Configuring Email on Mobile Devices – CompTIA A+ 220-802: 3.2

Our mobile devices allow us to keep up with our inbox wherever we may travel. In this video, you’ll learn about configuring email accounts on iOS and Android devices.

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This may be an era of Twitter and instantaneous messaging, but still email is a huge part of what we need on our mobile devices. And in this video, we’re going to look at a lot of the different email configurations that you’ll need to configure on your mobile device.

If you’re retrieving your email from an internet service provider, then you’re probably using some well-known methods to both receive and send email messages. One of the very common ways to receive messages is through a protocol called POP. And you’ll see this referred to as POP or POP3. This is the Post Office Protocol version three.

This Post Office Protocol is one that has been used for a very long time. Its main purpose is to download all of your mail from your internet service provider, and then it generally deletes that mail once you’ve downloaded it. Not many people are using POP3 on their mobile device, because if you download all of your mail to your mobile device and then you go to your desktop computer, you won’t be able to see that mail. You’ve already downloaded it to your phone, and now it’s been deleted from your ISP.

So generally, POP3 is not what you’ll see most people using. They’ll instead be using a different protocol called Internet Message Access Protocol, or IMAP. the IMAP protocol means that the mail is still on the server. You can retrieve that and download it to your phone. But IMAP generally leaves everything on your mail server. That way you can go to a desktop that you might have somewhere else, even multiple desktops, and be able to access all of your mail from that one central mailbox.

To configure either POP3 or IMAP, you need to talk to your internet service provider. Then they’re going to give you information about what the host names are for those devices, what username you should use to log into the mail server, what password you should be using. They’ll also give you a listing of network port numbers. And different providers may be using different port numbers. And you, of course, have to configure all of those things on your mobile device.

You might also have the option for encryption when you’re transferring this mail. And because you’re on a mobile device, this can be especially useful on wireless networks, especially open wireless networks in hotels or coffee shops. You’ll see this referred to as SSL. It stands for Secure Socket Layer. That Secure Socket Layer is the encryption process. So if you have that option to enable SSL when you’re sending or receiving that email, make sure you take advantage of that.

Of course, these days we might have mail accounts that we use at home with our ISP. But we may also have mail accounts that we use at work. And one very common work-based email for the enterprise is for Microsoft, and it’s called Exchange. So our mobile devices have a special Exchange configuration set up that we would use when we need to communicate to those Exchange servers.

Microsoft Exchange is more than just email. It’s our centralized calendar, all of our contact lists are in there, we can have notes that we’re keeping inside of that application. And we can synchronize and download all of those to the Microsoft Exchange configuration. We simply tell our mobile device what do we want to use with Exchange? Should be mail? We can turn that on and off. Should it be our contacts? We can customize exactly what information is transferred and synchronized between our mobile device and the Exchange server.

This integration is crucial for people that use this for business. You can create a calendar entry. You can then attach different email addresses to that calendar entry. And those are automatically now sent out as messages informing everybody that a meeting has now been scheduled. And that’s all integrated through Microsoft Exchange. And because you’re integrated on your mobile device, you can do all of it from your mobile phone.

You’ll usually be given a number of different configuration options for Microsoft Exchange. You may have to configure an email address that’s used in Exchange. The server that you will be communicating to– its server name or IP address. You’ll usually be given a domain name. That’s usually referring to a Microsoft domain. And of course a user name and password that allows you to log in and use that.

This is integrating usually with credentials that are stored in the Enterprise in a series of databases called Active Directory Servers. So if somebody’s trying to determine what username and password do I use, it’s probably the same Active Directory username and password you use when you log into the network back at your office.

Another very popular mail service is from Google, and it’s called Gmail. Since Android is made by Google and Gmail is made by Google, it makes sense that there will be some very tight integrations between the Android operating system and Gmail. Gmail can be accessed through a web browser, but you can also have it download your mail using POP3 or IMAP. And most of our mobile devices, there’s a completely different Google Mail or Gmail setting inside of the mobile device which makes it even easier to configure.

This is also something that integrates with Google Calendar, very similar to that Exchange integration, where our emails and our calendars work together. You can have exactly that same integration inside of Gmail on our Android devices. We also have some nice integration features between Gmail and Google Calendar. You can configure integration very similar to what you configure in Exchange, so that your calendar and your emails will communicate with each other and synchronize with each other through this Gmail link.

Another nice integration in iOS is that all of your notes that you build in iOS will be also integrated to Gmail. You can make any changes you would like in iOS, and you’ll see those update on the Google server. Unfortunately, it’s a one way integration. You can’t log into Gmail and see your notes and change them. All of those notes have to be viewed, changed, and updated on your iOS device.