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October 22, 2008

Highlights from the Nokia Email Service Q&A

by Clinton Jeff

Nokia held a little Q&A event for the Nokia Email Service (NES) yesterday, which a few bloggers were invited to participate in. It was hosted by "RobbieD" from WomWorld and to answer our questions on NES was Andrew Mahon the product manager for Nokia Email Service and Davis Fields who works on Nokia Email service on feedback response.


They began with this :

At Nokia we believe, even though mobile email has been available for years, the amount of users who use mobile email has been dissapointgly low. Through our research, we have found that there are three main obstacles to the adoption of mobile email.

1. discoverability - people don't even know that their phones can get email, even though it's been on the phone for years.

2. those who discover email on the phone have a very difficult time getting it setup and functioning.

3. Unpredictability of cost - users don't have control over how many emails they receive, worry about receiving large bill at the end of the month.

Nokia's strategy is to solve these three problems and to become a leader in the mobile email space. To solve the discoverability problem, our intention is to include email on the phone (preinstalled on the phone)., and make it readily apparant on the home screen / initial startup that the phone supports email.


We threw around a couple of questions, all of which are answered. Some of the highlights include :-

Regarding Active Standby Plugin support for N-series Phones (which is enabled in their E-series counterparts) :

The home screen behavior on N-Series devices for displayed email is a function of the phone series (N-Series/E-Series), we're supporting what the phone supports.


Regarding Folder Support and IMAP :

We have heard loud and clear that support for IMAP folders is very important to a sizable minority.We are working towards IMAP folder support.

Regarding HTML support :

We know a lot of people want this, we're actively working on it, and this is one of the "haven't announced specifically when it arrives"

Regarding Push Email :

A few months back, another mobile email service provider used the word push to describe its offering.
By push, they meant that every 15 minutes the email service would poll the ISP, and fetch whatever email was on the ISP server, and then push that to the phone.
And, the negative reaction to the apparent misuse of the word "push" was quite severe.

So, I want to be clear how I use the word push, and where it applies and where it doesn't.

For GMail, we have a relationship with the provider, and we have a true push implementation. The delivery is near real-time.

For other IMAP providers, we also have near-real time delivery.

For POP providers, we use a polling period of 15 minutes.


Regarding Custom Polling :

Based on feedback, it's clear people want some shorter options for polling and not as many longer ones (for instance, 2 months is an option right now).. we're looking into this.

Regarding Pricing and a future subscription fee :

We haven't announced pricing, but we're working directly with operators to make the costs bundled as part of the data plan.
The price will be 'predictable' -- that is, it will be part of the monthly data plan a consumer pays to the operator.

Regarding NES replacing the default S60 Email Client or co-exist alongside it :

There's always a role for the messaging app, for SMS's... we're exploring whether all email will be in one dedicated messaging client or in two applications.

Regarding Google Apps Support :

We've been hearing that alot - we're implementing it and it will be released in an upcoming version.


Regarding being able to Sync more than 3 days worth of Data :

On the Nokia Email server, we store the past three days of email. When you first get your email set up, you received these three days’ worth of messages. The “Remove older than” settings allows you to decide how much email to store on your phone. These messages are stored on your device and consume memory.
When you first sync the phone - it goes back the last three days.... and then the next day, you have four days mail, then five, then six, etc.... the "remove older than" setting determines how far back it goes.


Regarding Exchange Support :

Nokia Email service is very much a consumer email offering.  We are not including corporate email as part of the service.

Regarding Governmental concerns :

NES will comply with any governmental regulations in a particular country.

Regarding Data Consuption :

We have very good compression. so the data traffic itself is optimized. But, even so, there is a more 'sledge hammer' approach to this that also works very well. We truncate all meassage at 2k of data.When you scroll down to the bottom of a message, there is an indicator that the message has been truncated. If you scroll just a little bit more, the app automatically fetches the rest.Our research shows us that most people only read the first screen or two of any particular email message, so we think 2k is a good compromiseBut, we also let the user change this setting, in case their data consumtion sensitivity is lesser or greater.


Regarding NES appearing on any Non-Nokia S60 Phones :

NES is for Nokia devices only.

And now for the big one, comparing NES to Blackberry's Service :

When a consumer walks into a phone store, and asks to see all the email phones, the clerk pulls out seven qwerty keyboard devices... three blackberries, two nokias, two other phones.
today, chances are, the blackberry gets picked quite often... they have a nice email solution with nice phones. But, most people come into a phone and say
"show me your best camera phone"
or your best music phone
or the phone with the longest battery life
or phones for active lifestyle
or phones with GPS navigation
or phones under $100

Chances are for those categories, there's more Nokia's in those categories than any of our competitors.

Nokia will win its generous share of these phones... and once they choose the Nokia, the operator has the opportunity to sell the consumer email on their phone.Our strategy is making email easy to say "yes to" and opposed to the reason someone buys a phone.Through our research, our design is focused on the five mail things: scanning inbox/reading/deleting/reply/composing email.

We're spending our resources optimizing those core mobile email functions.

So we aren't describing this service comparing it to blackberry - but if there's specific features you're interested in, feel free to let me know.

When the user signs up for NES, s/he will get email pushed to the phone. That's the basic and key benefit.

Thats about it. If you have a Tangler account you can read the whole Transcript here.

[Via ZomgitsCj]

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Comments

James

"For GMail, we have a relationship with the provider, and we have a true push implementation. The delivery is near real-time."

I had wondered about this as I have my Google Apps email account set up using IMAP on the default S60 client (not Nokia Email Service) and I get emails as/when they arrive, even though my phone is set to poll every 15 mins. Sometimes my phone will beep before the email appears in gmail in my computer browser.

"Regarding Google Apps Support: We've been hearing that alot - we're implementing it and it will be released in an upcoming version."

Someone has already found a work around: http://tinyurl.com/6lyhp7

I'm still wondering what the advantages of NES are over the default s60 client, anyone care to enlighten me?

I've signed up, but not I can't log into the site, it says my password is incorrect, but when I try and retrieve it I'm told my email address isn't registered. But if I try and register again I'm told my address is already registered!

John Milton

nokia email distroyed my E71.
I want everyone to know this fact.

I posted yesterday and someone removed my comments from this blog so there is no hope to get any help and nokia email service guys are hiding the facts.

This is a SCAM and the word is out, we are on to you nokia.

Shame to take our money, give us crap and hide behind your blog.

Nokia email is junk and everyone should avoid it

Darla Mack

John, I'm curious to know how it destroyed your E71? And what money are you referring to since Nokia Email is still in beta.

Marv

I have no idea what John is referring to:nokia email distroyed my E71. I have been using the beta on my E71 for about 6 weeks without problems. It is working great. I've been able to use two e-mail addresses, one being gmail where it is truly push e-mail. As Darla menetioned, it is in beta. I'm lovin' it!

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