[FEATURE REQUEST] "Add To Mail Client / Device" Page Within Webmail
Idea shared by Shaun Peet - June 13, 2017 at 9:05 PM
I thought I had a new idea, but after a quick search I found this feature already requested (and implemented) on the cPanel forum:
My idea shares much of that thread, but I wrote all this before I found that thread so I'll continue...
Since it's the domain administrator and not the end-user who creates mailboxes one of the first things the user needs to do (and should do) is go to the webmail to change their password.  If the user likes the webmail experience - great, they can continue on and nothing needs to happen.
However, if the user insists upon using their familiar email client, then I think there should be a page somewhere within the webmail (ie after they've logged in and set / changed their password) which has very specific instructions on how to add their account to a variety of the most popular email clients.
In particular, for iOS users, that page should have a button they can click which generates their personal .mobileconfig file, and opens it on their device to add the mail account.  It would be easy for the webmail page to even detect that the user is on an iOS device and only show the button if that's the case.  As far as I know, the only way to autoconfigure a mail account on iOS is via a .mobileconfig file.
By having this type of instructions page available within the webmail it allows the instructions on that page to be extremely specific because the user is already logged in, and the webmail should know the exact settings required in order to access that specific user's account via other protocols.  Ideally, if the autodiscover.xml file works properly most of the other major email clients should be able to use that, but if not, and the user is configuring things manually, the more specific the instructions the better.
Having SmarterTools do this once and maintain it as part of their core webmail client is probably much easier than having thousands of system administrators like myself trying to come up with our own instructions.  And again, having it available only within the webmail ensures that the user 1) logs in to set/ change their password as their very first important step, and 2) exposes the user to the webmail interface which hopefully influences them to at least give it a try and perhaps use that instead of their normal mail client.

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Shaun, why would anyone want to set up an email client on their iPhone when ST has spent the last 1.5 years (and still going) writing a new, mobile-friendly UI?  Just have your users run webmail on their smartphone and tell them to disregard the email client! <insert smiley, tongue out, sarcastic emoji here>
Seriously, this is a great idea and you have my vote. I actually proposed it last year in this post asking why is SmarterMail creating a new UI? I suggested the time might be better spent making it easier to configure mobile devices:
So instead of spending 6 months writing a mobile-friendly interface for 2% of users, spend the time writing code for the 98% that makes it easier and less expensive to configure and use your mobile device. For example, write an app or make a URL that sets up IMAP+CalDAV+CardDAV on a smartphone so it's as simple as ActiveSync where all you have to do enter your email address and password (no server names, no ports, sync mail, contacts, calendars, notes, & reminders).
OK, so I was a bit off with the 6 months (SM 16 was going to be released in Q3 2016). And before someone jumps all over my case, understand that discussion like this will hopefully result in customer-driven enhancements to SmarterMail. We all use and rely on SM for our business and hope for continued success.
Another thing to add to this suggestion / feature request, and I'm not sure it's possible in a responsive environment, is to enable some sort of a "first time login" wizard / tour of the webmail.
I think there's room for improvement at the domain administrator level in the recommended process for creating and on-boarding a new user.  Specifically, a way make it easier for the domain administrator to send an email to a new user (using a different email address, obviously, since the new user can't login without this information).  In that new user email could also be some very basic "how to login" information and a recommendation to change the password.
Then, after the user logs in present them with that "first time here" wizard that showcases the awesomeness of the webmail, helps them change their password, and at the end of that wizard would be the page that says "want to keep using your existing email program?  no problem - here's how you can do that".
Perhaps related to this could be a flag within SmarterMail that a user can either be "Enabled / Disabled / Disabled Until Webmail Login".  That setting would prevent the mailbox from being used until the webmail has been accessed (again, to change the password as the primary reason) - and possibly even prevent the mailbox from being accessed on another device.  Sounds like fun for my auto-discover implementation but certainly doable because the web services has a way to track last login times for a mailbox.
I know Matt has commented on this thread already - any chance the status of this can be marked as under consideration?
The part that I think would be a really easy (and highly useful) first step to do is add the downloadable .mobileconfig file within the Settings area for a user who is on their iOS device (which should be detectable).  It's basically the same as the "Add to Outlook" / "Get CalDav URLs" buttons / functionality that already exist, just a different option for iOS users.
That said, I also still think that forcing a user to go to the webmail as the very first step in account creation is a good thing, for all operating systems / software which the user might end up using to access their email.  Baby steps...

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