ChatterEmail: The best e-mail client on Palm OS ever..
About several months ago. I wrote about Versamail vs Snappermail and my conclusion at that time is "Snappermail". Since then I used Snappermail for a while, about 2-3 months. I was really happy with it though. Maybe it's my destiny to find a new one again. By the way, this time is perfect!! it has everything it should have such as save an attachment directly to card in a native file, store every mails in a card and another thing that really catch my attention is fully background work. Such a promotion feature like PUSHING mail is a bonus to me. I like it though it's not my first factor to switch form Snappermail. However, it's for Palm OS Treo device only.
First come to take a look at its ad first, Chattermail or Chatter Email, I'm not sure because everyone and some in its own website called "chattermail" but in the program its called "Chatter Email". Ok, whatever its name is. Its feature includes
--- True "push" email with compatible IMAP server
--- Innovative, color-coded "Summary" Mailbox
--- Full Background operation
--- No 3rd-party "intermediate" server required
Look at the main interface first, maybe it make you confuse for a while due to many many cool features.
The first one is *SUMMARY VIEW*. This view is really fantastic, you can view all of your email accounts and it's easy to identify which mail is from what account without any actions whether you have several email accounts. It uses your own chosen color to identify its real account. From above figure, for example, a blue one is from Yahoo, an orange is from myCapsules, and a pink one is from Gmail. And to view each mailbox individually, you just simply press a button to change to next mailbox in a loop. Moreover, it's fully support one-handed operation by access any function by 5-way navigator such as individual mail drop-down menu, you can simply move highlight to mail icon infront of sender name (or subject, depend on your own customized.) or if you can remember shortcut, like press "d", for example, to delete an email while highlight is on the mail. All this features you might take time for a while to rewired your memory. You're gonna love it though.
Last time, in Versamail vs Snappermail, I mainly mentioned about how good they fetched a message and viewed a mail. I don't mention viewing an email too much this time. It's kind of no significant difference. One thing that I like is it can hide all header in message view form. But as I told, it's not much different. Oops, I forget if your email is in HTML format, in 2 previous clients, you will see only text and broken link images; Chattermail display exactly the same as those 2 programs; nevertheless, it has a button to open this mail in browser such as Blazer and Xiino to view complete page. It's so smart to do like this; giving user more choices.
Let's look an interesting feature about fetching a message in Chattermail!
Full background operation:
This is the greatest advantage of chattermail. All operations run in background. No progress bar anymore, just a status at the right bottom. Somehow while some background processes such as downloading attachment, sending an e-mail, is running, you'll feel a response of any program that you're using is a bit slower. Even though it's better than can not use at all.
Figure on the left shows where status is, figure on the right shows examples of status, that is, online, online with a SSL, 1 new email, connecting progress, will be sync again on 11:24pm, Network is in use (in this case is DUN on), Sending an email progress, Sending an attachment consecutively.
Futhermore, when you received an email that included attachments, you can download attachments while you are reading the whole message or another email as well.
This is another coolest feature, a new email alert. it's not only alert when new e-mail is coming but also including the whole email and reply form that you can reply immediately without switching to chattermail.
Fully external storage supported:
This is another factor that completely change my mind from VersaMail and Snappermail. Versamail is not friendly with a external storage; just save an attachment after completely loaded in RAM, Snappermail is sort of better, that is, it stores a message in HTML or text format and attachment in RAM. The disadvantage of snappermail is it's darned slow when you accessed, esp. write (about 2-3kB/s), data in a card. However, unlike both VersaMail and Snappermail, all of the above disadvantages, chattermail solves it with storing everything in card, esp. attachments, there is no slow operation that bothering you and it keeps all attachments in a native format! so you can use whenever you want in directory /Chatter/Attachments. That means you don't have to worry about it can detach an attachment to free up your RAM or not; actually, it can either.
how it works!:
Basically, IMAP allows users to access new messages instantly on their computers, since the mail is stored on the network. With POP3, users either download the e-mail to their computer or access it via the web. Both methods take longer than IMAP, and the user must either download any new mail or "refresh" the page to see the new messages. In IMAP server, there is message state information. Through the use of flags defined in the IMAP4 protocol, clients can keep track of message state. (for example: whether or not the message has been read, replied to, or deleted). These flags are stored on the server, so multiple clients accessing the same mailbox at different times can detect state changes made by other clients.
So, Chattermail uses IMAP adventage to use as a PUSH Mail. Let's test the real one with mycapsules.com Email.
- Send with gmail server: 7/24/06 1:59 am
Receiving through IMAP mycapsules Email: 7/24/06 2:00 am
So far I still believe that pushing e-mail is still a bonus feature, I mean for me, if I don't have an IMAP email and use POP3 with 30 mins autosync, I don't think these 2 are different because I don't have anything that can change my life between 30 mins or 1 hour or even 3 hours time shift. So, you have to decide between data plan, your battery life and pushing email which one is worther. For me, I use Sprint unlimited data plan and I have free IMAP mail, so I don't have anything to spend more while I use pushing email, that's it.
Note: If you want to use @mycapsules.com with IMAP or POP3 server, email me and tell me why you deserve it. If it impressed me, I will send you an e-mail without an obligation. if not, don't be nuts though. ;-P
How much data to sync and battery to use...
I will test for next few days to make sure that it is a real value! and add for more information. However, after I have used pushing mail for few months I think it drains more battery than usual condition (no autosync at all) but not as much as unacceptable rate. According to my approximation, it's about the same as using Snappermail autosync every 1 hour or less with 3 email accounts.
It's about 5 hours long testing while I was sleeping. Just only one mail arrived. I think it used data less than I thought before. Battery rate is acceptable. BTW, this condition, bluetooth's on, MyCapsules account is online, Yahoo set as autosync every 2 hours.
All of these is only a part of software that's interesting and I want you to know. There are a lot of features waiting for you to experience. It's no doubt that Chatter Email is the best e-mail client on Palm OS, actually only treo. But sometimes the best is not necessary to be the most suitable for you in order to pay about $40 to get this software instead of using a bundle software, Versamail. For me, I choose this one because of many reasons all above. All I can tell is it's worth to pay $40 extra for such a good program like this! Don't forget, Marc Blank, the Chatter Email programmer, claimed that "No recurring fee", so don't worry that you may have to pay more if he releases a new version! I believe you will happy with Chatter Email like I did.
Reference: Chatter Emai or download the program here