658 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Dec 25, 2007 7:32 AM by Allan Sampson
The benefit of IMAP over POP is when accessing the same account on multiple computers or devices regardless if using an email client or via webmail access using a browser which provides for keeping all server stored mailboxes synchronized which is not possible with a POP account.
You can store Drafts, Sent, Trash and Junk mailboxes/messages on the server along with creating your own server stored mailboxes for storing received or sent messages by category if needed or wanted with all server stored mailboxes kept synchronized automatically between the iPhone's email client and the email client used on your computer and the same when accessing the account via webmail using a browser on computer that is not your own.
IMAP or POP does not change the messaging delete process with the iPhone's email client and reportedly Gmail has a good spam filter on the server which you may be able to adjust.
There are no viruses that currently affect or infect OS X - zero, nada and a virus cannot be installed by simply opening a received message - something must be installed without your knowledge which is impossible with OS X and not possible to install anything on the iPhone regardless.
IMAP maintains the master copy of all messages on the server. You can either view and organize them online with a web client such as squirrelmail or gmail or sync your local clients to the server. The difference from POP3 is that the clients sync both ways with the server. So if you delete a message from one client it will be deleted from the server, and then from the other clients the next time they sync. Once synced there is a local copy on the client, so you can view it without a network connection. If you send a message or reply and you don't have a connection the client will wait for a connection to send. Similarly for deletes and moves.
One big advantage is that you can create folders on the server. The folder structure will also sync to the clients, so a folder added on one client will appear on the others. Moving an item from the inbox (or a folder) to another folder will be treated as a delete from inbox and add to the selected folder.
Given all of this, the iPhone client is not fully compliant. In particular, if you delete a message on the iPhone it will NOT be deleted from the server. It was in the first release, but I think this confused so many people (who thought they were just deleting a local copy) that they changed the behavior. You also cannot add or remove a folder on the iPhone. You must do it with a full client (like Outlook or Mac mail). Unlike a desktop client, the iPhone does not automatically update all folders on a sync; only Inbox, Sent and Trash. Other folders are updated only when you open them. I think this is intended as a feature; if I were to sync the 1 GB I have in all my folders it would take a week, so I am happy with it. I just wish the mail app had more options, so I could choose behaviors such as this.
Regarding your spam questions, there's no harm in leaving them in trash; there is a setting that will empty trash after a period of time you specify. Contrary to the FUD spread by antivirus companies you cannot "catch" a virus by opening an email. You must then execute something in the email to catch the virus, like click a link or run an attachment. And even then, there are NO viruses that can infect an iPhone at this time. The one vulnerability that the phone had has been fixed. Even it required opening a TIFF image in the email.
The last point about spam is that the overwhelming majority of spam messages are just trying to sell you something, not infect your computer.