In the world of mobile devices Lonely Cat Games is the well-known software company with the funny name. They have done very well in the mobile video category with the popular Smart Movie application, a video player for mobile devices, with counterpart PC converter utility. In today’s review we will be looking at their other best-seller, the e-mail client: Profimail. Is Profimail worth paying for when most phones come with a built in email app?
Does it live up to the Lonely Cat Games standards set by Smart Movie? Read on to find out. Profimail is an e-mail client for mobile devices and supports Symbian phones (Symbian S60, S60 3rd edition, UIQ, Series80, Nokia 7710), Windows Mobile SmartPhone and Pocket PC (Pocket PC 2003, Windows Mobile 5). Our test will be done on a Symbian S60 3rd edition phone. The program itself supports multiple accounts, has a mail reader with HTML text support and attachment browser. There is also a built-in image viewer with support for viewing in scaled or in original size. If that wasn’t enough the program also comes with a File Explorer for browsing files, managing attachments, viewing and sending files. Like always let’s start with the features.
Features * Automatic synchronization of messages with mail server * IMAP folders * Attachments – view, save, send * HTML messages with images and hyperlinks * Built-in File Explorer * Address book * Signatures * Support for POP3 / IMAP / SMTP mail servers * Writing mails using T9 dictionary * Multiple email accounts * Rules and filters allowing selective message download * Opens and browses ZIP archives * Support for various character encoding – Western, Cyrillic, Central European, and more * Build-in image viewer – JPG, PNG and other popular formats * Text viewer for standard text, HTML and Word documents * Optimized for GPRS – get headers first, then download message bodies which you really want to see * Scheduled message download * Sound notifications
Setup After installation you are prompted to setup a new email account, here you can enter your account name, email address, display name, mail server type, incoming/outgoing mail server, username and password. On the same screen you can choose the ‘get the entire message option’ (This allow you to retrieve the entire message as opposed to just downloading the header) and the ‘include in update’ option. Enabling this specifies that this account will be automatically updated when selecting the ‘Update mailboxes’ option from the menu in the Main screen. You can also choose to send a Bcc copy to a specific email address. Of course there is also an advanced option configuration, but for most users the basic setup will be enough. I tried setting up my POP3 email and hotmail accounts. Sadly only POP3, IMAP and SMTP mail servers are supported, so no web-based mail servers like hotmail. Support for web-based mail servers is in my opinion a crucial feature needed to make Profimail the ultimate email app. This is something we would definitely like to see in future versions.
Look and feel Overall the program looks old school and simple but in a positive way, the fonts are small but Lonely Cat Games has made it work for the program in the way that more info can be displayed at the same time. There is the option to choose the font size in the emails, but those used for the program itself cannot be changed. With a high res screen like on the Nokia N80 these small fonts shouldn’t be problem, but on a lower resolution screen they wouldn’t look as crisp. Also the elderly might have a problem with these tiny fonts. So the option to customize the program fonts would be nice. As for the colors of Profimail they remind me of Smart Movie, Lonely Cat Games (LCG) is known for its weird color selections. It’s not just the color combinations but the chosen shades are not the standard ones normally used in programs. In the standard settings the program comes in a light/dark green with grayish purple combo. This can also be changed to: purple/light purple/pink, yellow/green/purple, gray/white and blue/grey/white color combos. These are not the most obvious color combinations (except for the gray and blue combos), but in some ways it makes the program look unique and easy recognizable as a LCG app. Overall the program feels snappy and the options are well organized. It’s easy interface, unique look and snappy feel makes it easy and enjoyable to work with.
Working with Profimail
On Profimail’s main screen you can see your mailboxes, as well as two system folders for Sent and Saved messages. This is very handy as you can have several accounts and switching between them is easy. Here is a rundown of the different components of the main screen: A: Selected account B: Symbols specifying contents of the account (messages read, unread, ready for sending, and drafts) C: System folders: Sent (sent messages are stored here). Saved (messages saved by use of other accounts are placed here)
From the Main screen you have several option including creating new accounts, update all mail boxes and user manual. From here you can also access the ‘Tools’ menu. The tools menu gives you some handy option including the configuration menu, the data counter, address book, rules, the file explorer and the program updater. The address book of course has all your phone contacts; from here you can edit or add new email addresses for your contacts. File explorer is directly integrated with the ProfiMail application. It is used for: Choosing target for saving attachments, browsing attachments when composing message, exploring contents of ZIP files, viewing saved files and managing files on device memory or memory card: functions are available for copying, renaming, deleting, viewing, executing, sending files and folders. I really liked the program updater. How many times do you have to go to the developer’s site to check to see if a new version is available and then install it one the phone. Profimail has made it easier with: you check manually for new version or set the program to automatically do this.
