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  1. #21  
    I tried chatter over the weekend as an email client.

    I LOVE the fact that it pushes mail to me realtime!

    I HATE the user interface... it's obviously a chat-centric user interface, which is not how I want to see my emails.
    It also looks nothing like the standard palm looking apps I'm used to (ie ugly).

    If there was a version that looked like the standard handspring mail app looks (ie dead plain, 2 line summary of each email with a nice highlighted bar over the current message which drills down to the message contents when the centre button is pressed) then I'd buy a copy tomorrow.

    As it is I'm sticking to the standard mail app with its crappy 15 min POP polling.

    I think there is a big opportunity for Marc to cut out a bunch of functionality and sell a nice simple email app with reliable lightweight IMAP push as its big selling point.
  2. #22  
    I will add my thoughts to the thread here about Chatter. I have been using it for about two weeks, as I evaluate both the Treo 600 and the Pocket PC XDA 2.

    Let me start by saying that the author of Chatter is the most responsive software author I have ever seen. I have had several email discussions with him about adding new features to Chatter, and within a day or two, they all seem to be there. In just the last two weeks, numerous IMAP features have been added to Chatter to make it even more useful.

    Now, I am not using Chatter as an IM chat tool. I don't use IM. I am only using it as an IMAP client. So I will only comment on its extreme usefulness to me as a mail app.

    The approach Chatter takes to IMAP email is different than the regular 'full-featured' mail clients. But to me, Chatter is more useful than any other Palm or PPC mail client I have seen.

    1. It is super fast. I am using the www.fastmail.fm IMAP server (which automatically gets all my mail forwarded to it from my regular account). The time from initial message receipt at my homebase, then forwarded to fastmail, then picked up by the Chatter server, then passed along to my Treo, is often under a minute. And my T-mobile data connection is not exactly fast But this speed is quite comparable to a Blackberry. No other Palm or PPC application comes close, as far as I know.

    2. It works all the time, in the background. You don't need to set it to poll the server at a certain interval. You don't need to wait for it when you turn on your Treo. It doesn't take over while it works (why can't the RSS readers do this?). New mail is pushed to the Chatter client. This sets is so far apart from anything else on Palm or PPC (at least that I have encountered) that it is not even funny that this program only costs $20. Companies pay thousands of dollars a year for Blackberry services. Chatter makes you wonder why...since the Blackberry cannot run any useful Palm or PPC apps.

    3. It has a novel, extremely effective user interface. Someone posted that it was ugly. They don't grok it. Chatter's interface is one of the few rethinkings of email I have seen on a PDA. It is a super efficient, super great concept. You can set up chat/mail sessions with a large number of your favorite (or at least most in touch with) contacts. You don't need to enter email addresses for these people. Just use the Treo D-pad and click on their folder (for lack of a better description) and you get right back into the discussion you were having with them (over email or by IM, notably). It is analgous to a threaded email discussion on a desktop client. Nothing like this on any other email client either.

    4. It is lightweight. There are not lots of dialog boxes to click on. You can run the whole program without a stylus.

    5. It supports 90+% of the IMAP mail features I need. It fetches mail. It lets you read a user-definable amount of it, up to 8k per message. It syncs message deletions back to the IMAP server. It lets you forward emails. It does NOT let you download or view attachments, view HTML mail, or fetch the entire message if it is longer than the pre-fetch length. Of these, I personally do not care about attachments or HTML mail. I do not want to see Word files on my Treo, and almost all my HTML mail is spam, or stuff I can read on my desktop. The Treo screen is too small for that stuff. I know some people want attachments and HTML mail. For them, a "full-featured" but frankly much less useful client such as Snapper or Treo Mail or whatever, may be more appropriate. I keep Treo Mail on my Treo and I can use it to download attachments if I need to. But it is painfully clunky and slow compared with Chatter. All the other ones are, too. I've demo'd Snapper, and I own the Pro version of iambic with the mail client. They are both great mail clients. But they think inside the box.

    6. Did I mention support? Marc is amazing. In the last week, IMAP deletion on the server, mail forwarding, and a new 'email mode' display view (showing the subject and message sender only) have all been added. And that is just to the IMAP mode. There have been lots of similar features added to the Chat mode too.

    Ok, so, to summarize, I think that Chatter is THE KILLER APP for the Treo. I really do. In my evaluation of Treo vs XDA II, Chatter is by far the number one reason keeping me with the Palm. I have good reasons to use a Pocket PC, because of the availability of various non-wireless apps I need for my work. But I am finding Chatter indispensable.

    That's my two cents.

    jason
  3. #23  
    Originally posted by jse75
    It lets you read a user-definable amount of it, up to 8k per message.
    So... you like it? Seriously, thanks for the observations. Chatter continues to seem very cool -- I'm dying now for the upcoming IMAP upgrade on my email service.

