Mobile Interface - Auto Redirect
Idea shared by Nicolas Le Merle - 11/9/2014 at 2:23 PM
Completed
Hey Guys,
 
Could you kindly implement an auto redirect feature for mobile devices? As it stands this is not immediately available i don't think. Users have to manually click on the 'Switch to the mobile interface' link which can be hard to see when on a mobile device.
 
Anyway, I managed to come up with a 'temp solution' if anyone is interested :)
 
1. Make a copy of the MRS folder and call it 'SmarterMailMobile' if you like
C:\Program Files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail\SmarterMailMobile
2. Create a new site in IIS and make the above the root folder for that site.
3. In your already existing IIS site, add the following to your web.config file
<rule name="Mobile Rewrite" patternSyntax="ECMAScript" stopProcessing="true">

    <match url=".*" ignoreCase="true" negate="false" />

    <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAny" trackAllCaptures="false">

        <add input="{HTTP_USER_AGENT}" pattern="midp|mobile|phone" />

        <add input="{HTTP_X-Device-User-Agent}" pattern="midp|mobile|phone" />

        <add input="{HTTP_X-OperaMini-Phone-UA}" pattern="midp|mobile|phone" />

    </conditions>

    <action type="Redirect" url="https://www.MyDomain.com/SmarterMailMobile/Mobile/Login.aspx" appendQueryString="false" redirectType="Found" />

</rule>
 
And that's it ! Now when users browse to your default webmail site on their mobile they will be redirected to the new sites mobile interface.
 
You wont be able to simply just add the rule to your default sites web.config as you will get stuck into a redirect loop. Creating a new directly allows you to have a new web.config without the redirect so no loop :)
 
NB: Remember to update the mobile folder when you update your software.
 
Hope this helps some guys out :)
 
Cheers,
Nic

24 Replies

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1
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Hello Nicolas,
 
Thank you for request and for providing the workaround as well. The mobile interface was originally created for older smartphones with much smaller screens. More recent smartphones generally come with robust apps for email, calendar and contacts. You can use free protocols, including IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, to easily sync with your SmarterMail account. This will allow your data to sync directly to your phone, without needing to go through the Web browser. More information on the many syncing methods available can be found in the help article: Synchronizing with SmarterMail

Andrea Rogers
Customer Operations Manager
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

0
No improvements will be made to the mobile interface?
0
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Hi Steve,

I'm not part of the development team so I'm actually not sure of the development plans for the mobile interface. Though we do work closely together I'm not always aware of the new features and improvements of future releases. I just wanted to give some more information regarding the mobile interface for those who are unaware of its original intent and to let users know there are alternative, free syncing methods available that may provide better results.

Andrea Rogers
Customer Operations Manager
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

1
Can this please be added to the feature request list?
5
Andrea,
 
There are many good reasons that some organizations do NOT want secure, protected, and regulated company data to actually sync to a mobile device. Lose that device (or it gets stolen) and you have major potential problems.
 
Accessing that device through the mobile interface solves the problem. Data does not reside on the mobile device, but it only viewing after proper authentication. So, for many like me, your suggestion to use the many sync protocols available to us does not solve our issues.
 
Please do all you can to promote a proper mobile app that will make SM much easier for organizations like us to use the mobile version.
 
Thanks.
7
Delete the mobile version and make the web mail app *RESPONSIVE* ! 
1
I'll 2nd that. Maybe someone could propose this in a new thread and we can vote it up.
0
Not sure that's the best solution... This thread was voted up yet has been completely ignored.

The mobile interface needs to be considered important, the desktop version does not display well on mobile devices.
1
Having worked with several organizations on responsive websites (my own not included at this point, but purely due to time-constraints and commitments to business and home projects), the conversation of an existing site, especially one with customizable interfaces and features, is not as simple as modifying some CSS code to change color, or telling the code that pictures and images can now be made resizable.  Delving into the SmarterMail code, this task appears to be significantly more daunting than an average, or "normal" website.
 
Being one of those who voted this up, I can also see where this would put SmarterMail at the top of the branding game, too.  Now that we are both allowed to use, and can, without violation of copyright contract, make CSS changes to SmarterMail code for branding purposes, I would think this idea needs to be put in front of the development and management team at SmarterMail so that it can be properly vetted in a manner which will continue to bring the benefits of SmarterMail to customers and not just throw a responsive version out to the world.
 
Remember, sudden major changes bring incredible support headaches for all involved.  Given some of the major companies running SmarterMail, this could become both a logistics, and technical, nightmare as a responsive version is pushed.
 
While I understand the frustration, I also believe we should all err on the side of good planning and programming. 
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
0
"the desktop version does not display well on mobile devices"
That's the reason it should be made responsive/adaptive :)
2
Bruce, good points indeed.  A complete redesign with a responsive theme could take a year or more.
 
