What is, and why?

  • Get my mail as soon as it has arrived
  • Interrupt (tell me when we get there) is better than polling (Are we there yet?)

I always ask, why do we care? Most people say because they want email instantly. I do not, but I do have a good reason:

  • Reduced bandwidth - don't keep asking every 10 minutes, just tell me
  • Therefore reduced cost on expensive devices like mobile phones


  • ActiveSyc - loose name given to Microsoft's wireless sync protocol (yep, it is the same name as their desktop sync... curse).
    • Microsoft Mail clients support this
    • Pocket PC, Black Berry and iPhone have support for ActiveSync
  • IMAP Idle - http://www.isode.com/whitepapers/imap-idle.html
    • Mail.app (Mac) and Thunderbird already support this