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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app Apps
This should be manifestly obvious (and that's probably why I couldn't find any documentation for it). But then again, you'd think they would put it in, for instance, Gmail's IMAP setup help page, but it's not...

I am sure we all have heard about Push in Apple's Mail by now. For those folks who use email to the point of obsession (I'm afraid I do), this is a great way to keep your mailboxes up-to-the-second current without having Mail.app hog the bandwidth, checking every minute or five minutes. If your server supports IDLE (Gmail, .Mac/MobileMe, and most university servers do), then the only things you need to do are:
  1. Go into Mail » Preferences » Accounts (Advanced) and make sure that Use IDLE command if the server supports it is enabled (it's enabled by default).
  2. (This is the fun part) Again go into Mail » Preferences » General and set Check for new Mail to Manually.
Now send yourself a new message (preferably from a different account) and watch the fun.

[robg adds: If you have a mix of accounts some of which include IDLE support and some which don't (as I do), here's another way to set this up. For the IDLE-enabled accounts, uncheck the box next to 'Include when automatically checking for new mail' on the Advanced tab of that account's settings pages. For the non-IDLE accounts, leave this box checked.

Then, in General in Mail's Preferences, leave the 'Check for new mail' pop-up set to whatever time interval you prefer. This way, your IDLE-enabled email will show up as soon as the server pushes it to your machine, but you'll still check the non-IDLE accounts on a regular basis. This works quite well for me -- three of my accounts have IDLE enabled and the email just shows up, while the other two accounts are checked using Mail's automatic checks.]
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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app | 23 comments | Create New Account
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Beware if using 1st Gen iPhone
Authored by: CaptCosmic on Aug 25, '08 08:09:08AM

One potential issue with this, especially for non 3G owners, is that using the IDLE command requires that the Mail.app keep an open connection with the server. If I'm not using WiFi on non-3G phones, this means that it will have to keep a constantly open EDGE connection.

When EDGE is connected, you can't receive any incoming phone calls. They will all be forwarded to voice mail since you are "on the phone".

---
Capt Cosmic



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Beware if using 1st Gen iPhone
Authored by: CaptCosmic on Aug 25, '08 08:10:19AM

Oops. Misread the post. Was thinking it was talking about setting up iPhone email. Never mind.

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Capt Cosmic



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one caveat with sounds
Authored by: EricMc on Aug 25, '08 08:22:18AM

When using the idle support in Mail.app many people experience issues with new mail sounds or sounds triggered from scripts not playing or playing much later than expected.



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one caveat with sounds
Authored by: BOlle on Aug 29, '08 03:21:32PM
I have the same sound issue. I think I finally solved it by using a folder action.

What you need: Play Sound. Save it in you Applications folder.

Save the script in ~/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts/ and attach it to your ~/Library/Mail/IMAP-youraccount@domain.com/INBOX.imapmbox/Messages/ folder.

Disclaimer: This is my sixth applescript, it just might set your LP1 on fire.


-- use any sound you like, mine is set to Submarine.aiff

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
	set soundFile to "Macintosh HD:System:Library:Sounds:Submarine.aiff"
	tell application "/Applications/Play Sound.app"
		play soundFile
	end tell
	open added_items
end adding folder items to



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: JaxMyers on Aug 25, '08 08:52:23AM

The "Use IDLE..." check box is disabled for me (it is greyed out). Does this mean my server does not support IDLE?



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: mdmac on Aug 26, '08 01:48:10PM

Either server doesn't or it's not an IMAP account



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: hamarkus on Aug 25, '08 08:56:21AM

I did not have to disable the automatic checking for the account to get the idle working. In fact, idle was selected automatically when I set up the IMAP account. (And I switched it immediately I received my first push e-mail, much prefer the check-once-per-hour method.)



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Solves quitting problem!
Authored by: ctdkite on Aug 25, '08 09:19:06AM
Unchecking 'Include when automatically checking for new mail' and checking "Use IDLE command if the server supports it" seems to have resolved a problem I had with mail not quitting, which apparently was caused by the Mobile Me account checking for mail. Problem discussed here:http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=7384020&#7384020 and elsewhere on the Apple discussion forums.

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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: haloici0us on Aug 25, '08 09:36:52AM

So, from a person who doesn't use IMAP, I believe I'm assuming correctly that this is about the set up of IMAP and not POP accounts in Mail.app?



