IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) support was launched in October 2013. Since then we received an overwhelming response for POP3 (Post Office Protocol) support too. This was much to our surprise considering many new email providers are moving away from POP3, and onto IMAP, due to the performance benefits and because it’s a better fit with the way email is accessed today on multiple devices. But….that’s not all! Read through to the bottom to see what folder manipulation is all about.
What the heck is POP3?
POP3 is an abbreviation for Post Office Protocol 3. It’s the third version of a widespread method of receiving email, dating back to the 1980s. Much like the physical version of a post office clerk, POP3 receives and holds email for an individual until they pick it up. And, much as the post office does not make copies of the mail it receives, when an individual downloads email from the server into their email program, their copy of the email on the server is removed. Most clients however, including Mailbird, have an option to leave the message on the server, either temporarily or permanently.
Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail.com) supports POP3, but recently introduced IMAP support. “One of the major issues with Microsoft’s Hotmail replacement, Outlook.com, is you could only access it on the web or, with email clients, through the POP3 or Microsoft’s EAS protocol.” – Lifehacker. A lot more devices and services use IMAP, and now so does Outlook.com. Even Windows 8 Mail no longer supports POP3.
Despite the shift, we couldn’t leave out those of you longing to use Mailbird with your POP3 email accounts. If we had a dollar for every email we received after the IMAP launch requesting POP3 support, we’d be rich. We aren’t, but we’d like to give all of you the opportunity to use Mailbird anyways and are eager to hear your response given this major update.
Many of you use both IMAP and POP3 email accounts so this will be a great addition to your email management with Mailbird. We are really happy to be able to bring on more Mailbird users that exclusively use POP3 email accounts. So for those of you who are curious about the technical side of it all, you might ask yourself “What is the difference between IMAP and POP3?”
The Technical Breakdown
Here’s the technical breakdown and relationship between POP3 and IMAP:
Where IMAP keeps your email synchronized between all connected clients and web interfaces, POP3 does not. Any changes you make to your emails in one place, like marking them as read or moving them to another folder, will not be reflected in any other client connected to the same email account.
POP3 treats an email account as one giant folder, so even if you moved your emails to other folders in your web interface, when accessed through POP3, it appears to the client as just residing in one big folder – the inbox.
Some POP3 servers only allow one connection to a given mailbox at any one time, whereas IMAP allows for simultaneous access by multiple email clients.
With most clients, emails typically download slower with POP3, due to all parts of an email being downloaded at once, whereas IMAP allows clients to retrieve individual parts of an email when needed.
Depending on your client’s POP3 settings, the downloaded email is typically deleted from the server after it’s been downloaded to your client on your PC.
The Non-Technical Side of POP3
For those of you not so interested in the technical side of POP3 support in Mailbird, you might ask “What does this mean for me?” With POP3 being the next highest requested feature since launching IMAP and Multi-Account support, many of you have not been able to use Mailbird.
With Mailbird’s introduction of POP3 support you can now use Mailbird to manage many more email accounts in one place. It’s like an upgraded version of Multi-Account. Some of these POP3 email accounts include:
O2 Online Deutschland
Verizon (Yahoo hosted)
Mail.com (Has IMAP, but requires premium account)
The bonus? Folder Manipulation.
Remember a long long time ago when we publicly launched Mailbird and all you wanted was to be able to add/edit/delete folders directly from Mailbird? Folders are important in helping us organize the copious amounts of messages that flood our inbox. Before you had to manipulate folder creation directly from the web, so for Gmail you would have to add/edit/delete folders directly from Gmail on the web, then sync Mailbird with Gmail’s server. Now you can do it all directly from Mailbird! Yes, we admit this should have been there ages ago, but happy to have it out now.
To add/edit/delete folders go to the Mailbird menu in the main window in the top left > Options > Folders tab then…
Click the + to add a new folder to the selected email account.
Click the – to remove a selected folder.
Click the … to edit a selected folder.
Some solid advice
Everyone interacts with his or her email in a different way and each person has their own personal taste. The pros of POP are that you can remove information from the server and put it onto your computer or device and use it with email software like Mailbird, which integrates everything you could need into one easy interface. However, some general guidelines need to be observed to effectively use either format:
• Pick POP or IMAP but don’t use both – it can cause you a lot of problems!
• If you use more than one computer or device to read your email, IMAP might be the better way to go
• If you need to use more than one email program make sure each program is set to IMAP
Tell us what POP3 email provider you are going to test in Mailbird in the comments below.
Remember to share this news with your fellow colleagues that also use POP3. Just click on the social share buttons below.
Did you know that you can also invite friends directly from Mailbird under the ‘Invite Friends’ menu option? Need help setting up POP3 in Mailbird, check out our POP3 guide here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.