Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GMail application for BlackBerry vs. GMail IMAP on BlackBerry

My previous post was about how to set up GMail on your BlackBerry so that it uses the IMAP protocol. This post summarizes the difference between (1) the GMail application for BlackBerry that you can download to your BlackBerry via on your BB Browser and (2) using the native BlackBerry mail program with IMAP.

Google GMail application

+ full sync with GMail, including archive, delete, read, unread
+ full search of GMail
+ threaded e-mail just like in the Web application
+ ability to star e-mails

- limited when BlackBerry is offline
- can be slow to get e-mail
- text only, not HTML e-mail
- flashing indicator light is limited to whether you have ANY new mail and once you open the application, light will go off regardless of whether there is read e-mail

BlackBerry native e-mail application with GMail IMAP

+ HTML e-mail
+ gets e-mail more quickly and consistently (I can't tell if it's as fast as true "push")
+ some aspects of two-way sync work (see below for exceptions)
+ can hold more e-mails when BlackBerry is offline

- some aspects of two-way sync do not work
- marking as "read" on the Web won't mark as "read" on the BlackBerry, which is really annoying; it does work from the BlackBerry down to the Web
- no threaded messages
- Yahoo IMAP mail is supposed to have true, unadulterated two-way sync with the BlackBerry, but you'll have to test that for yourself (LINK to Yahoo for information).

A decent post on the subject at BBGeeks: LINK

I've returned to using just the GMail application. The lack of true two-way sync on read messages is really a killer for me.

Update: according to Berry Review LINK via BBGeeks LINK true two-way sync with GMail will be coming soon. Who knows if this is for real.

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