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REVIEW: Sunnysoft Mail Center 1.0 for Smartphone 2002
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 27.08.03 - 16:52:38 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 11319x
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Maybe one of the most annoying limitations of Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 to become a real smart phone is the fact that the Inbox supports one E-Mail account only which can be either an ActiveSync account or a POP3/IMAP4 account. This means that a user has to decide if he wants to sync the Smartphone Inbox with Outlook or if he wants to access POP3/IMAP4 mailboxes and if he wants to access a mailbox he have to decide which E-Mail account.

Sunnysoft's recently released Mail Center 1.0 is the first available 3rd party E-Mail client for Smartphone 2002 and supports more then one E-Mail account only.

It features:

  • Individual folders are created for each account
  • Access to the original account with ActiveSync and messages (like SMS)
  • Individual or en masse sending of messages
  • E-Mails can be sorted out by standard parameters
  • Data can be stored in any folder
  • Receiving, saving and sending of attachments is supported
  • Deleting of E-Mails support
  • Font changes are enabled
  • Possibility to delete or leave the E-Mail on server
  • Download of header/complete E-Mail
  • All types of connections incl. ActiveSync

After the installation on your Smartphone you can setup several options like "Message list" which lists display options and "Data folder" which is a nice feature of Mail Center. Since the storage space on Smartphone is pretty limited it's recommended to install as much applications on the SD card as possible to keep the memory free to execute applications. However, storing E-Mails, especially with attachments and from several accounts requires a lot of storage space too. Mail Center allows you to store received and sent E-Mails on any place including memory cards.

Now you are ready to configure your E-Mail accounts and all you need here are your mail account settings like E-Mail address, server names and login information. That's it. You can repeat this procedure to add all your mail accounts you want to access with your Smartphone on the go.

Back in the main menu/view you can start to receive all your E-Mails from either all configured accounts or account by account - Mail Center provides you a lot of different send and receive options here.

Now it connects with your Mailboxes and receives all available mails. While it downloads the E-Mails it keeps you informed of amount of E-Mails to receive/already received.

After you've received your E-Mails the Account menu lets you select which E-Mail folder you want to open while Standard Inbox opens the original Smartphone Inbox as a new program (it's not part of Mail Center).

The following overview is pretty similar to the original Inbox overview and by selecting a mail and pressing the action button you can open the received E-Mail to read it.

Unfortunately Mail Center doesn't parse links which might be included within the message but provides a plain overview of the E-Mail only.

However, from here - because it is a complete mail client - you can Reply or Forward as well as selecting the mail for complete download (you can configure Mail Center how many lines it should receive to keep the transmission volume as small as possible, for instance on GPRS connections).'

Creating a mail message works pretty much like with the Inbox but in addition and unlike the original Inbox you can also directly add Attachments to your mail.


Next time you select send/receive your E-Mail will sent.

Final Conclusion

For version 1.0, Mail Center is pretty complete and offers everything you might expect from a Smartphone E-Mail client like multiple accounts, attachments, etc and in my tests it worked as expected.

But (and there is always a but ;-)) it's not that complete as I hoped it would be. Maybe it's just me and my expectations and the amount of E-Mails I daily receive and which a mail client have to handle but from time to time Mail Center freeze (okay, the complete phone is freezing from time to time ;-)) but right after the installation I had some serious problems. Now, after one week it works more stable. However, for any reason it receives the same – already received E-Mails - again. This happened on one account 4 times now which means I have every E-Mail four times in my Inbox. Also I miss a kind of signature functionality. For any reason, Microsoft left this out of all Inboxes until Pocket PC 2003 but this shouldn't be a reason not to include it in 3rd party products.

In addition I miss a Home screen plug-in which works like the original message plug-in and notifies me about newly received E-Mails per account as well as a kind of overview page in Mail Center itself which provides me a status of E-Mails per account.

Anyway, I really like that you are completely flexible in how to receive and send E-Mails. Per mail account or all accounts; receiving or sending only or both. Also finally you can add attachments in an easy and convenient way, without using 3rd party file explorer!

Mail Center doesn't includes a auto download functionality which means you have to select receive to get you newest E-Mails. In addition to Mail Center I'm also using 2k development's check4mail on my Smartphone which keeps me - on a predefined period - updated about newly received E-Mails which I can download now using Mail Center.

Altogether Mail Center 1.0 is 100 % usable and functional but it offers room for improvements! Nevertheless, I truly like to use it with my Smartphone as it makes my phone even smarter now! Really recommended for mail junkies!

Sunnysoft's Mail Center 1.0 is available from Smartphone.net for US$ 13.95 only and Sunnysoft also provides a fully functional trial version.

Cheers ~ Arne

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