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Best Practices for xMail on Mobile Devices
This article explains best practices for syncing your email and calendar to your phone in order to avoid common errors.
- Make sure your smartphone or mobile device has the latest operating system version available. When you get a brand-new smartphone, mobile device, e-reader, or tablet, check for, and install, updates before attempting to connect your new device to your xMail account.
- Your device may receive updates automatically, "over the air", but for many types of phones and devices, you have to manually connect your device to a computer with USB cable in order to download the latest update(s) and install them. Check with your wireless carrier, device manufacturer, and/or conduct an Internet search to see whether your device make and model are currently up-to-date.
- Because new operating system versions and patches are released all the time, an update has likely come out since it was manufactured while it was sitting in a warehouse somewhere.
- Do not edit meetings on your mobile device unless they were created there. Unless you created a meeting on your BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc., do not edit it or change your response from there.
- You can create new appointments on your mobile device (e.g., add a personal appointment while checking out at a doctor's office).
- But do not: invite others to meetings, change your reply on an already-processed meeting (e.g., Accept or Decline a meeting you have already Declined or Accepted), or modify any recurring meetings. Save those tasks for your computer!
- If you have an assistant or calendar delegate, or if you act as a delegate for a manager or executive, it is best for neither of you to process any of the executive's calendar entries on a mobile device, and for both of you to use a computer.
- If the executive is going to process some meeting requests on a mobile device anyway, the delegate should be sure to use the same device/platform/operating system as the executive to minimize conflicting responses and lost meetings.
- Don't delete duplicate meeting requests that appear on your mobile device; just respond the same way again. If you processed a meeting invitation in Outlook or OWA on your computer, but then see the request is still there on your smartphone, tablet, or mobile device, respond to the meeting request the exact same way again.
- Deleting a request on one device after accepting it on another can corrupt the meeting or cause it to disappear from your calendar entirely, due to the different methods of synchronization by various email programs and devices.
- Limit the number of email messages you keep in any mail folders that you wish to access on your smartphone or mobile device. In general, for optimal performance, you should limit your Outlook mailbox size. This is particularly important if you access your xMail account on a mobile device.
- Keep fewer than 2000 messages in any folders you plan to periodically view on your smartphone, tablet, or mobile device. Remember that your Sent mail folder counts too, and may be very large! So, if you are experiencing problems with your device loading very slowly, you may want to periodically archive mail in your Sent folder.
- Every time you load a folder with many messages in it on your smartphone, you put an extra load on the servers and you slow the performance of xMail on your own device, as well.
- Tweak your smartphone or mobile device mail sync settings. Not only will this speed the load time for your xMail account, it will also maximize your phone or device's battery life, keep as much device memory free as possible, and minimize your data usage charges each month. Explore the sync settings offered by the mail app on your mobile device, and change your settings to the following whenever possible:
- Frequency: Don't have your device check for new mail or appointments more often than once every 5 minutes, either manually or with scheduled checks. If your device's mail client offers "Push", use it.
- Email Folders: If your mobile device offers the option not to sync every email folder in your mailbox, use it. Sync only the folders you really need to access on the go, and do not sync archived folders you use only for long-term mail storage.
- Calendar: Limit the time range of the calendar items you sync and store on your mobile device to the shortest period possible—e.g., if just 1, 3, or 6 months ahead will suffice for you, set it to that. Regardless, do not sync calendar events further out than a year.
- Message Size: Consider setting your smartphone or mobile device to automatically download only the headers and first 5-10 KB of messages, to prevent cluttering the phone with email attachments you may well never read on its tiny screen.
- Remotely wipe your mobile device if you lose it. See Security - Remote Data Wipe of Mobile Devices Using xMail for more information.