Random thoughts from an unusual company

iPhone Struggles - Ultralite vs IMAP and Security Concerns

Gabriella Davis  23 September 2008 18:16:10
After getting a couple of iPhones in the office I have now become so attached to mine I can't let it go but I've carried one device for so long (I've been a Blackberry addict since 2003) so to keep the iPhone I have to get it to do everything my Blackberry currently does.  Doesn't sound too hard - I just use my BB for mail , contacts and calendar, I hardly ever use a phone, I never use the camera and rarely browse the web.  Sadly despite the prettiness of the iPhone (mine has a lovely pink casing) and the fun to be got from the phone, contacts and browser, I stumble to a halt at being able to replace my mail, calendar and contacts.

I started with the 8.0.2 Ultralite for the iPhone which is very easy to use, has a really nice interface for mail, contacts and even calendar and doesn't require any extra configuration on client or server.  For me there are 3 main problems:
  1. It's a browser model so you have to login via a browser interface each time which drives me mad esp. since i'm used to obsessively checking my mail every 5 mins on the BB
  2. It's an online only model so you need connectivity to be able to read your mail / contacts which is fine if I have wireless but if I have wireless I tend to have my laptop
  3. Since it's online and all the iPhone contracts here only allow unlimited data in the UK, using it outside the UK gets very expensive unless you turn off data roaming and just use the wireless feature (which I did whilst in the US recently and it works fine but isn't the immediate fix of the BB)
So OK, I'll use IMAP and SMTP.  No logging in.  Much less data to transfer and I have offline messages to work with.  Still no contacts or calendar though. I could put up with that however SMTP is the real problem.  All our public SMTP listeners are restricted to only accept mail from known servers (in our case all inbound mail routes through Postini to strip out spam).  I won't open those up again to accept connections from any host just so iPhone users can connect and send their mail directly.  Unrestricted SMTP listeners (even if I only allowed relaying via authentication) would be a disaster in terms of Spam (and the relaying would be a potential security blackhole) - in short a giant step back.

Of course there's always forwarding mail to Google and picking it up from there but then all mail I send out will have my Google mail address which isn't very professional.

So for the forseeable future it's Blackberry for me and my iPhone to play with on the side.


1Curt Carlson  23/09/2008 19:38:49  iPhone Struggles - Ultralite vs IMAP and Security Concerns

Intersting...everyone is different in their use of email, I don't feel like I gave up anything I needed when I went from the BB to my iPhone. To me, the browser on the iPhone is the key to why I switched. iNotes ultra-lite gives me everything I need on a mobile device in terms of email, contacts and calendar.

2Stuart McIntyre  23/09/2008 21:15:33  iPhone Struggles - Ultralite vs IMAP and Security Concerns

I feel your pain Gab, going through the same process myself.

Personally I find that opening up SMTP from my Domino server is ok, as long as I enforce authentication. I use a different server to the one that is in DNS and used by incoming SMTP, thus noone would know it is there, and the username/password makes it as secure as using Ultralite.

I've also moved to using Mail.app for day to day access via IMAP, but obviously still can use Notes/iNotes when necessary.

I do miss the BB keyboard, but the rest of the iPhone package more than makes up for it...

3Geoff Higgins  23/09/2008 21:28:26  iPhone Struggles - Ultralite vs IMAP and Security Concerns

Hi Gab, had been wondering about this before I made the switch to iPhone on Monday. Like you I am an email junkie but not sure that is good thing. I had been using a windows mobile device. Maybe something that makes email less convenient is a step forward in my case or at least my wife thinks that.That said I am hoping Lotus will get it running natively on the iPhone.

4Theo Heselmans  24/09/2008 10:23:04  iPhone Struggles - Ultralite vs IMAP and Security Concerns

A couple of months ago I blogged about using the native iPhone apps (Calendar and Contacts) in sync with Notes:

{ Link }

by using a product called CompanionLink.

Check it out !