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GMail delays...

Written by Alcides Fonseca at 2008/02/13

A few months ago I moved to GMail and Google Reader for my main information needs: email and RSS feeds. I now have 3 computers (windows desktop, macbook and HTC TyTN) in which I sync Outlook, Mail.app and WM email client through Gmail’s IMAP. And in Gmail I have my @gmail.com account, me@alcidesfonseca.com and my student email account. So Gmail works both as a aggregator for my emails and as a web interface when I’m not in my computers or in restricted WiFi networks.

However I’m not satisfied with my current situation. Seems like Gmail has an intelligent algorithm for setting the frequency for fetching you POP3 external accounts based on your email frequency. I find myself going to settings windows and force POP3 fetching manually. But this is not pratical! Sometimes I even go to the webmail version of the original email account when I know I should have received an email.

Of course I could set up the POP3 accounts in my clients, but it’s not the same since I need syncing between them, and I like Gmail’s interface (and that’s whats keeping so many people addicted to it). And I could make my other emails redirect to my gmail account, but after some stories about “lost” emails in gmail a year ago, I like to keep my emails in other servers.

I guess they just fit their computing power to the users needs. If I get one email per day, they’re fetching it one or two times per day. If I get one per minute, it fetches every 5 minutes or so. In the beginning I had a five minute frequency that I consider normal, but in the last days, I get “Last checked: 50 minutes ago.” messages. I can’t get a email half an hour after it was sent to me! I should be able to define my maximum delay for emails. Even if I got one email per day, it might be urgent and I need it 5 minutes after it was sent!

And I’m not the only one complaining about this. Does anyone have a script that simulates the manual fetch? It would be really useful!