The Joy of Push Notification

by Bakari Chavanu Aug 07, 2009

If you're a MobileMe member who doesn't use push notification, you're really not getting your money's worth.

Unlike other mail services, MobileMe Mail stays in sync with your iPhone and your desktop and laptop computers. When I first setup my iPhone for email, I included a non-MobileMe mail account that did not sync with my desktop and my iPhone. Unfortunately, however, most of my emails were coming to my Surewest (i.e. my non-MobileMe) mail account. If I wanted to read those emails on my iPhone, it meant having to check and delete them three times, once on my desktop and again on my iPhone and laptop computer. Plus, deleting email messages on the iPhone, as you may know, entails selecting each individual message and then hitting the delete button. Mindboggling as it may be, there's no "select all" button for email messages on the iPhone.

So in order to take full advantage of Push Notification, I decided to convert most of my client and other important emails over to my MobileMe account. In doing so, I also unsubcribed to a couple of dozen email newsletters and announcements that I received on a regular basis, simply to cut down on the number of emails I was receiving each day. Essentially, I didn't want to spend more that 10 minutes a day managing emails. In transferring important emails to my MobileMe account, I found that I was able to spend a lot less time checking and managing email messages.

Sure, having an "" as part of your email account is not the sleekest email for business, but it sure is great for saving time.

Before I explain more about MobileMe Mail, I need to point out that Push email works pretty much the same way for Yahoo Mail, which is, by the way, free. Also, if you want to use your MobileMe account for business purposes, but your business account is not your MobileMe account, you can probably have those emails forwarded to your MobileMe account and no one will know the difference.

Setting Up MobileMe Mail
It's fairly easy to set up a MobileMe mail account. See here for how to do it Another cool feature of a MobileMe account is the Alias feature. You can create up to five email aliases for your account. Your main/default account may be used for family and friends, or clients, while your other aliases may be used for online registrations, purchasing products, joining mailing lists and so on. See here for creating aliases.

Caveat: One important thing Apple does not point out about setting up aliases is that you can't set them up as individual accounts on your Mail or iPhone mail application. All the aliases come to one MobileMe mailbox.

The Joy of Push Notification
When Push email is working at it's best, you can actually see that when you delete an email in your account on say your iPhone, that same email will get deleted a few seconds later on the Mail application on your computer. When an email is sent to your MobileMe account (i.e. on Apple's server), it appears both on your iPhone and your computer about the same time. It doesn't work this way 100% of the time, but allowing the synching or pushing process to occur means that managing emails on your account should not be a redundant process. If Push email is not working fast enough on your iPhone, pushing the sync icon at the bottom left of the mail application should do the trick.

You can also set up some folders on your MobileMe mail account that you can save emails to. These folders are also synched between your account on Apple's server, your iPhone, and your computer(s), and they are good way to keep your mail boxes managed and clean. Push email is the biggest time saver of the three contact services for MobileMe.

For anyone who needs a little more information to get started: visit Apple's website for a clear introduction to push notification.


  • I’ve been doing this for years using an IMAP server.

    It doesn’t do push - so there might be a delay (up to an hour) before what you did on one moves across to the other…. UNLESS you actually open your mail on the phone, in which case about 5 seconds later they are fully in sync.

    By all means use push, but you don’t need push to get what you’ve described (mostly).

    Greg Alexander had this to say on Aug 10, 2009 Posts: 228
  • For me, it is very important to send information or revisions to Windows phone 7 to my web service. To make it possible, push notification could be a great help for it extends battery li8fe. As we all know, battery life is very crucial for a mobile device. - Mario Romano Colts Neck

    Alan Shortall had this to say on Sep 11, 2011 Posts: 35
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