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Discuss [Req] IMAP IDLE monitor/notifier? at the Free Toolchain Software (Cydia App's) - Hackint0sh.org; I think right now the most useful app I can imagine would be an IMAP ...
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    Default [Req] IMAP IDLE monitor/notifier?

    I think right now the most useful app I can imagine would be an IMAP IDLE monitor/notifier. I was just looking at the IDLE protocol and it's incredibly simple - heck, you can telnet into your IMAP server yourself, type 001 login username password, then type 003 SELECT INBOX, then 004 IDLE, and just sit there and wait.

    All such an app needs to do is run in the background, connect over a socket, and do the exact steps above, and every time it sees a line that says X RECENT, just update the dock icon to show the number of pending emails and play a ding sound/vibrate.

    That would be a brilliant app, would give us real-time email notification and doesn't require building a whole email app from scratch. And in fact it requires relatively little UIKit knowledge.

    If I could do it in Java, Python or any language I've used in recent years I'd do it in a second (and could probably write it in less than an hour). My C UNIX daemon-writing skills are pretty poor unfortunately, and my Objective-C knowledge is nil, though I think the UIKit/Objective-C part of this is probably easy.

    If I had a week to get the toolchain up and running, and figure out all the basics, I'm guessing this is probably a few hundred lines of code. It can even pull configuration data out of the Mail.app plist file so no need for a configuration GUI (maybe just an enable/disable switch).

    Since I can't realistically do this myself, I will offer a bounty of 200 dollars for such an application. Via Paypal to the first person to write something that runs stably and does what I described above.

    Edit: Updated thread title. Also, I have a commitment from my co-worker for another $200 in the bounty pool. That brings us to $450.
    Last edited by rcgabriel; 09-17-2007 at 04:16 PM.



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    Actually I have thought about that, but it depends on a number of things (and I haven't got round to doing any iphone dev yet):

    a) when the phone is in standby, are open sockets maintained? And is there some sort of 'wake-up' when data is available?

    b) it would actually be nicest to simply trigger a 'poll' from Mail.app whenever new mail is available. That way, the mail application would be responsible for beeping, vibrating etc. Anyone know how this could be achieved?

    If we can solve a) and b), I'm happy to give the rest a go; I've had lots of experience in implementing IMAP in the past.

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    Regarding (A) - I have MobileChat installed and it is designed to do the exact same thing - it runs in the background, maintains an open AIM connection, and displays an SMS-style notification if you get an instant message. So... obviously if they are keeping a client socket open, we must be able to do that too. Also, I've managed to SSH into my phone when the screen is off and the phone is locked. I'm not sure if there's a deeper mode of "standby" than that.

    Regarding (B), Mail.app always does a poll when you open it, right? Forcing a background Mail.app poll, well I don't know how we'd do that, and it seems like we'd just be doing double the work that way since it will inevitably poll when the person clicks on the icon a second later.

    Playing a sound or vibrating is just a single API call, and seems easier to me. Actually, you can play a sound from the command prompt with the "playaudio" command, I believe. Dunno how to update the mail icon image in the dock, but it can't be that hard.

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    I'm in for $50 and will also publicize this thread on someother message boards for others who want to contribute. This is far and away the number one iPhone hack that I have wanted since June 29th!

    So to those who have the knowledge . . . I'm beggin ya!

    P.S. to rcgabriel: Perhaps you could edit the title of this thread to indicate that we are offering a bounty?
    Last edited by davpel; 09-13-2007 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Additional Info

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcgabriel View Post
    Regarding (B), Mail.app always does a poll when you open it, right? Forcing a background Mail.app poll, well I don't know how we'd do that, and it seems like we'd just be doing double the work that way since it will inevitably poll when the person clicks on the icon a second later.

    Playing a sound or vibrating is just a single API call, and seems easier to me. Actually, you can play a sound from the command prompt with the "playaudio" command, I believe. Dunno how to update the mail icon image in the dock, but it can't be that hard.
    Presumably (and I'm speaking with a vast lack of knowledge here) the yahoo push email service for iphone polls mail.app in the background, as it alerts/updates the icon while the phone is asleep. I remember reading somewhere that this yahoo push email was actually just IDLE under a different guise anyway.

    I'd love this app too, it would more-or-less complete my email-grabbing iPhone needs.


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    From what I've been able to figure out, Yahoo! does not actually use IMAP Idle, nor does it employ P-Idle, Lemonade, etc. Rather, it uses a triggered pull similar to what was done in Windows Mobile prior to the release of WM5. See the following threads for more info:

    http://blog.dave.cridland.net/?p=35
    http://blog.dave.cridland.net/?p=32
    http://blog.dave.cridland.net/?p=33

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    Fair doos.

    Question: Does the iPhone poll mobilemail when the springboard is loaded, or upon actually pressing the mobilemail icon? If it does the former then as rcgabriel says only the alert is actually needed, the poll would occur as soon as you get your phone out to check what the alert was for, and the little red icon would presumably update at the same time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnit View Post
    Presumably (and I'm speaking with a vast lack of knowledge here) the yahoo push email service for iphone polls mail.app in the background, as it alerts/updates the icon while the phone is asleep. I remember reading somewhere that this yahoo push email was actually just IDLE under a different guise anyway.

    I'd love this app too, it would more-or-less complete my email-grabbing iPhone needs.
    Unfortunately, there are a ton of incredibly inaccurate blog articles about how the Yahoo "Push Email" service works that were all written before the iPhone's actual release or before the protocol was analyzed. There is actually no IDLE or "Push-IMAP" support or anything at all like that - when Steve Jobs said the iPhone would support "Push-IMAP" he was presumably subtly misrepresenting, or mistaken (it is IMAP-based, and it does do push notifications, so...).

    The Yahoo "Push Email" function uses an "out-of-band" notification mechanism to the iPhone that triggers the iPhone to do a query of the server. I.e. there is a chunk of cell phone activity when a new email comes in, but there is no message in the IMAP traffic at all from Yahoo's server. It's believed that this notification mechanism is SMS based - there's some way that an SMS is tagged to be treated specially by some app within the iPhone and triggers a notification event to Mail.app.

    So... it's probably possible to figure all this stuff out (use a cloned sim to sniff the raw SMS content? I'm not enough of a cell phone guru to really know how to do that anyway) but it would require custom server-side support, and some SMS generating service and the like. Not sure how many people would really jump on using that even if we did it.

    IMAP IDLE, on the other hand, is already supported by the majority of IMAP server software out there, and there are tons of places you can get very inexpensive IMAP mail service that support IDLE. I'm pretty sure that an IMAP IDLE notifier has a lot more utility to a lot more people in the short term than trying to write a server-based clone of the Yahoo Push system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnit View Post
    Fair doos.

    Question: Does the iPhone poll mobilemail when the springboard is loaded, or upon actually pressing the mobilemail icon? If it does the former then as rcgabriel says only the alert is actually needed, the poll would occur as soon as you get your phone out to check what the alert was for, and the little red icon would presumably update at the same time...
    Polling occurs each time mail.app is opened, so really only a notification is needed. Then the user can open mail.app to actually retrieve the message. It's quasi-push, but definitely better than nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davpel View Post
    P.S. to rcgabriel: Perhaps you could edit the title of this thread to indicate that we are offering a bounty?
    Good suggestion, I don't actually know how to edit the thread title though. I tried editing the original post in the thread, but doesn't look like I can change the thread title there.


 

 
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