The ideal mobile mail app

Posted: November 6, 2007 in Entrepreneur, Gmail, Mobile mail, Mobility

I just came across a post that talks about the launch of a new version of Gmail in U.S. Well this version almost has some of the features that I had envisioned in my mind when I made a mobile mail service for my previous company. However the version that I wrote was a browser based service that works with any POP3 or IMAP4 server available on Internet. The interface is XHTML based interface and shows inline preview of mail body in the Inbox listing, shows compressed previews of image attachment with option to download it on your cellphone and converts PDF attachments to XHTML for online reading.

However this mobile mail was far from being my ideal mobile mail application. It was more of prototype in my venture  to the mobile world. In my perspective an ideal mobile mail will have

1) Mobile server.
2) Mobile application.

The Mobile server would be heart of this mobile application and would be the one that can integrate to multiple mail servers (even to the free email service providers) and would run a service that integrates multi-network chat protocols including support of the enterprise chat server. It would be running a SyncML service to keep your addressbook and calendar in sync between your desktop, mail server and mobile device. If this kind of server is being deployed in a corporate environment, then it can also have a page adapter for mobile devices so that the users can browse the intranet applications easily on their mobile device.

The mobile application would be like one of the free mobile apps like Movamail or Whoosh but with SyncML support and multiple reply options. The SyncML support in the application would help the users with devices without SyncML support to be in sync. The multiple reply options to a mail can be

  1. Reply via mail.
  2. Reply via Chat.
  3. Reply via Call.
  4. Reply via SMS.

On selection of Call or SMS option the application would pickup the number from the mobile addressbook and invoke the corresponding handler APIs.  On selection of Chat option the application would initiate a chat session via the mobile server if the user is online or will leave an offline message or mail in case the user is not available.

An application like this powered by an intelligent server would give  complete control of communication to the user while he is on move. Today we have alternatives from different vendors that lets you chat, make VoIP phone calls, check email, Sync address and calendars, but what lacks is a single application that integrates all the multi-protocol chat and email network.

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