Judging from the service's flakiness since its inception, Apple may do well to consider refraining from touting Yahoo! Push email as an iPhone asset. The offering has been dogged by an inability to function properly for some or all users since July, 2007, and within the past week has suffered another major outage.
Yahoo! Mail accounts are the only type of accounts currently accessible by the iPhone that offer push services. This, in theory, means that you will be instantly notified when a new message lands in your Yahoo! account mailbox. The service works by routing email through imap.apple.mail.yahoo.com, a mail server designated specifically for the iPhone by Yahoo!. Other IMAP and POP accounts accessed by the iPhone must rely on time-interval checking (ranging from every 15 minutes to every hour, toggled in the Mail pane of Settings) or manual checking.
Push mail is supposed be offered with free Yahoo! mail accounts.
However, the service has been spotty at best, not "pushing" for many users, instead only delivering messages in the inbox when the user manually checks, or during a time-interval checks.
Late last month, Yahoo! pushed out a series of server-end fixes that have enabled push capabilities for a number of previously defunct accounts. But now problems have resurfaced.
Dozens of posts to Apple's Discussion boards in the past few days describe the issues:
- "Is anyone else having issues with Yahoo pushing again? Mine has not worked for the past two days"
- "Yahoo mail constantly has issues. I need to keep using a computer to download messages that are not being sent to my iPhone (25 more messages need to be downloaded)."
- "Count me in as well, yahoo push email to iPhone stopped working for me on Thursday and it is still not fixed. [...] Why can't yahoo keep this service up? Very poor form!"
Here are some some escalating steps for jump-starting Yahoo! Push, though we can't state with high confidence that they will be effective in the face of continued outages:
- Navigate to mobile page on a Desktop Log into your Yahoo! email account on a desktop computer. Navigate to "Settings," then "Mobile" then go back to the main page -- you don't need to change any settings. Mail may start pushing right away.
- Delete then recreate account Go to the Settings application, tap Mail then tap your Yahoo! account and tap Delete Account. Then go back to the Mail pane of Settings and re-establish your Yahoo! account. You may need to reset your iPhone again after doing this.
- Create an all-new account In some cases, the only option is to create an entirely new Yahoo! account at mail.yahoo.com. Some accounts don?t, for whatever reason, appear to be working properly with push services.
- Restore iPhone As a last resort: Connect your iPhone to your computer, then in iTunes, select your iPhone and click the Restore button under the Summary tab. Restoring the phone will erase contacts, calendars, photos and other data stored only on the phone, but will restore automatically backed-up information including text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites, sound settings, widget settings, etc.