I have about 7000 emails (including sent emails) stored on gmail (in about 200 folders).
So I figure I’ll setup my smartphone to synchronise with gmail using imap. So that I don’t overload the phones tiny memory, I decide to download only the email headers (not the main email body).
This should let me see the structure of my email account, and only download the actual email if/when I need to.
It shouldn’t be hard, right?
Well, my sent email folder has about 2500 emails, and in the process of downloading the headers, I get an “out of storage space” error.
A bit of research later shows I can actually move the downloaded headers to the 2Gb micro SD card in the phone. Of course you can’t do this without a registry hack… not something most users can do. Why does Microsoft insist on putting roadblocks in its operating systems?
Anyway, using the SD card will be a bit slower, but should prevent the out of storage memory problems.
While researching, I find something interesting: pocket outlook seems to store each email header in seperate file in the windowsMessaging folder… all up, over 3000 before I got the error message.
Now thats really inefficient. A perfect way to slow down the whole phone: dump thousands of files into 1 folder. I can’t see why pocket outlook can’t use a database file like outlook, thunderbird, and any other decent email system out there.
Now that emails are being stored on the flash card, the process gets much further (take a few hours longer to download headers), until I get another error. This time, I see the “Program memory” has dropped from about 25Mb free to less than 1Mb, so its another memory problem.
After this, pocket outlook will refuse to download any more emails, so its a case of delete all the stored emails, and try again.
I eventually get tired of trying to work around pocket outlook, and decide to try a third party email solution.
I tried flexmail, and it seemed a bit better and faster (at least it stores the emails in a proper database), but it also ran out of main “program” memory, despite flexmail (and the emails it synchronises with the server) being installed on the storage card.
However, as I download more email headers, flexmail slows more and more. I suspect its due to the flash card being slow.
But the nice thing about flexmail, is that it can be tailored.
So now the only path left to me it to trim down the number of emails I download. So I set flexmail to only download the last 60 days.
I clear all the email headers from the sent folder, and then configure only that folder, so that it downloads just the last 60 days… and then flexmail works beautifully.
Since Pocket outlook has similar functionality, I set it up to do the same thing, and then ditch flexmail… why?
Well, certain email shortcut buttons on the phone will start pocket outlook, even while flexmail is the default email program. So I go back to using whatever came with the phone, even if its not “efficient”, its a hell of a lot more convenient.
I cant help feeling like i’m in the old days of MSDOS, where you could only run programs in 640Kb, and to use any more memory, you needed to do all sorts of tricks, and even then you couldn’t be sure any application would work correctly in the expanded memory…
Many smartphone users are not technical, and they don’t care about the difference between internal 64Mb ram and a flash card… they just want it to work.
I havent tried any of the other smartphones out there (iphone, android, webos), so I hope they handle things better.
I’d say an average user won’t be able to use many of the wm6 features (particularly if they have a lot of emails), without hitting the “limits” of the wm6 architecture.