Here's a simple fix -- just hide the folder pane when someone logs in with a mobile device. I tried it on my smartphone and it's nearly usable in landscape mode.  Drop the nav bar, message checkbox, and message flags and you have something.
 
If the phone is in portrait mode, put the preview window at the bottom instead of the on the side.  Some of these customizations can be done already in Settings.  Maybe allow the user to create a desktop and mobile profile.
 
Kevin
0
I agree, no way in hell i want my email syncing with a phone or tablet.

www.HawaiianHope.org - Providing technology services to non profit organizations, homeless shelters, clean and sober houses and prisoner reentry programs. in 2018, in just one year, we gave away 1,000 Free Computers !

0
Using the mobile version to try to read email is bad. throws EVERYTHING on the screen at the same time. Why ? takes me 5 times longer to locate something.
I have to use the web version to read emails, but it will not allow me to reply to an email as there is no place to type. Hit reply and there is no text area on my phones. Then i have to switch (back, back, back to the login) to actually go find the email again and then reply... using the mystery meat navigation. It would be nice if we could hit a button and flip from mobile to desktop version and back again.

www.HawaiianHope.org - Providing technology services to non profit organizations, homeless shelters, clean and sober houses and prisoner reentry programs. in 2018, in just one year, we gave away 1,000 Free Computers !

0
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Hey Joe! We understand the need for a mobile interface in some cases, and we're looking at accommodating some of these thoughts in the next major version of SmarterMail. In regards to the security vulnerability that comes with syncing data, I did just want to mention that this is covered when using the Enterprise level protocol, Exchange ActiveSync. You can set up policies for mobile devices so that if a phone is lost or stolen you can remotely disable or wipe the device. I understand that this isn't a viable option when using other syncing protocols but wanted to mention it just in case.

Andrea Rogers
Customer Operations Manager
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

0
Andrea,
Thanks, I am licensed for EAS...but I see nowhere to configure these mysterious policies. I can activate a mail account for EAS, no problem. But cannot find anywhere to setup policies. Please point me to the KB article or other instructions.

Joe
0
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Hey Joe. Taking a look at it, it's actually not so much a policy but a setting. With EAS licensed, you can impersonate a user and at My Settings > Synchronized Devices, you can remote wipe the device. This allows the user or System Administrator to perform the reset.

Andrea Rogers
Customer Operations Manager
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

0
Hey, Andrea...that's where the whole thing falls apart. My users are authenticated through active directory. Cannot impersonate an AD user...wish you guys would fix that.
0
Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post
Please be aware with the remote wipes! This is client dependent. Typically, Android phones only remote wipe the actual synced information. On iPhones the remote wipe command wipes the entire phone.
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
2
Now that all the bugs are out of the way, wondering what's on the road map for the next version of SmarterMail.  Maybe ST could post something?
 
I'd like to suggest improvements with the web interface (not the mobile interface that was designed for older phones & small screens). Enhance the current UI to work better on tablets and larger screen smartphones which are definitely the trend.
 
The solution is to make it responsive as described above, but this could take a while. How about some small steps to make it more usable? Basically, focus on less width. Here's a simple first step:
 
Move the nav bar icons from on the left to the open space across the top. If necessary, drop a few or put them in an overflow button.  This would use less width and put Settings in the upper-right which seems to be the standard location nowadays.
 
Thanks,
Kevin
0
Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post
Kevin, good suggestion. I recommend you create separate thread dealing with the desktop interface. Regardless, we have plans to overhaul the interface in the next major release--modernize it, flatten it. We are also planning on opening most of the underlying functions to the API: calendars, contacts, mail, etc.
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
Robert, very interested in the new APIs as we are looking at alternatives now. Do you have a rough idea (# of months) of when a beta might be available? Thanks.
1
The though of having a calendar API, and being able to embed a calendar into a website, along the lines of embedding a Google calendar, is quite a carrot to dangle on a stick.
 
Hope this is available soon!
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc
brucecnt@comcast.net

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
0
Yea. agree. We would implement that in our software in a heartbeat.

www.HawaiianHope.org - Providing technology services to non profit organizations, homeless shelters, clean and sober houses and prisoner reentry programs. in 2018, in just one year, we gave away 1,000 Free Computers !

0
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Starting with the release of SmarterMail 16.x, the webmail interface is now desktop and mobile-friendly. I am marking this post as Completed, as accessing the responsive interface on your mobile device is now done by default. There is no longer a need to switch between a desktop or mobile interface. 

If you would like to make suggestions for specific improvements to the Current Build's mobile interface, please do so in a new thread so we can better track the request. 

Andrea Rogers
Customer Operations Manager
SmarterTools Inc.
877-357-6278

www.smartertools.com

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