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  #1  
Old 09-11-2005, 08:36 AM
Menneisyys
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Default Accessing Yahoo Mail on the Pocket PC

Do you have a Yahoo Mail account? Would you like to access it on your PDA? Then, read on!

There're three basic types of accessing your Yahoo mail: via POP3, via HTTP (Web) and, still via HTTP (which can be done with any Web browser on the PPC), but with a WAP-optimized interface. The first and the third options are much cleaner and faster than the second. The first, however, isn't free (at least with @yahoo.com E-mail addresses) and the third doesn't have as many options as fully-fledged HTTP access; this is why I also scrutinize Web-based access in this article.

Please note that this article not only discusses accessing Yahoo, but also the potential problems involved in showing your Pocket PC Web browsers to be a full desktop Internet Explorer!

POP3 access

The cleanest and easiest (but, certainly, the most expensive - $20 a year) way of doing this is subscribing to Yahoo! Mail Plus. To do this, while logged into your Yahoo mail account, click Mail Upgrades in the top right corner and follow the instructions. Then, you'll be able to use any kind of POP3-enabled mailer application on your PDA - for example, the built-in Pocket Inbox/Messaging client or third party, highly recommended apps like WebIS Mail. (Please note that the same stands for Hotmail, except that you can use third--party, PDA-based tools for extracting mail from your Hotmail account and importing it to your Pocket Inbox/Messaging client).

Incidentally, if you are new to Yahoo and still haven't created an account, you may want to consider doing it on the UK Yahoo site because, then, you will also have free POP3 access. Your mail address will then in the form of username@yahoo.co.uk. If you don't necessarily want a username@yahoo.com address, this may be a good option to avoid paying the annual fee $20 for the POP3 access. (Note that you'll also get an ad mail once a week from Yahoo, but that's still a good compromise IMHO.)

Please note that you can do the same on all non-com, European Yahoo pages. That is, you can access any of them via POP3 - for free.

1. Go to http://mail.yahoo.co.uk and click "Sign up to Yahoo! mail" (it may be well hidden in the image on the left!)
2. create an account
3. sign in; click Mail Account in the upper right corner
4. click POP Access and Forwarding in the Management section:



5. click Yes in the Sign Up section:



and click Finished.

On the next form, you can change the default POP3 access settings. Click Save in the lower left screen after this. After clicking the button, a new link becomes visible in the "POP3 Setup Successful" section:



The POP3 server address is pop.mail.yahoo.co.uk; you may also want to use the SMTP server, smtp.mail.yahoo.co.uk, but don't need to - you can stick with your ISP's SMTP server to send mail.

HTTP-based (Web) access

If you don't want to subscribe or to switch to the UK Yahoo (involving changing your email address), nothing is lost - you can access your mailbox from inside any Pocket PC browser. (Please see this roundup on them.) The tutorial/tips below can be used with any browsers. For example, you shouldn't make Yahoo Mail think you are a full desktop Internet Explorer 6 (IE6 for short) client not only with the Pocket Internet Explorer (PIE for short) on your PDA, but also with NetFront and Thunderhawk. (They also offer the choice of hiding their real identity.)

If you access Yahoo in its traditional address ( http://mail.yahoo.com ), after logging in, you'll be greeted with the following screen:



Here, just choose the "Switch back to the Yahoo! version supported by your current browser. " link at the bottom to get in.

Please note that you should not rewrite the User Agent string of your browser (namely, the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\ User Agent\Version in the registry; to "MSIE 6.0" instead of the original "MSIE 4.0") because:

1, you'll end up downloading far more stuff than with the non-IE6-specific version: about 170 kbytes versus 75 kbytes. (I've also measured the bandwidth usage on my mobile phone (with the compression protocol V.42bis). With registry hacking, logging into my (empty) account resulted in 95k/35k down/upload, while, without making the server think PIE is a full-fledged IE6 client, 57k/32k. And, again, this was with V.42bis - without compression, the difference in bandwidth usage is considerably more.)

Please note that this is not a one-time overhead - if you press the Refresh icon (to refresh the vier of your mails), the majority of the IE6-specific (and, again, much larger than with non-up-to-date browsers!) files, as has also been pointed out here, will most likely be re-downloaded to your PDA!

Incidentally, why did I test the Yahoo Mail bandwidth usage with different browser settings, you may ask. The explanation may be interesting for tech freaks. Because they make a really excellent use of browser iframes, I've played a lot with the JavaScript sources of Yahoo AutoComplete. It uses heavily browser-dependent code and is only (the cumulative size of the .js files was around 70-80 kbytes last time I've checked!) downloaded to the client if the latter does support iframes/advanced JavaScript. This is why I thought fooling the Web server into thinking the client is a fully-fledged IE6 client may result in downloading a lot of unnecessary/useless stuff (first, as has been pointed out here, PIE isn't able to use iframes at all, let alone advanced JavaScript). I was right.

2, if used from Pocket Internet Explorer (tested with the one in WM2003SE), you won't be able to use for example the Compose button in the IE6-specific version, unlike in the non-IE6 version. That alone should stop using Yahoo Mail this way.

Please note that this (by behaving as a fully-fledged desktop IE) not only concerns Yahoo, but a lot of other sites too, as has also been pointed out in my Web browser roundup. That is, you may end up downloading a lot of useless stuff if you always set your Pocket PC Web browsers behave to be IE6. Try, therefore, only switching it on when it's absolutely necessary. (In the above Web browser roundup, in the "User-Agent customizable?" section, I've elaborated on how Web browsers are able to do this; in a separate article here (also linked from the roundup) I show examples of doing the dynamic switching as easily as possible (and without Resets) if you use PIE.)

Accessing the WAP-optimized Web interface

Alternatively, you may want to give a try to the WAP version - it's much better on a PDA with much less download times/transferred stuff (GPRS users, attention!). You won't be able to access all the features of the 'desktop' version of Yahoo, however. For simply reading/writing mail/looking for contacts, it may suffice.

Please post your comments/opinions!

Further reading:

You may be interested in my remarks on synchronizing the Yahoo address book with your desktop computer/PDA. It's actually pretty easy and, what is more, free.

Related (Yahoo Mail) threads: 1, 2.

My other roundups/comparisons/articles/tips at Windows Mobile Technology and the Tips forum of PPCMag.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2005, 11:12 AM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
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Edited the article - added a tutorial on setting up the POP3 access on yahoo.co.uk; also added some additional material.
 
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2005, 02:13 PM
Ed Hansberry
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When I go to Yahoo on my Pocket PC to check my mail, it redirects me to wap.oa.yahoo.com and I get this:



Try starting at http://pg1.yahoo.com/raw?dp=home
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2005, 09:10 PM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067

I've just posted a new blog entry on the recent, unwanted (and, for Pocket PC users, sad, very sad....) changes to Yahoo Mail to http://www.pocketpcmag.com/blogs/ind...314&more=1 . Read it if you access Yahoo via HTTP (and not via Wap)!
 
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