As MDaemon has evolved over the years there have been many different ways to setup syncronisation with mobile devices and with the the recent introduction of ActiveSync push email there is a new kid on the block but does this now make ActiveSync the best all in one method for email, calendar and contact syncronisation for all customers who can use it?
The native email, calendar and contact support on iOS devices has always been excellent and in my opinion the best platform for mobile access. We would however recommend you still stick to IMAP access for email if you need access to public or shared email folders as these are not supported when using ActiveSync to collect emails.
Apple have made it very easy to setup a fetch schedule for all services and generally speaking unless you need true push email a periodic fetch is usually fine for a mobile device. When you open the email client a fetch is initiated automatically as well. How often you set the frequency of the fetch is really a personal preference, but the more often a syncronisation occurs the more data will be used and the more the battery life will be exhausted.
So our recommendations would be…
Email: IMAP fetch
Calendar: ActiveSync fetch
Contacts: ActiveSync fetch
If however you are the sort of user who needs email updates as soon as they happen you can now switch to using ActiveSync push for email and this does work very well. Please note that you will lose access to public/shared email folders and it can also have a big impact on the battery and data usage.
Android devices have definitely evolved over the last year and from the introduction of Android version 2.3 ( Gingerbread) the native support for email has improved, however the ease of accessing public and shared folders is still difficult.
For this reason we still recommend that if you use public or shared email folders you consider trying the 3rd party email client ‘K9 email’. This provides a much easier interface when choosing these folders and even allows you to create links to favorite folders for even quicker access.
So our recommendations would be…
Email: K-9 Email Client IMAP Fetch
Calendar: ActiveSync Fetch
Contacts: ActiveSync Fetch
If you don’t use public or shared folders the native android email client is very quick and easy to use and also supports push email via ActiveSync push. One excellent feature of the android ActiveSync integration is that you can select a time period to use push and another one to schedule a fetch which can significantly help with data and battery usage. Do you really need push email at 3am?
In MDaemon 11 the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) “push email” functionality arrived that allowed a BlackBerry device with a BIS contract to receive email periodically from MDaemon. As new email arrived in MDaemon a notification was sent to the Telco who would then fetch the mailbox using IMAP and push to the device it was associated with.
With Version 12 an integrated BlackBerry Enterprise server (BES) was added. This BES server cut out the need for a Telco account and allows MDaemon to provide the best user experience directly to BlackBerry devices including true push email, calender and contact experience. As soon as a new email arrives the server pushes this data via the RIM network directly to the activated device. Also any changes to calendars are pushed in real time.
Blackberry devices have also historically had excellent battery management and so arguments of fetch vs push do not generally matter.
One thing you should consider is that BlackBerry devices do not support any shared or public email folders however personal folders can be selected and also pushed to the device.