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Push any email to the iPhone via third-party app Apps
There have been several hints in the past, including these two of mine, with regards to using push email on the iPhone, or using MobileMe with custom reply-to entries, etc. A new application called PushMail ($5; App Store link) seems to me to be the ideal way of using push email (or any mail) on the iPhone. (I am not affiliated with this app at all; I've just been looking for an ideal iPhone push solution for a while, and this seems like it.)

Essentially, PushMail gives you your own new email address, something like a@dopushmail.com. Everything that gets sent to that address has a push notification displayed on your phone. The notification displays the sender, the subject, and as much of the email as can fit in a notification. So, you can configure your regular email addresses to all forward a copy of your email to that new address, and you will have your email pushed to you. This is an option in the settings for most webmail email services such as Gmail, or you can configure procmail to forward a copy, if you've got control of your email server.

Then, in Mail.app on the iPhone, you can set your email to refresh manually, or at some infrequent interval. I've got mine set to refresh every hour, just so that it downloads messages automatically every now and then. I've also turned off the 'new mail sound' for new mail, so that I only get notified of new mail from PushMail rather than Mail.app.

The advantages of this over forwarding mail to MobileMe is that you can reply right from your regular IMAP or POP email addresses instead of a MobileMe address, solving the problem of having to hack in a custom reply-to address if you don't use your MobileMe address as your primary address. Also, the notification means that you do not need to open Mail to see a summary of the message. This, to me, is also a huge improvement over having to turn on the phone, open mail, and open the message to see the message. It makes it akin to GrowlMail on the Mac, where you can decide whether or not you want to read the message now based on the summary. Another advantage of this app is that you don't need to give your login credentials to a third party for all your email accounts. Just forward a copy of the messages to the new address.

Lastly, the application is well designed in that it does essentially nothing. It does not get in your way. With most apps that push, if you get a notification, and turn on the phone while the notification is on screen, it will directly open that app. This app, however, only goes to the home screen, knowing that you won't want to open PushMail but will instead want to open Mail.

[robg adds: We don't normally feature pointers to iPhone apps as hints, but push email and the iPhone have been a popular subject around here, and this looks like a reasonable solution for those looking for something better.]
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Push any email to the iPhone via third-party app | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Push any email to the iPhone via third-party app
Authored by: VesperDEM on Aug 11, '09 08:22:34AM

I guess the big question here is: Can you trust all your email to a 3rd party site? Not to mention you have to forward all your email to their domain.

I'm still waiting for GPush or not going to worry about it at all. I mean really. Do we really need to know about an email arriving this very instant or just a few minutes later.



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Push any email to the iPhone via third-party app
Authored by: imcquill on Aug 11, '09 01:56:46PM

They have a pretty clear privacy policy on their website. They delete your email before they even send out the notification. I suppose I wouldn't use it with a super important email address.

In terms of the push thing, for me, the on-screen notifications are a much bigger deal than the push.. it really does save time by not needing to check email as frequently (like GrowlMail). But everyone has their own use cases, and certainly, there are plenty of people for whom push email is important. Many BlackBerry users have become accustomed to rock solid push email. This brings iPhone users a little closer.



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MSG Push (an alternative to the app in this hint)
Authored by: ridogi on Aug 11, '09 08:42:39AM

This can also be accomplished with msgpush.com, a beta service that let's you push most IMAP accounts. It works by creating an Exchange account on your phone so if you already have an Exchange account this is not for you. They suggest setting up your IMAP account to check manually. When you receive new mail it increases the Mail application's red dot counter, and then opening your imap account's inbox will download your mail. There is a delay while it actually downloads the mail, but you don't have to interact with the MSG account as it removes the new message notifications automatically so you are only interacting with your IMAP account.

You of course must provide them with your password. The service is free now, but I don't know if they will charge in the future. I tried it out right when they launched and their support was very helpful.



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Pseudo-push email via Prowl for iPhone
Authored by: horhey23 on Aug 11, '09 09:08:38AM

While not an actual Push Email solution, I have a fairly instant solution for those who want "casual push" notices on their iPhone: pick up a copy of Prowl for iPhone and install Growl on your Mac and either GrowlMail (which ships in the Growl .dmg) or this more customizable AppleScript, which also requires rules to be set up in Apple Mail.

Once you've set up your choice of Growl alerts and set their notifications to Prowl, you'll get Push notifications for either all your mail in selected accounts (GrowlMail) or mail that matches your Mail rules (the AppleScript/rule method)

In my experience, the Push notifications from Prowl happen quite fast, so if your Apple Mail settings are checking for mail regularly, you'll get pretty quick notifications about new messages.

A Prowl update is in "approval mode" on the App Store which adds even more great features such as redirecting Prowl push alerts to the app of your choice and more.

In addition to mail alerts, you can then go on to set up push notifications for *any* Growl alert, which can be very addicting. And of course, you'll need to keep your home Mac running and not in Sleep mode for this to work.



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Push any email to the iPhone via third-party app
Authored by: runimal on Aug 11, '09 11:27:16AM

You can to the same for free using text free lite - lookup in appstore textfree, they will give you a push enabled smth@textfree.us address, then just forward to that address.

5 bucks saved )



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Push any email to the iPhone via third-party app
Authored by: imcquill on Aug 11, '09 11:49:27AM

This only works in the US.



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PushMail works great and is BETTER than others because...
Authored by: mkoistinen on Aug 11, '09 11:57:27AM

I've been using PushMail since it was released because it solves a major issue for me.

I have an office account that uses Exchange, and this works well, but unfortunately, the iPhone can only connect to one Exchange-based push mail service at a time. This pretty much rules out having push e-mail for my personal accounts.

PushMail to the rescue! In fact, I like PushMail's implementation than having ALL my e-mail sent to my iPhone. In Gmail, I can simply set up filters for those e-mails that I do want to be notified about. In fact, I can set up a special e-mail address with Gmail's plus-addressing that allows me to tell my friends and family how to reach me 'urgently'. If they simply add '+urgent' to my username, it gets filtered by Gmail and is PushMail'ed to my phone.

I also tried MobileMe and their 'push' e-mail service too, but that requires setting up a whole another account on your iPhone. I had them both running for awhile, and PushMail always came in faster by a minute or so. I have no idea why, but it is faster than even Apple.



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