Technology: You've got 'push mail'
Although most of us don't have BlackBerry devices, we can understand their appeal. "CrackBerry" addicts love the handheld communicator's wireless, and nearly effortless, E-mail.
Now lowly cellphones can brew some of the BlackBerry's magic, including the ability to automatically receive E-mail. That "push mail" feature means a BlackBerry customer doesn't have to dial into a service to check E-mail; the messages simply arrive on the handset. One stripped-down version of push mail, called Eudora2Go, is available on many phones that operate on the Verizon Wireless network.
The subscription service runs on Verizon handsets that can handle Brew software sold by the wireless carrier. Customers download Eudora2Go from a virtual store on their handsets that Verizon calls "Get It Now." Other Brew programs can help track expenses, the weather, and sports. Most, in true cellphone fashion, also involve monthly fees.
Eudora2Go costs $6 a month and comes from Qualcomm, the same company that sells the venerable Eudora, long a competitor to Microsoft's Outlook as a desktop E-mail program. For the monthly fee, Eudora2Go users get yet another E-mail address or the ability to tap into existing accounts. Most important, customers can go online and designate which incoming E-mail messages are vital enough to be sent to their handsetalthough the E-mail itself isn't actually sent; instead a text message alerts the customer that a message is waiting.
The alert includes the sender's name, subject, and a line or two of the message itself. Then, if the E-mail appears urgent enough, the user dials in to get the rest (using airtime in the process).
So it isn't as easy as BlackBerry's push mailgetting an actual message from Eudora2Go involves a half-dozen key punches and waiting while the phone connects. Figure about 30 seconds to get one or several. And composing a reply is a pain on a phone's keypad. But being alerted to an important E-mail, and getting it while on the run, is at least a push in the right direction.