Chatter Email for Treo 650 Review
April 5, 2005
I’ve long felt that the available e-mail options on the Palm OS devices was far and away better than what was available for Pocket PC, although I’ve never really figured out why. This still seems to be the case on the Treo.
For me, E-mail is one of the real killer connected PDA applications, and one of the main reasons I want to have PDA functionality in an internet-capable phone.
I’ve been playing with Chatter Email on the Treo 650 for about a month, and I absolutely love it. In fact, it’s a substantial part of what I love ABOUT the Treo 650.
“Push” E-mail (don’t call the server, the server will call you) is one of the killer Blackberry features, and Chatter does an excellent job of emulating that on the Treo. The advantage of “Push” e-mail is that you don’t check your messages every X number of minutes; instead, when a message arrives in your inbox, you’re immediately alerted to it.
Of course, you need the right mail server. Absent the proprietary Blackberry system, Chatter takes advantage of an IMAP feature called “Idle”, which lets a mail client stay connected to the mail server and get updates when new messages come in. Although Chatter will now do POP3 e-mail (a slightly older and less feature-laden protocol than IMAP), if your mail server does not do IMAP and support the idle feature, you’re not going to get “Push” e-mail.
Luckily, the mail server I use (Mailblocks) supports IMAP Idle nicely, and I’ve got both my desktop and the Treo using it without problems.
Chatter also handles IMAP server folders nicely, allowing you to add whichever folders you want to follow on your Treo, and ignore the rest.
Your outgoing mail is sent via SMTP, and Chatter supports a variety of options, including SMTP Auth and SSL.
Thus far, the only disappointment I’ve had with Chatter is that it won’t store messages and attachments on the SD card, but development on that feature appears to be well underway, and it’s available in current betas if you’re feeling adventurous enough to try one.
Given the many reports of instability in the Treo’s built-in mail client, and the cost of some of the other packages (Snapper, which I also like a lot, costs north of $50 if you want IMAP support), Chatter is a wonderful bargain at $32.
There’s also a generous 30 day full-featured trial so you can decide if Chatter is for you.
Give it a try—I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.