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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Setting Up Email

These settings configure POP/IMAP email accounts for your devices (Figure 4.8).

Figure 4.8.

Figure 4.8. POP/IMAP email account settings

One thing right away: Don’t use POP. If someone is checking her email with an iOS device, it is fairly certain that it isn’t the only way she checks email. You really, really want to use IMAP here. Yes, I know, POP has that “leave it on the server” option. That’s nice but it’s not IMAP, which is designed from the ground up to be used by multiple devices checking the same account. If you were entering the 24 hours of Le Mans, would you drive an Audi R15 TDI, or a ’78 Pinto with a big spoiler and glasspacks? Right. Use IMAP.

By the same token, also use SSL. If you haven’t enabled this on your server, now is a great time to do so. Open wireless networks are a gold mine for people doing illicit data mining, and SSL is an easily-implemented method to prevent them from mining you. So, use SSL. The only other thing I’d specifically recommend is using authenticated SMTP. It’s a cheap way to stop unauthorized people from using your SMTP server, and iOS supports it.

As far as the other settings go, email settings are email settings are email settings. However, you will want to leave some settings blank for the user to fill in: the User Display Name, the User Name, and the Password. If you fill those out, you’ll have to create a custom profile for everyone, or change the settings every time you install them on a device. You don’t want to do that, do you? Of course not.

However, the downside of letting users enter that information is if you install a profile via USB, the user has to enter that information during that installation. So, when you’re installing profiles to set up email or any other option that requires user input, you won’t want to do so over USB. Luckily, as you’ll see, you have other ways to distribute these profiles.

The only setting I want to talk about specifically is Path Prefix, because it is a setting you’ll use with a rather popular email provider, namely Gmail.

When you set up a Gmail account on an iOS device, you’re really setting up an IMAP account—and Google has an “interesting” take on IMAP. If you use the “standard” IMAP settings for Gmail, you’ll realize that you have duplicates of every folder in your Gmail account. That’s because if you look at your account from the folder root, you’ll see you have a [Gmail] tree with all your Gmail “folders” and possibly an [IMAP] tree as well. By setting the Path Prefix to [Gmail], you avoid some of that duplication.

Boy, that’s kind of a pain, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be nice if you had an easier way to deal with Gmail that set up Google Calendars and Contacts at the same time? Well, you do. You can use Exchange ActiveSync instead of Email for this. Your setup is not only simpler, but you get all your calendaring and contacts, too. (Unfortunately, you still have the same ugly folders issue because Google’s Exchange ActiveSync implementation is as “interesting” as their IMAP implementation, but at least you do less work for it.)

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