Ask iPhonewzealand: How should I setup my iPhone for Xtra Mail?

Ask iPhonewzealand

Ask iPhonewzealand

Recently, we’ve received quite a few emails from Telecom customers who have had issues sending or receiving emails from their iPhones or who aren’t sure what server addresses to use for SMTP etc. If you’re one of those experiencing issues with Xtra email on your iPhone, there’s an uber-simple solution that you’d be forgiven for overlooking. Details after the ‘read more’.

Because Telecom’s Xtra service is tied up with Yahoo! and their email is now handled on the Yahoo! Mail platform, iPhone owners can simply add their Xtra email accounts as a Yahoo! Mail account.

Select 'Yahoo!Mail'

To add your account this way, first go to Settings –> Mail, Contacts, Calendars, tap ‘Add account’ and then ‘Yahoo! Mail’.

Couldn't be easier

In the next screen you only need to enter your Xtra email address and password, and everything else you might normally expect to be asked such as server addresses etc will be taken care of for you behind-the-scenes.

The big advantage to setting up your account this way (apart from the sheer simplicity of it and the lack of error messages) is that Yahoo! Mail for iPhone actually uses IMAP technology instead of the standard POP3 that you would be using if you had selected ‘Other’ from the ‘Add Account’ screen.

What’s the difference? Well, with POP3 the server (Yahoo! Mail) downloads your mail to the client (your computer) but the client does not synchronise back to the server. What this means is that if you send an email or create subfolders in Outlook, they exist only in Outlook on that particular machine but not on the server, so every POP3 device you use can end up with a completely different set of subfolders, sent items etc.

With IMAP, everything syncs back to the server so if you create a subfolder in the Yahoo! Mail web interface it will sync that folder to your iPhone. If you send an email from your iPhone, you will find a copy of it in the ‘sent items’ folder of the web client and so on and so forth.

The drawback here is that while the Yahoo! Mail platform allows IMAP on the iPhone, it doesn’t allow it on desktop clients like Outlook or Apple Mail. On these clients, POP3 is the only option. An official Yahoo! desktop client does exist in the form of an application called Zimbra, but the interface is actually just the standard webmail interface with a Google Gears-style back-end that allows you to access it even when you’re offline.

Yahoo! Mail's web interface

So, for Xtra subscribers who want a seamless, fully synchronised email account we would recommend that you instead use the web interface for Yahoo! Mail on any computer that you use, and that you setup your iPhone in the way described above. That way, your mail is the same on every device.

There are other, more complicated methods that will allow you to use IMAP on your desktop, too, such as setting up a GMail account that automatically pulls your email from Yahoo!’s servers but this is a bit more advanced than most users would want to take it.

Hopefully this will be of help to some of you who have been lost with using Xtra mail and keeping things synced across your devices.

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2 Comments

  1. Plamsaglows says:

    Using this method all my incoming mail is automatically marked as read.

    Any suggestions?

    (Plamsaglows has made 52 comments)

  2. Steve Lawrence says:

    Shouldn’t be. Unless you’re using a POP client elsewhere that is marking the messages on the server as read as it is pulling them off.

  3. Brian Walker says:

    Is it possible to have email delivered to my iphone and my PC at the same time. I use xtra email and Windows mail on my laptop but as I understand it as soon as xtra delivers it somewhere it deletes it off the server. I would like to get my mail on the fly but I dont store it on my phone, just read, action and delete. I do, however prefer to keep mail on my computor for later reference if needed. Is this possible.

    (Brian Walker has made 1 comment)

  4. kiwiadventure says:

    Xtra mail is not deleted useing Apple computers it only deletes when I use Parallels for Outlook once and awhile.

    (kiwiadventure has made 66 comments)

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