Benefits Of IMAP Over POP For Gmail Mobile

Friday, May 30, 2008 by Mistlee

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Benefits Of IMAP Over POP For Gmail Mobile

By Manoj Jasra

Gmail Help Center Guru, Sze-jun Tsai has posted a very useful post on the Gmail Blog about configuring your Gmail account on mobile devices using IMAP rather than POP.

Sze-jun mentions how frustrating POP can be due to it's limitation to communicate only one way rather than 2 way like IMAP. Sze-jun also provides a simple graphic which explains the benefit of IMAP over POP.

There are two ways your devices and clients can communicate with Gmail:

A one-way communication path ( POP). Your device asks us for data and pulls it from our servers -- but that's it. Things you do on your device have no effect on the server. If you read a message on your phone, then log in to Gmail, you will see that same message marked as unread. It may start to feel like Groundhog Day.

A two-way communication path ( IMAP). Unlike with POP, your devices talk back to our servers and sync your changes automatically with IMAP. When you sign in to your Gmail account in a web browser, actions you've taken on your email client or mobile device (like putting a message in a 'work' folder) will also appear in Gmail (your message will already have a 'work' label on it). This all happens automatically once you set up IMAP, so you don't have to read or sort all your mail twice. This is really helpful when accessing Gmail from multiple devices.

Enabling IMAP

You can retrieve your Gmail messages with a client or device that supports IMAP, like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail.

To enable IMAP in Gmail:

• Sign in to Gmail.
• Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
• Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
• Select Enable IMAP.
• Configure your IMAP client and click Save Changes.

Supported IMAP client list

Once you've enabled IMAP in Gmail, just configure your mail client or wireless device to download Gmail messages. To learn about configuration settings, click the name of your mail client or wireless device below.

Mail Clients
Outlook Express (Windows)
Outlook 2003 (Windows)
Outlook 2007 (Windows)
Apple Mail
Apple Mail 3.0 (Leopard)
Windows Mail
Thunderbird 2.0

Wireless Devices

About the Author:
Manoj Jasra has been in the search marketing industry since 2002 with Enquiro Search Solutions. His role as the Director of Technology at Enquiro involves him developing strategic relationships with technology vendors, overseeing web analytics and designing cutting edge solutions for clients. Manoj's background in software development and experience in search marketing/web analytics gives him the ability to provide strategic consultation throughout the entire online marketing process.

Manoj's blog, Web Analytics World focuses on insight in Search Marketing, Blogging, Web Analytics and Technology; it is also one of the top read web analytics blogs. You can frequently find Manoj's writing at popular marketing publications.
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