ProfiMail for Series 60


This is what I've been waiting for since I got my first Nokia 7650, a replacement for the integrated email client that comes pre-installed on Series 60 phones. For whatever reason, Nokia just hasn't put many resources into making sure the email part of the "Inbox" works fast and reliably, nor does it check for emails on a scheduled basis (say once every 20 minutes or so). I've tried it on various phones via POP and IMAP and it's always been just painful to use. How bad? Well, when I was using my Motorola phone for a week or so back a month ago, I was amazed at how much more useful that phone's email client was. And that phone doesn't even have a real OS.

ProfiMail from Lonely Cat Games finally meets the need. It has everything you'd expect from a real email client - scheduled check for new mail, synching, attachments (including zips), image viewer, ability to view HTML mail, multiple email accounts, etc. It's really well done. Don't let the ugly sample colors in the screen shots above fool you, they can be turned off so the app is easy on the eyes and easy to use.

The most innovative part of the app is the fact that the authors completely ignored the Nokia User Interface Guidelines. Usually I'm against that sort of thing, but in this instance, when I'm looking for a power-user's email client? It's perfect. They use a small anti-aliased font, and got rid of the standard huge S60 title bar. Suddenly the screen has *tons* of room to read emails and work with files (using the integrated file explorer). WOW! Yeah, I'm sure my mom would go blind trying to use this app, but for me it's perfect. I wish Opera would use a font that looks as good, because it adds *so much* to the screen's real estate.

The other nice thing about the app is the feedback you get when it's interacting with the network. This is the thing that drives me nuts about Nokia's email client - when you check for mail, nothing happens. You don't know whether the app has locked (not uncommon) or whether you're downloading 5 or 50 emails, and you don't know how big they are as well. What ProfiMail does is give you a kb counter and a count of the emails as they come in. If you use IMAP, it'll retrieve just the headers as you'd expect, and you can grab the rest of the emails as you need to just like the integrated client. The crucial difference, though, is that ProfiMail tells you the size of each email on the server, so you don't accidentally try to download an email with some 5MB PDF attachement. Very nice.

There's only one major problem with ProfiMail. Because it's so non-standard, it doesn't use T9 for text inputs. Ooohhh NO!! It has a nice little pop-up like on the Sony Ericsson phones which tell you which letter you're keying is, but there's no predictive text at all. That makes using ProfiMail for composing email pretty much a non-starter. I need my T9!! Hopefully the guys at Lonely Cat Games will see this major flaw and do what they can to add it in the next rev.

All in all though, it's a great app and adds that last missing piece to the Series 60 smart phone puzzle. It's too bad something of this quality isn't integrated into the phone itself, but that's okay, it helps promote a thriving third party market. :-)


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