    I'm curious where this 8k limit on messages comes from, though. Admittedly, most non-spam email is less than 8k and I haven't actually used Chatter to try it out, but it makes me nervous to think I wouldn't be able to download the whole message, whatever that message might be. (Incidentally, I agree with you on the attachments and HTML situation -- so far I've found those to be highly specialized and esoteric features in a mobile email client. I just wanna read my email. ...Er, I wanna read my email fast.)
  4. #24  
    The 8k email load limit is arbitrary, and there's no problem in making it larger. I'll up the limit in the next beta release.

    Marc
  5. #25  
    Originally posted by mblank
    I'll up the limit in the next beta release.
    Uh... wow. Wow.
  6. #26  
    But does it or will it support SSL?

    There is very little IMAP/SSL support out there for these devices, so that would be a significant differentiator.

    --Mike
  7. #27  
    I've been experimenting with Chatter as an IMAP email client for a couple of days. I have not used the IM features. I like the interface and the "push" capabilities. I would like the ability to handle attachments, as well as to handle more than the IMAP "Inbox" (especially the "Sent" folder). Until the former feature is added, I'll keep using it to notify me of emails, then flip to the TreoMail app to deal with attachments, if necessary.
  8. #28  
    Hi.

    I'm not interested in handling attachments, really. That goes far beyond what Chatter was intended for. However, I will be doing folders sometime this month, so stay tuned.

    Marc
  9. #29  
    Re: SSL. This is something I'm looking at. It's just a matter of getting the time...

    Marc
  10. #30  
    Originally posted by mblank
    Re: SSL. This is something I'm looking at. It's just a matter of getting the time...

    Marc
    Excellent!

    (Actually, I now see that you said this earlier in the chain, but I didn't read back.)
  11. #31  
    I love it

    Marc is fast and furious with the new features such as IMAP forwarding, he changed the max message size today, etc. It is a great app and the author is super supportive of it (and us, the users!).

    Originally posted by snerdy

    So... you like it? Seriously, thanks for the observations. Chatter continues to seem very cool -- I'm dying now for the upcoming IMAP upgrade on my email service.
    ...
    I just wanna read my email. ...Er, I wanna read my email fast.)
  12. #32  
    Where do I find Chatter if I want to try it?

    (I've tried searching and have come up empty handed)

    But it sounds too good not to look at!
  13. #33  
    Have reasonable expectations and go to www.imchatter.com.

    Marc
  14. #34  
    Thanks, Marc. The folders would be a big help. Is it also possible to have an option to have deletions made on the desktop client propogate back to the handheld?

    Regarding attachments, I understand your reluctance to pursue this feature. As a work-around, I've been having my Pop email client fetch the minimum file size every 15 minutes. Then, if a message from Chatter looks like it has an attachment I might want to read, I switch to the Pop client and download the message. Would it be possible to at least identify the names of attachments but not actually download them with the email (rather than just the message about an unreadable html)? Better yet, is there any way to have a "go to attachments" button that opens TreoMail and finds/gets the corresponding Pop message?
  15. #35  
    I'm planning on extracting the structure of multi-part messages so that I can present information about attachments, etc... Perhaps some link to Snapper, etc. would be appropriate...

    Marc
  16. #36  
    ...and I appreciate your effort to lower my expectations

    As I've read nearly everything written about Chatter here at Treocentral, I've got a fairly good idea about what it is and is not and the concept intrigues me. In fact, it was jse75's summary at the start of this thread that really piqued my interest. I've not really wanted to completely replicate my desk/laptop email experience on the PDA - the differences in screen size, keyboard, and bandwidth mean that the experience *can't* be the same. But neither do I want to be out of touch; chatter seems to be in this middle ground and is therefore intriguing.

    I've just now read the first page of the manual and appreciate your intention to "integrate various media around the notion of a contact". I've been working on a project having to do with digital identity (idcommons.net) and think that eventually there will be a ubiquitous "social" layer (the social graph of contacts, groups, relationships) that all applications ride on top of.

    Anyway, my Treo arrives (hopefully) on Monday and then I'll have a chance to play with chatter.

    Cheers!
  17. #37  
    I just tried chatter 1.0.4.3's IMAP feature with my new fastmail account. I sent a few test e-mails from yahoo to my fastmail accnt but it seems I can only receive 5 lines of it on the 600 using chatter. There is a "more" link at the end of the message but clicking on it does not bring up more. Is there a setting somewhere in chatter that I did not set properly or is chatter treating e-mails as SMS with its size limitation?
  18. #38  
    Tap on the arrow next to the message (black or red arrow on left side) and select "View" (other choices here are Reply, Forward, Delete, Unlock, Lock, Move to Contact). Or simply go into Message View mode (\V).

    Marc

    p.s. You have the option of scrolling-by-message, rather than by-line. With this option, you can scroll to the arrow and use rocker-center to bring up the popup.
  19. #39  
    Thanks Marc, that did it!

    Originally posted by mblank
    Tap on the arrow next to the message (black or red arrow on left side) and select "View" (other choices here are Reply, Forward, Delete, Unlock, Lock, Move to Contact). Or simply go into Message View mode (\V).

    Marc

    p.s. You have the option of scrolling-by-message, rather than by-line. With this option, you can scroll to the arrow and use rocker-center to bring up the popup.
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