As per my previous post, my posts are out of whack as I am behind on them. To summarise one of them.. I got an iPhone and it is the best convergence device I have ever had. It really does replace my mp3 player,PDA and phone.
One of the major reasons for buying the iPhone was its ability to push my work email out to me immediately (using our Microsoft Exchange servers). It works great (though it does not sync my Outlook tasks for some reason?!). One of the issues I had when I used this push email functionality on my Windows Mobile phone was how it worked with my personal email/calendar/contacts. I could use Windows Live’s services but it is slow, clunky and therefore impossible to really use productively. So I had to make do combining my work and personal information and using the mobile browser for email.
On the iPhone, Apple have released MobileMe to provide a solution to this. It looks like an interesting solution which allows me to maintain a separate personal and work contact list and have upto date email/contacts/calendars on the move for my personal stuff. Despite the marketing speak it is not push ala Microsoft Exchange but pulling contacts and the calendar every minute so it is so near instantaneous – not that that really matters to most people (there are mutterings about email being pull as well but I can’t confirm that – anyone know what the reality is on this?). Anyhow, the real problem for me is that it requires me to use a mobileme email account (firstname.lastname@example.org). I use my own personal domain for emails running on Google’s Apps so switching accounts really isn’t an option. Maybe one day they will offer a similar service to Google. Not sure it would be a priority for them.
There is push email on Yahoo but again similar to MobileMe, I have to use their email addresses and the personal contact list merges with your work one. I’m not sure if thats better or worse than having it separate. I suppose the most important thing is that it does not sync back to my work computer. There does not seem to be any sort of calendar sync.
So as I am already using Google, the obvious solution would be Gmail push on the iPhone. Google released push email on Helio (a US mobile carrier) a while back but there is currently nothing for the iPhone, so right now I am stuck either syncing via IMAP or using my mobile browser. Of course that also means no personal contacts list integrated with the phone or a calendar. It looks like there is possible a timeline to this happening though it isn’t till September at least. I wonder though if it will allow a separate personal contact list or will Apple keep that functionality to itself.