2 Replies Latest reply: Nov 30, 2010 4:00 PM by reastland
reastland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I know that this is a common question, but I'm not finding a truly sufficient answer. First, the details: I have a new iPad and just updated to OS 4.2. I am a long time PC user and use MS Outlook 2007 for email, including a three different email (pop3) accounts). I store thousands of messages in a fairly complex structure of folders. Please note that this is a stand-alone desktop used for home and small business use (i.e. not using Outlook Web Access or any other corporate complications.)

I would like to be able to use my iPad for emailing, but not if there is going to be a disconnect between my desktop and the iPad. I have set up one of my email accounts on my ipad and am able to download messages from the server, but only if the iPad gets to the message before Outlook. I am aware of the fact that I can leave a copy of the message on the server, which would allow both devices to retrieve the same message, but this doesn't address my problem.

The issue is about complete, identical synchronization between the two different software apps (Outlook and Mail). If I send an email (either a new message, a reply, or a forwarded message) from one device, I want it to appear in the Sent Messages folder on BOTH devices. If I delete a message on one device, I want this message to move to the Deleted Items (Trash) folder on BOTH devices. Essentially, no matter which device I am using at a given moment, I want the email interfaces to look virtually identical.

Is there software that I can use to do this? I have looked at various applications on the web, but they seem to focus more on synchronizing contacts and tasks, which I already have figured out. I don't see anything that looks like it truly "synchronizes" (i.e. creates an exact copy) between the two devices.

Can anyone help?

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.

HP, Windows 7
  • nick101 Level 5 Level 5 (4,825 points)
    This is very hard to do using Pop3, which was designed assuming that you'd be downloading all emails from the server into your local inbox. It makes you deal with all the sorting and filtering at the client.

    If it's at all possible, yo'll be far better off if you can access your mail using IMAP, which keep mail on the server. All IMAP clients synchronise to the server, and you can maintain identical folder structures and message threads.

    I don't know whether your ISP supports IMAP; most of the major ones do - it would be worth contacting them to find out.

    If you can't do IMAP, there isn't a complete solution to your problem. You can get some of the way there by, as you say, leaving messages on the server, but that's about it.
  • reastland Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, Nick. I switched my primary email account over to IMAP, and that gets me closer to what I want to ultimately accomplish. I still wish that there was some software out there that would truly synchronize the two respective mail files, but it doesn't seem to be there currently.

    If there was a web mail application that looked more like desktop software, that would help, too, but I don't like any that I have used.

    Thanks again, Nick. I appreciate your comments.