January 22nd, 2009

iPhone Email Tips and Tricks

The iPhone is a great piece of technology, but like all technology it has it’s quirks, as well as some features that you should be aware of when using it to send and receive email. Based upon our experience using iPhones ourselves and in supporting our clients’ varied use of iPhones for connecting to LuxSci email services, we have the following nuggets for you.

  • Can’t Connect due to a Poor Signal? The iPhone’s email services work much better on a fast wireless connection than on the 3G or 2G networks. If you have a poor 3G or 2G signal, or if data traffic is congested or poorly supported in the area where you are located, then checking your email may be slow. We have found that the iPhone email program tends to “spin” and not update in this situation. When you go to another location or connection, the iPhone just resumes working.
  • Still Can’t Connect? – Reboot the Phone: If your iPhone’s email connection “spins” and doesn‘t connect and your signal is good, the best solution is to “reboot” your iPhone.  Turn it off by holding down the “screen off” button on the top for several seconds and then confirming.  Turn it back on.  This solves many problems.
  • Still Can’t Connect? – Reset the Network: If your iPhone’s email connection “spins” and doesn‘t connect and your signal is good, the next thing to try is to “reset” your iPhone’s network settings. Go to “Settings > General > Reset Network Settings”. This usually fixes such issues. Be warned, however!  Resetting your network will erase your wireless preferences and saved wifi keys.
  • Still Can’t Connect? – Delete the Email Account: Sometimes you can try everything to get the iPhone to work with an email service (not just ours) but nothing works. We’ve found that if you delete the email account from the iPhone and recreate it from scratch, this often solves the problem. (This is similar to what you need to do when an Outlook account gets corrupted.)
  • Not Seeing All of Your Messages? The iPhone only shows the first 25 messages in your INBOX or any other folder because by default it shows 25 messages at a time. You can increase this limit to up to 200 messages at a time in the “Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar” section of the iPhone.
  • No Duplicate Email Account Names, Please! Do not set up 2 different email accounts with the same name in your iPhone as this will make it difficult to use them and can cause the settings in the two accounts to get confused. If this happens to you, the only solution is to delete one of the accounts.
  • Periodic IMAP Fetch Mail: Even though LuxSci does not support the “IMAP PUSH” mechanism available on the iPhone (though MobileSync does support Push Email and Calendar/Contacts auto-synchronization), you do not have to check for new email manually. You can setup the “Fetch New Data” section of the iPhone’s “Settings” section to check for new email at 15, 30, or 60 minutes intervals. You can also check for new email manually simply by going to the email folder in question. Even though the iPhone’e email application itself doesn’t yet support IMAP IDLE, if you have a “jail broken” iPhone, there is an application that you can use to get effective IMAP PUSH through use of IMAP IDLE — the iMapIdle application (note that we have not tested this as we do not jailbreak out phone — we just found this and thought it would be interesting to some).
  • Hard to Type? One big complaint we have observed is that it is hard to write emails on the small iPhone visual keyboard. This can be solved by using one of the many FREE downloads available in the iPhone App Store. The one we prefer to use is called “EasyWriter.” This App allows you to write emails using either the portrait or landscape style keyboards, and then import the information into the iPhone’s email program. Its a great and easy way to write long emails.
  • Use the Correct IMAP Folders for Trash and Sent Mail: If you go into the “Advanced” account settings for your IMAP email account, then you can specify the IMAP folders in which the iPhone should put “Sent” email, “Drafts”, and “Trash”. With a little forethought, your iPhone can use the same folders that LuxSci’s WebMail and your other email programs use.
  • Signatures: It is a good idea to customize your email “Signature” in your “Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar” area. By default it just says that the message was “Sent from your iPhone”.
  • How to Mark Messages Unread: If you want to mark a read message as “Unread”, you can — though it is not obvious how. When viewing an email message, tap on “Details“. This shows a “Mark As Unread” option. Tap on that, and the next time you view your message list, the message will display as Unread.
  • Find your Failed Sent Email Messages:  If you try to send an email message and it fails for some reason, the message will be saved in a temporary “Outgoing Folder”. You can access this folder from the main screen of your sending email account. Once the folder is empty, it will disappear.
  • Change your From Address: If you have multiple email accounts set up in your iPhone, you can change what address your email message appears to be from at the time of sending.  Simply tap on the “CC/Bcc/From:” line in a new message and then tap on the “From” field.  You will then be able to select the account from which the email message will be sent.

See also: iPhone Security Apps and Configuration Tips

Do you have some good tips that we should include here, send them to us!

3 Responses to “iPhone Email Tips and Tricks”

  1. iPhone: The Ultimate Mobile Email Client? | LuxSci FYI Says:

    […] Tomorrow we will be posting our list of iPhone tips and tricks. […]

  2. Scott Dunston Says:

    Here’s an awesome tip, courtesy of About.com. It lets you set up your phone so you send email from multiple aliases (all from a single iPhone email account). For example, I have a single mailbox for my LuxSci user account, but several email aliases pointing to that account. This technique lets me send mail from any one of these alias addresses without changing my account setup each time. You just set it up once, and then sending email from any of the aliases is a breeze!! [Note: there’s probably a practical limit to exactly how many aliases can be set up for a single account. I’m not sure what that limit is, but I’ve set up my iPhone to use any one of 4 aliases hosted by LuxSci, plus my work email hosted on an Exchange server.]

    The blog article containing the tip is entitled “How to Set Up Multiple From Addresses with an iPhone Mail Account”, and can be found at http://bit.ly/blTUUW.

  3. percyjacks Says:

    If the above steps fails to resolve this problem, there here is a solution for you that you can get rid of this problems and get back to reuse your iPhone as you use in starting.
    You have to reset your iPhone to its default settings to reset all the modified settings that you had made for further uses. But you should create a proper backup of your iPad data that you can prevent the data loss situation. In case if you have lost your important iPhone data then you may need an advanced iPhone recovery software which helps you to recover your lost data simply and effectively.

    For further details how to recover your iPhone data you can visit:

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