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Multimail Pro 3.1

Actual Software does email right!

by Kermit Woodall

I've used a lot of email packages, both on the Palm and on other various computing platforms. Windows, DOS, Mac, Amiga, Unix, you name it. Now, we all know that on the Internet, software fads come and go faster than light (showing that perhaps Einstein didn't know everything), but email remains the one thing that everyone needs. You use it to keep in touch with family and friends, with your business associates; you use it to get support for nearly everything from software to potato chips, and to transfer files and more.

MultiMail was my email program of choice from the "long ago" days of the PalmPilot Professional. In addition to my PalmPilot, I carried around a 56k modem and used MultiMail to access my email when I was on the road at tradeshows. Now MultiMail is poised to become my email program of choice again with it's rich feature set and its promise of Palm VII connectivity.

You've got Features!

MultiMail Professional supports a whole host of email protocols: POP3 (with APOP), supported by most ISP's for receiving email; IMAP4, the newer email protocol; SMTP (and ESMTP) for sending email; support for newsgroups reading (NNTP) and posting via SMTP; SSL security is available as an optional purchase direct from Actual. There are configurable ports for all protocols. You can send and receive attachments from your Palm, update your software on the road, read MS Word documents, open Quicksheet spreadsheets, manage CSV files, and extract zipped attachments.

With MultiMail Pro 3.1 you can now download messages up to 2MB in size, plus install Palm applications of virtually any size via email. No other Palm email client or web browser currently offers this freedom.

A unique open "plugin player" architecture allows for virtually any type of email attachment, future or present, to be supported. Third party developers are invited to support an expanding list of MultiMail plugins. The list of files that can be downloaded and processed is growing and you can download a developer's kit and the complete source code to their text plugin as well.

Control your downloads

If you're busy at all, you'll find you get many mail messages during a day or even during a few short hours. MultiMail Professional allows for quick retrieval of the email headers. The user can then selectively choose which messages to download.

The software has Configurable Maximum Message Length allowing the user to specify a maximum message size for download, messages over the limit will be truncated. Handy for skipping past those ridiculously large attachments in your inbox. "Leave Mail on Server" support allows you to intimately control which email messages get deleted from your POP3 and IMAP4 server.

Manage email with ease

MultiMail Professional supports up to eight separate email accounts (either IMAP4, NNTP, or POP3). This is taken a step further than almost any email client available. These eight accounts are completely separate from each other and may be named by the user. You can receive and reply to email messages under completely different email identities. No need to wade through one large inbox, or set up special filters to move email from each account into separate folders. In addition, each separate account may have its own set of configurable folders. For IMAP these categories may be associated with real IMAP mailboxes.

You can even print your email directly from your Palm. MultiMail has bundled support for Bachmann Print Manager and also supports PalmPrint by Stevenscreek Software.

It's really hard to find fault with anything here. MultiMail has really grown and matured greatly over its original release. The screens are familiar to any email user, and utilize icons and text labels in a completely intuitive manner. The power behind the interface is astounding. MultiMail integrates so cleanly with other Palm applications and even with hardware such as the new TRGPro Flashcards.

MultiMail Professional is everything you want in a Palm email package. If it's not in the main package, the plugins will almost certainly add the rest. It really astounds me just how many features are packed into this tiny little email package. In many ways it rivals the desktop email packages that I've used. Certainly its handling of multiple accounts is one of the most seamless I've encountered anywhere.

MultiMail is highly recommended. You can find it on their web site at for US$39.95. The SSL version is only available for purchase by contacting Actual Software Corporation directly at the email address, and you can also buy both the Windows and Mac conduits from them as well for US$39.95 and US$29.95 respectively. You'll want to have at least PalmOS 3.1, although it will work with earlier versions with some features being limited or constrained to work within the specifications of older PalmOS releases. -Kermit Woodall

Plugins Galore

MultiMail Professional's biggest asset is its ability to add new features via its PlugIn Player architecture. These plugins allow MultiMail to achieve a level of integration and functionality you would expect in a desktop email solution. MultiMail comes with plugins for reading text documents as well as a plugin for receiving .prc or .pdb files.

Listed below are a few other plugins, available on their website.

The UnZIP plugin from Zoran Majcenic allows you to view and open zip attachments! This plugin player allows you to open a zip file and extract or view any file already supported with MultiMail Pro. Supports files up to 2MB. Shareware US$10.

The CSV Viewer plugin from Benc Software views CSV attachments. This allows developers who are PalmGear partners to view their sales info on the road. Free.

The QuickSheet plugin by Cutting Edge Software allows you to send and receive Quicksheet qsh attachments for viewing and modification. You can even send a spreadsheet attachment seamlessly within Quicksheet. Quicksheet must be installed on your Palm for this plugin to work. Free.

The WavePlayer plugin by Micro Technologies, Inc. can play WAV files right from within MultiMail Pro. Now Micro Technologies, Inc.'s WavePlayer can be used as a standalone player as well as a MultiMail Pro plugin. Shareware US$12.95. -Kermit Woodall

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