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Question about IMAP


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Volt
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I just watched this video from Google on how to setup Gmail on the iPhone using IMAP: YouTube - Gmail IMAP for the iPhone


They say that by using IMAP the changes you make on your iPhone will also be changed on Gmail on your computer.

So what exactly is the difference between using IMAP and POP3? If it was set to POP3, something would be different on the iPhone Mail program vs. going to Gmail in the browser?

Does anyone know the exact differences? Thanks!
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todd51
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From what I understand, if you were to check an email on your iPhone with a POP account, and then log into Gmail through the web interface, that email you checked would still be a "new" email. By using IMAP, everything is synced, so if you check an email through the web interface, it will appear as being read on your iPhone and vice versa.

There is a decent explanation at the bottom of this page.
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Volt
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Thanks for the help.

I have been using Gmail thru the web browser on my iPhone. Anytime I read something or move something it appears the same way when I go to gmail on my computer.

I'm mainly curious how using the Mail program of the iPhone will help me, which is how I found the video explaining that I should be using IMAP.
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If you use Gmail from the browser on the iPhone then it SHOULD work just the same if you were to use ANY PC's browser. No difference there, all of your changes will be reflected across all browsers.

The main difference between IMAP and POP (as it's most simplest) is that with POP you get a copy of the email from the server locally on your device. With IMAP you simply get to view what's on the server. So with POP any local changes aren't propagated back to the server, however with IMAP since you are just viewing what's on the server any changes will be immediately reflected.

One quick of playing with this is to use POP with gmail, if you send out email, a copy of the mail is saved in the local SENT folder. However, if you use IMAP, that copy is stored on the servers SENT folder and is accessible to any client that wishes to see it.

In general, it is preferred to use IMAP over POP, but because people using POP would usually get the email down locally, it saved server space and was more predominant. Also, the fact that people always checked their mail from a single machine helped further this model, these days people check their email from multiple machines, and smartphones, so IMAP suits that model significantly better..

Regards
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Volt
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Great explanation, thanks!

Quote:
In general, it is preferred to use IMAP over POP, but because people using POP would usually get the email down locally, it saved server space and was more predominant.
And since all mail on Gmail is kept on the server anyway, sine it's web based, IMAP doesn't have any real drawback, right?
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Originally Posted by Volt View Post
Great explanation, thanks!



And since all mail on Gmail is kept on the server anyway, sine it's web based, IMAP doesn't have any real drawback, right?
Not really, unless the service pulls a M$/Sidekick and you lose all your data

Archiving offline always helps.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volt View Post
Great explanation, thanks!

And since all mail on Gmail is kept on the server anyway, sine it's web based, IMAP doesn't have any real drawback, right?
Well, with Gmail you can access it both through POP and IMAP..and with POP you have to expressly tell Gmail to keep the messages on the server, otherwise it will be downloaded and removed from the server. This is not the case with IMAP.

Personally, if IMAP is available on any mail server I use that..

Regards
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I have been using gmail IMAP for 6 months or so and love it. I see the same info no matter where I long on or what I long on with.
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Volt
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I got it all setup, it works well.

One thing that I don't like is how the iPhone mail client doesn't put the Gmail messages into threads like Gmail does.

I might just stick with using Gmail thru the iPhone's web browser.

But I do like the way the iPhone will look for and tell me when a new e-mail comes in.

Decisions decisions lol
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