Currently Being ModeratedMar 10, 2013 1:30 PM (in response to jackfrommontague)
I have a similar setup on my mac, iphone, & ipad.
1. go to Mail > Preferences > Accounts on your mac.
2. for each new account, you click the + on the lower left. Mail will give you options for choosing what type of account it is, i.e., iCloud or Gmail.
3. You will select iCloud and later on, gmail.
4. For your ISP account, it is probably easiest to go to the web based email site that your ISP probably has, and forward the mail to your icloud account. That's what I do with my old ISP email account. Alternatively you could set mail.app up to work as the client for your ISP mail but you would need to know more settings, like the server addresses.
5. For iCloud, you will need to know your iCloud email address, and your password. Mail takes care of the server info.
6. For gmail, you will need to know your user name and password. The incoming server is imap.gmail.com but I think mail.app takes care of that too.
7. I have no clue what the difference is between IMAP and POP, other than they are different kinds of servers, and if you need to provide that info for mail to connect to a particular mail account, you just have to have the correct information.
8. If mail tells you that an account is "offline", it just means that it is not able to connect to the server. The server might be down, or too busy, or the server's connection to the internet might be slow or down or too busy, or your ISP might be slow or down or too busy, or maybe your connection to your ISP is malfunctioning. Sometimes if this happens resetting your modem, router, and computer will fix it.
9. When you set up mail on your phone and ipad you basiclally enter the same info, it's straightforward. Just make sure you use all the same settings, and use only one iCloud account with one apple ID and password, and it should all work.
10. In system preferences > iCloud, you can enable what services (email, calendars, contacts, etc.) you want iCloud to use. I keep it simple: I use iCloud to sync mail, contacts, my calendar (just one calendar), reminders, notes, safari (for bookmarks), photo stream, and documents & data.
11. Ditto for system preferences > Mail, Contacts, & Calendars, where you set the calendars, contacts, and etc. for Gmail.
I don't want all kinds of different calendars and contacts, so the only thing I use the gmail and my work mail (which is an exchange account) for is mail. And I have my ISP mail account forwarded to the icloud mail as I mentioned above.
12. Hope this helps. It should be enough to get you started.
Message was edited by: arthur
Currently Being ModeratedMar 10, 2013 5:12 PM (in response to jackfrommontague)
Wikipedia or other online sources probably has a lot of details on the difference between IMAP and POP, but here's the short version.
POP (now ver. 3 and 4) is an older protocol in which you download the messages off the server and store them locally. This doesn't work well with multiple devices as the first device to get the message would be the only one get the messages. You can work around this by telling Mail not to delete the messages from the server, but you still have no way to synchronize which ones you replied to, read, or deleted. However, POP storage is usually not very large, so you could run out of space, quickly if you don't delete the messages off the server.
IMAP stores the messages on the server so you can access them from anywhere, any device, anytime. You can set up Mail to store copies locally, so you have access to them when offline. You have a defined storage space on IMAP, but you can usually get more (usually for a fee).
Gmail has both POP and IMAP. You have to activate the one you want on the Settings section on the Gmail web page. When you set up Mail, it automatically chooses the IMAP service. If you want to set up POP, you have to hold down the option key when selecting the Continue button on the first screen when setting up a new Account. If Mail doesn't know what service a provider has, it will give you the option to choose (just like the manual setup I described above).
My guess is that optonline is POP, but you should check with them to see if you can use IMAP, if you want.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 11, 2013 4:08 PM (in response to jackfrommontague)
Here's how I run POP accounts. All of my mobile devices leave the email on the server. My desktop is set to delete the email off the server after one week. That way, all devices have time to download the messages before it is removed from the server. Nothing is synced, so all devices show the email as unread, and there aren't any notifications that I have replied on the other devices, but, I still see all the email on all devices.