize the new settings and even allow you to send mails. But for some reason it will now download any new mails.
Weird as it may sound, its true! I am facing this problem. I have removed the application from my phone and installed it all over again. Lets hope I can solve it.

There are also a host of options to configure, should you wish to change a few settings. And no, I don’t mean the icons, and background image, I am talking about attachments being automatically being downloaded, the size, when to sync, how much data to transmit onto the phone and so on. This is what I call a proper email client for phones! Oh and I almost forgot, this email client gives ‘push’ ability to your Gmail addresses. Yes this is a ‘push’ email client upto a certain extent.

Are you using NES. What are your views? any suggestions, feedback? post your comments here. In case you want to trial this exciting application on your phone, click here.

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