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: fitzage on Aug 25, '08 11:37:27AM

Yes. IDLE is strictly an IMAP protocol.



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: ctierney on Aug 25, '08 12:12:21PM

There is similar functionality for pop3 users. A finger request is sent to a user whenever mail arrives for that user. Client software listening on port 79 can then tell your email program to check mail. Works very well. I use a client called notifymail, that doesn't seem to be available anymore. But it is possible to write a script to do this.



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: mnewman on Aug 25, '08 04:48:03PM

Am I missing something? This didn't work for me....

I have a MobileMe IMAP account. In Mail preferences IDLE was "on" by default. I unchecked "Include when automatically checking for new mail". I sent myself mail, both from Mail.app and from the command line at 5:30 AM this morning. When I checked again at 6:30 AM there was no new mail. I clicked "Get Mail" and the two test messages came along with a bunch of other new mail.

Is some other step required to enable push (IDLE) on a MobileMe IMAP account?

---
Mike Newman
Saipan and Narita Layover Pages:
http://www.mgnewman.com



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: MrLucky on Aug 28, '08 08:28:50PM

I had the same experience (or lack thereof). I followed the instructions to the letter, but this trick worked neither for Gmail nor MobileMe.



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Can't find the option
Authored by: CaptCosmic on Aug 25, '08 05:43:15PM

Still running 10.4.11, and I can't find any setting for enabling IDLE support in Mail.app. Is this a Leopard only feature?

---
Capt Cosmic



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Can't find the option
Authored by: Sensei on Aug 25, '08 06:53:51PM

I'll second the notion that this may be a 10.5 only feature as I can't find it in OS X 10.4.11 and Mail.app v2.1.3. This hint should probably be moved to the Leopard section.

---

"DON'T PANIC"
Douglas Adams



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: matsw on Aug 26, '08 07:08:40AM

You do not need to turn off the periodic checking for IDLE to work.



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: sjk on Aug 26, '08 12:56:51PM
You do not need to turn off the periodic checking for IDLE to work.
But why would you want periodic checking enabled if IDLE is working properly?

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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: googoo on Aug 29, '08 12:36:13PM

If you turned off periodic checking and enabled IDLE, would you still get messages received when your computer was offline? Would your IMAP account be updated to reflect changes made from another computer? I am not sure of the answer to either question.

-Mark



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This push trick works in iCal too!
Authored by: asbeve on Aug 26, '08 08:50:11AM

I set the IDLE-command in Mail app and manual looking for new mail. Push works perfectly in Mail.app. I also noticed events get pushed directly from my iPhone into iCal on my mac. Great!



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: rottenchops on Aug 28, '08 09:58:24AM

Does not work reliably for me, neither with Gmail nor with the Exchange server at work. When I first configured the Exchange (with IDLE) account it seemed to work. Then I configured my Gmail account to use IMAP (with IDLE) and found that the only way to retrieve new mail was to check for it, so I went back to POP. Then my Exchange account stopped working with IDLE, so I'm back to automatically checking all accounts every minute.



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: scotty321 on May 11, '10 07:56:03PM

See my following post for more information on this. I figured out how to make this work.

Edited on May 11, '10 08:00:00PM by scotty321



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: scotty321 on May 11, '10 07:59:37PM

I figured out how to make my Gmail work with IMAP (IDLE) in Mail.

There seems to be something wrong with the way that Apple Mail auto-configures Gmail accounts when you create a Gmail account in Mail. I couldn't get my Gmail to work with IMAP (IDLE) either, so I completely deleted my Gmail account from Mail and recreated it.

BUT the catch is that when I recreated the account, I typed in a completely random email address like xyz@123.com. This was the trick which bypassed whatever internal mechanisms Mail has for setting up a Gmail account.

Once the fake account was setup, I manually modified all the account information with all the appropriate Gmail IMAP settings.

And now, guess what?! My IMAP (IDLE) works just fine with my Gmail account in Mail! The Gmail emails are pushed to me instantaneously!



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Take advantage of push email servers in Mail.app
Authored by: ccr32 on May 14, '10 04:13:15AM

Have just done this myself, and push Gmail now works perfectly within the Mail app.

Note that when asked what type of account this is, I selected IMAP (as opposed to Exchange 2007 IMAP), and it works fine with this.

Many thanks!



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