Problems Using Gmap IMAP and Chatter on Palm Treos

October 30, 2007

Broken Heart(Update 11/26/07: A new version of Chatter fixes all of these problems!  See related blog post for more details and instructions on how to configure Chatter.)

When Gmail began allowing IMAP access, I thought it’d be the start of a terrific relationship. Like the beginning of every relationship, I thought it’d be all champagne and roses.Unfortunately, like every relationship (including Brad and Angelina’s), there were problems between Gmail and me. And in this one, pretty serious problems that has already led to a trial separation between Gmail and myself just one day after the relationship began. And I’ve returned to my ex, Fastmail.

Ok, let me explain …

Firstly, IMAP is a way for my emails on my Palm Treo (via Chatter) to stay current with my emails on Gmail (or whereever else – like my ex-ex Fastmail.fm). If I get new email on Gmail or Fastmail, IMAP access makes it show up immediately on Chatter on my Treo — that is, emails are pushed to my Treo. If I delete an email on Gmail, it’d be deleted on my Treo (and vice versa). If I reply to a message, a small icon shows up on both the Treo and Gmail showing that it has been replied to (well, it’s supposed to – see below). If I file the email into a folder on the Treo, it’s tagged and archived in Gmail (and, again, vice versa).

Gmail logoAfter just a day of using Gmail’s IMAP access via Chatter on the Palm Treo, I’ve come across some serious problems. And according to this forum thread (and also this forum thread), I’m not the only one. These problems have driven me away from Gmail and back to Fastmail.

  • Most seriously, some emails being sent to me are apparently in Base64 format (one of many email formats – the most common being uuencode, I believe) and come across as pure gibberish in Chatter. Seems to happen mostly to emails being sent from Blackberries and Sidekicks. Here’s what an email sometimes ends up looking like on my Treo:

SXRzIG9rIG5vdy4gWm9yYSBzIHJvbGxpbmcga
GVyIGJvZHkgb24gdGhlIGhpbGwNCi0tLS0tT3Jp
Z2luYWwgTWVzc2FnZS0tLS0tDQpGcm9tOiAiSm
9zaCBNZW5kZWxzb2huIiA8am9zaEBlbGxpbWVu
ZC5jb20+DQoNCkRhdGU6IDI3IE9jdCAyMDA3ID
E5OjAyOjAwIA0KVG86PGJhcnJ5ZUB0bW8uYmxh
Y2tiZXJyeS5uZXQ+DQpTdWJqZWN0OiBSZTogYW
xzbyAuLi4NCg0KDQpvaWMuICBKYWNrZXRzIGFy
ZSBpbiB2YW4gZ3JyLg0KLS0tLS1PcmlnaW5hbC
BNZXNzYWdlLS0tLS0NCkZyb206ICI9P3V0Zi04
P0I/UW1GeWNua2dSV3hzYVc5MGRBPT0/PSIgPG
JhcnJ5ZUB0bW8uYmxhY2tiZXJyeS5uZXQ+DQpE
YXRlOiBTYXR1cmRheSwgT2N0IDI3LCAyMDA3ID
Y6NTIgcG0NClN1YmplY3Q6IFJlOiBhbHNvIC4u
Lg0KVG86IFJlcGx5LSAgICBiYXJyeWVAdG1vLmJ
sYWNrYmVycnkubmV0VG86ICJKb3NoIE1lbmRl
bHNvaG4iIDxqb3NoQGVsbGltZW5kLmNvbT4NCg
0KWWVhaCBwbHVzIHNoZSdzIG92ZXJleGNpdGVk
IGdvaW5nIHRvIGdhbWUuICBJdHMgYml0IGNoaW
xseSBoZXJlLiBHcnJyDQotLS0tLU9yaWdpbmFs

This seems to happen most often when I’ve already responded to an email and am getting a reply on Chatter from someone using a Blackberry and Sidekick (so far). When this happens, I have to log onto the mobile version of my Gmail account via Blazer on my Treo to be able to read my email. Quickly becomes annoying. Very annoying. And this is the primary reason I am breaking up from Gmail so quickly and returning to my old flame, Fastmail.

  • When I get emails with attachments, Gmail doesn’t seem to be passing these attachments on. A friend says to me, check out this photo of his daughter. What photo? There is nothing attached, at least on the Treo. But then when I check the same email on Gmail, the photo’s there.
  • Flags (showing that an email has been replied to or forwarded) are supposed to show up on both the Treo (in Chatter) and on Gmail for the same email. But unfortunately, these flags aren’t being synced. I reply to an email on Chatter, and I see a small icon next to the email saying that I’ve replied to it. But a short while later, when it syncs with Gmail, the flag / reply icon disappears.
  • Emails with HTML in it aren’t coming across very well in Chatter. When I get email with HTML formatting in Fastmail and then onto Chatter via IMAP, these emails are pretty well-rendered and well-formatted. But when I get the same email via Gmail, all of the HTML formatting codes show up in the email on Chatter – lots of “<page>” and “<img>” codes burying whatever important text there is.

I don’t know if these are problems caused by Gmail, or by Chatter’s inability to recognize some new (?!) stuff used by Gmail. Whatever the cause is, I truly, truly hope that these problems get ironed out. In the meanwhile, I’m going back to forwarding all my Gmail emails to Fastmail, and then sycing between Fastmail and Chatter via IMAP

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7 Responses to “Problems Using Gmap IMAP and Chatter on Palm Treos”


  1. […] October 23rd, 2007 (UPDATE 10/30/07:  Problems with how emails look after going through Gmail’s IMAP has forced me to go back to Fastmail.  See related blog post.) […]


  2. […] 10/30/2007: Problems with how emails look after going through Gmail’s IMAP has forced me to go back to […]

  3. daveynin Says:

    No wonder this Gmail is still ‘beta’ version.. Don’t fear!

  4. Pedro Says:

    No solution for this problem, I guess?

    I’m also waiting.


  5. […] weeks ago. I enthusatically blogged about Gmail’s IMAP addition, and then a few days later I blogged with dismay that Chatter’s problems with Gmail’s IMAP has forced me to go back to my old email […]

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