When you go into a specific email account you are presented with the email headers showing the presence of any attachment and at the bottom you get a preview of the email body. Speaking of attachments, Profimail supports postponed download of attachment in IMAP, this way you get text only, download attachment when you like. In the email accounts you can also retrieve or compose new messages. There is also the option the select all messages or sort messages by the rules you set. This comes in handy for those that get a lot of email. Noteworthy is the ability to delete the message from the mobile device, this way the email will become hidden. After that you can hide or unhide the hidden messages. Of course there is also the ability to delete message permanently.
I started the test by sending an email from my hotmail account to the email account setup on Profimail. The email included an image of the Gadgetnutz logo and a Word document. You can receive messages by going to the update mailboxes options. The newest mail will be downloaded. As stated earlier you can set it so that only headers are downloaded or partial (cropped) message download. This saves the amount of data to download; on top of this a data counter is included. All of this is handy for those without the unlimited data plan. Profimail notifies you with a ‘beep’ of newly received email. It also automatically detects the type of attachment as it identifies it with the proper icon. You can open images and documents with the built document and image viewer. The built-in document viewer was able to view our test document just fine, although it is only able to view it in plain text format so no imbedded images, colored, bold or italic fonts. But this shouldn’t be a problem as there is an option to ‘open by system’. This uses your phones built-in word or image viewer. This way you can see the text in its original state.
Our second test consisted of composing an email with an image and Word document attachments and sending it to my hotmail account. Profimail was able to pass these two simple tests very fast and with stability issues or errors.
Rules Profimail’s ability to set rules is what sets it apart from the standard or built-in email apps. The rules allow you define certain restrictions for the downloading of email LCG says: ‘Using the Rules, you can create mechanisms for selective downloading of messages, deleting of unwanted messages (spam), or downloading message bodies only from chosen messages. This all is defined once, and then performed on every new message, which match defined criteria.’
The Rules consists of:
Rules browser ProfiMail has a Rules browser, which allows you to: * Create and delete Rules * Rename Rules * Set order in which Rules are processed * Enable or disable Rules * Edit Rule The Rules browser is available from Main Screen menu, in Tools submenu.
Rule editor This editor allows you to edit a particular Rule. You can: * Create and delete Conditions * Define Conditions’ parameters * Set Action for the Rule * Set logical operation among Conditions to AND or OR
‘The Rule’s Condition checks if message fields, such us subject line, sender name, To field, etc, contain particular string, or if message size is less or more particular size. If there’re more Conditions in a Rule, they’re processed either as logical AND (all conditions must be true), or logical OR (any condition must be true). This way, matching Rule is found. If a Rule is found for downloaded message header, an Action defined for the Rule is performed.’
Actions: When rules are set, you can also set an accompanying action, these are
* Mark message for deleting – message will be deleted at next update; it may still be un-deleted and downloaded if user decides so. * Delete message immediately – the message will be deleted from the mail server during actual mailbox update. User won’t see the message. * Change message priority to Low or High. * Get header only – message body will not be downloaded. * Get entire message – entire message, including body, will be downloaded. * Hide message – set hidden flag for message. Such messages are hidden from user’s view, and are simply ignored. They are not downloaded, deleted or visible. They may be only seen if user selects ‘Show hidden messages’ in mailbox. They are removed from ProfiMail when they are deleted from mail server. * Move to IMAP folder – move the message to specified IMAP folder. Message will be immediately moved to specified IMAP folder, and will not appear in current folder after update.
This rule works only for IMAP accounts (for POP3 it is ignored). It is also ignored when updating the IMAP folder specified as destination of moving.
As you can see this is where Profimail really shines and makes working with large amounts of email more manageable.
Conclusion I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about buying a separate email program when most phones come with such a program. But using Profimail for about 2 weeks really showed me how good it really is; especially comparing it to the built-in app. Setup was easy. The overall look and feel can be characterized as unique, simple and easy to use. Not everyone will like the look of the program but it does make it unique. Built-in image viewer, file explorer are very handy and I liked the program updater. What really set this program apart are the rules and the ability to configure or adjust about any action in the program. But it can still be simple for those that don’t link to tinker with all the options. This makes working with emails in large amounts easier. I found that this program had a certain appeal, this has probably something to do with its deceptively simple look, but underneath it can be configured extensively. For those that send and receive a lot of emails this is a must have app. Those sending fewer emails will probably be using the built-in email app, but should definitely consider this for its ease of use and many handy features. I would have like to see this program allow you set the program font size and not just the email font size. But I truly missed the ability to work with online web-based mail servers like hotmail. This program came close in getting a perfect score, but its inability to work with online web-based mail servers gives it a really good score of 9.8 out of 10.
Pros -Unique, simple look -Included program updater -Data counter -Fast and reliable -Built-in file explorer and image viewer -Rules and extensive configuration
Cons -No support for online -Program font cannot be increased in size