The Archos 5 and 7 Internet Media Tablets received a firmware update (version 1.2.05) yesterday and at the top of the list of new features is something that should have been included since day one: a release version of the email application. A beta version shipped with the device (along with a still-in-beta Contacts Manager and no-longer-in-beta firmware) and though it was reasonably functional, it wasn’t exactly the model of stability.
The release version doesn’t add any new features from what I’ve seen so far, but the application doesn’t crash when sending an email anymore and messages seem to load a bit faster. These improvements make what was already a robust/capable application much more reliable and a reasonable option for emailing on the go. Have a look below.
The interface is nicely optimized for finger use and setting up multiple email accounts is straightforward and simple. Gmail and Yahoo Mail Plus settings are preconfigured, but IMAP and POP3 accounts (with authentication and TLS/SSL encryption) can be manually added with ease. In addition to the incoming/outcoming servers and general properties (nickname, reply-to address, and signature), settings include:
- Check for new messages frequency (at startup or every 1, 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes)
- Download headers only or full messages
- Ringtone notification of new messages
- Message preview (none or 1-5 rows)
- Empty trash on exit
Folder management, sorting, mark all message as unread/read, reply all, carbon copy, blind carbon copy, and forward are all supported. You can also view HTML messages using the Opera browser.
Here’s a look at the "write new message" or compose screen:
You can add new information to existing contacts when reading email or search for an address when writing a new message by pressing the magnifying glass icon. The + and – buttons are used to add or remove an address or an attachment. Because of the file manager built into the Archos 5, you can also upload and download/save music, image, video, and file attachments. Pretty good, don’t you think?
Other highlights of the new firmware include larger album art, an embedded/fullscreen option for Flash video playback, and a vertical scrollbar in the browser.
Complete specs and more details of the Archos 5 in Pocketables Products.