The New York Times rightly recognizes that not everyone wants to look like a zero, whipping out a BlackBerry every 27 seconds to check their e-mail. That said, who wouldn’t want to periodically read some e-mail, so long as it doesn’t become obtrusive? Mr. Pogue looks at a few services and apps that lets ordinary cellphones, in one way or another, check e-mail. Woo~!
Gmail for Mobile is a small Java app (hence, no Verizon users need apply) that faithfully reproduces the popular Web-based e-mail client on the small screen. The only problem here is that you need to manually check your e-mail—no wild beeps or vibrations when an e-mail arrives in your inbox. That might not be so bad, though, since all that network activity required to automatically check e-mail really eats up the battery.
Google’s rival Yahoo has a mobile app of its own called Yahoo Go 2.0. Really terrible name aside, this one can be configured to check your Yahoo e-mail automatically. You can also check in on various Yahoo-owned services, too, like Flickr and maps. Since it tries to be a jack of all trades, it runs a little slower than Gmail for Mobile and works on even fewer cellphones.
Lastly, there’s Teleflip, a service that converts any and all e-mails into a text message that any cellphone should be able to receive. You have to make a whitelist of e-mail address that you want Teleflip to textify to your cellphone. You should also recognize that text messages can only contain a limited number of characters, so larger e-mails will need to be split up.
So that’s it. A couple of ways for the average cellphone user to check their e-mail while on-the-go. Of course, you could also just fire up your cellphone’s Web browser, but that’s a little less sexy. (Yes, as if checking your e-mail is something to get all hot and bothered by.)
How to Make Your Cellphone Act Like a BlackBerry [New York Times]