Using the iPhone with a few email accounts over the past few days has given me some insight into the nature of how things are getting done between Apple and Google and Yahoo. While Google has a lock on the maps, YouTube and as the initial search partner for Safari, Yahoo scored two widget home screen placements with Stocks and Weather and is also the only way to get a push mail experience.
POP Mail is horrible. I was an IMAP user for years and only switched to GMail fulltime (my domain’s IMAP forwards into Gmail) when I realized I could get a similar experience across my mobile phones and the Nokia Internet Tablet (full web Gmail). Now on the iPhone things are a different story. For starters, there’s no Gmail application. I guess I could use the web browser, but I’ve been spoiled by the speed of the application Google released and would either like that as my main option or even better an iPhone integrated Gmail mail service. This full integration is actually exactly what Yahoo has scored with their IMAP support. For starters – it’s instant! Exactly what you would have come to expect if you’ve used a blackberry or a Treo with Chattermail. The shortest interval you can get mail to check on the iPhone is 15 minutes – unless it’s a Yahoo Account and then it’s real-time.
It’s great to have Yahoo mail updating in real-time, but there’s no way to change how you appear in sent mail and Yahoo is not my preferred domain. Additionally it’s more than likely that any reply to a mailing list will be blocked as it’s not the address you’ve subscribed with. Push is not enough for me to switch to Yahoo, but I definitely want it when I can tap in from another email account. For now without a way to change my identity I’m still sticking it out with GMail. POP annoyances aside…
It will be interested to see how long this lock lasts for Yahoo as well as everything else. I can’t see Google allowing Yahoo’s exclusive on premium access to mail lasting longer than the terms of the initial deal.