I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Address Book and Yahoo

When Apple announced the iPhone back in Jan­u­ary one of the fea­tures they tout­ed was a free Push IMAP Yahoo email account to all iPhone cus­tomers. Since iPhone launched this lit­tle fea­ture has seen very lit­tle press cov­er­age, if any, but it is impor­tant in under­stand­ing why Address Book in Leop­ard syncs with the Yahoo Mail address book.
Since Yahoo do not allow IMAP access to their email accounts it seems they are envis­ag­ing a world where peo­ple access their Yahoo email account in two ways:
1. Through the iPhones Mail application
2. Through their web brows­er on a desktop.
Work­ing in this man­ner will ensure the mail­box remains in “sync” across the two envi­ron­ments. Any new mail read on the iPhone will be marked as read in Yahoo and vice ver­sa, effec­tive­ly ensur­ing you are using the Yahoo web inter­face as your desk­top client.
This presents one prob­lem. The Yahoo web inter­face does­n’t inter­act with the Address Book found in OS X, which pro­vides the iPhone with it’s con­tacts. How can the two envi­ron­ments, share the same con­tacts in order to work as required?
Enter the new Leop­ard fea­ture for Address Book, the abil­i­ty to sync with Yahoo Mail’s address book. This solves the prob­lem pre­sent­ed ear­li­er by ensur­ing the iPhone address book remains in sync with the Yahoo Mail address book. All in all, a good solu­tion to the prob­lem, as well as being a nice free alter­na­tive to .Mac address book sync.
This leaves me ask­ing why are peo­ple moan­ing about it? I can think of only two reasons.
1. Since Yahoo don’t allow IMAP access to the mail account on a desk­top peo­ple don’t use the free Push IMAP as their source of email on the iPhone. This leaves them won­der­ing why it’s there.
2. Not many peo­ple use Yahoo mail. If they want a web based email account they turn to GMail for the solu­tion and so the option to sync with Google is more valuable.
It presents an inter­est­ing debate, and has me won­der­ing if Yahoo plan to allow IMAP access to their web­mail appli­ca­tion or if there is anoth­er rea­son behind it. Are Apple aware of their “alliance” with Google and don’t want to freeze Yahoo out? Or am I miss­ing something? 

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