Iphone X users claiming they are loosing the inbox
Question asked by Marc Frega - 11/11/2019 at 12:23 PM
Answered
Guys and Gals,

I have multiple users among many domains reporting that the inbox on their iphones are going blank and coming back a few minutes later or some time later. If it doesn't come back, they reboot and it comes back.

Anyone else have this happening? Anyone have a work around?  I have reported it to support. This is what the users see as an example.  So far its Iphone Xs that report this.

29 Replies

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Alex Clarke Replied
Are these IMAP, POP or EAS accounts?
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Marc Frega Replied
IMAP
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Stefano Replied
Marc, check if the authentication of the account is set to PASSWORD and not to MD5 Challenge-Response.
If not, try to set to PASSWORD.
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Marc Frega Replied
Stefano.  it made no difference.  I have noticed its only happening on the iphone x and XR at this point. IOS version 13.1.2 and 13.2.2.

I contacted apple and they said they were aware of the issue(felt like a canned response) and they would be releasing a fix. I have  a call with someone there today.
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Ionel Aurelian Rau Replied
Hey, we have also notices this since a while back now. The behavior is strange since mail seems to work OK on the device, then suddenly all emails disappear from the Inbox folder, then the whole mailbox starts re-syncing again. This happens a couple of times per week for each user. 

We see this the most with iOS and BlackBerry devices synced via EAS, but I also get it for example with MS Outlook 2019 if it crashes. There are instances when my Outlook desktop program crashes and then the Inbox is empty and the whole mailbox starts re-syncing. 

Sorry that others have the issue too, but I`m glad I was not crazy - so it`s a real problem.
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Marc Frega Replied
I only have IMAP and its been reported by 3 users and I have been able to duplicate it. Unfortunately I cannot tell what is going on with the Iphone since I cannot determine if there is a log of errors or something to troubleshoot with an iphone.

my guess is a larger number of users are effected but dont report it.

Of course its effecting my highest profile customers.
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Ionel Aurelian Rau Replied
Yes, of course, people with the largest mailboxes and many appointments/contacts are the most affected (even though I have them only sync 1 month), which means our higher-ups.
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Alex Clarke Replied
I'm starting to get more reports of this from my users.

The latest iOS (13.2.2) seems to have quite a few bugs!

@Marc Frega, what did Apple say to you last?
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Marc Frega Replied
Apple was useless.  several scheduled calls with them and 2 hung up while transferring to "senior tech" and third call never arrived.  I will revisit today.
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Alex Clarke Replied
Good luck. I'm tempted to call them myself, but fear I may get the same experience as you!

While I can see my emails (EAS and IMAP accounts) on my iPhone I don't receive the toast notifications in real time. For example, I'll load the mail app and then all my emails download and the toast notifications go crazy - alerting me to all these new messages.

In addition to the above, I did have a problem with email content (the body of messages) either not loading or taking forever to load. This hasn't occured for a while now.

Our clients are reporting the same and we have one client with a blank Inbox. However, unlike you orignal post, their Inbox doesn't magically reappear!
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Marc Frega Replied
ok so my call with a senior advisor was not exactly fruitful.  Here is what I learned. 

There is no specific log for imap. There are dozens of logs but they couldnt point the exact one that would handle mail exceptions.

There are no mail program updates as they are updated as part of the O/S and the time frame of issues  corresponds with the release of IOS 13

They are putting the blame on "smaller email providers" not keeping up to date with apple IOS 13.

They requested that I change the fetch method to manual. This means the email imap fetch would only occur when in the application and checking email.

They were able to remote into the phone and view the screen but I was unable to duplicate in the time frame regardless of fetch method being manual or auto.


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Robert Thomas Replied
iOS 13.2.3 includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPhone. This update:
  • Fixes an issue where system search and search within Mail, Files, and Notes might not work
  • Addresses an issue where photos, links, and other attachments might not display in the Messages details view
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent apps from downloading content in the background
  • Resolves issues that may prevent Mail from fetching new messages, and fail to include and quote original message content in Exchange accounts
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Alex Clarke Replied
Thanks! This must have just been released. 

I’ve upgraded and will monitor performance.

@Marc Frega, thanks for the update regarding Apple support. 
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Jade D Replied
We've seen similar issues with the latest version of SM + iOS but with all the users, we found that the grp file for that particular day was corrupt.

Check your logs to see if you see "corrupt" warnings
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Marc Frega Replied
I Hopeits 3.2.3 that fies. It does seem to pinpoint the exact issue in the release notes. I will followup.
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Marc Frega Replied
First indications are that it made it worse.
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Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post
I'm seeing improvements with the latest iOS update.  It looks like marking and deleting messages are now working properly.  Both macOS Catalina and iOS13 mail apps have been extremely buggy!
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Marc Frega Replied
Tim, the marking and deleting is not what this thread is about. I have several users that are asking me why don't we have this issue on gmail or on other imap servers.  I have an open ticket with support on this issue for several users.  The biggest impact here is that even though i only have 1300 users, the people who make the decisions on whether or not to stay with smartermail and go to gmail are the ones who are effected. The issue for my users is that 13.1.2 and above are progressively getting worse with 13.2.2 and 13.2.3.  in my tests I am seeing that users inboxes are not refreshing. so while it may show a count of unread messages, the actual inbox says no mail. in 13.2.3 that same mailbox being accessed by 5 different devices are showing different results.
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Marc Frega Replied
Im getting more reports on this.
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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
Marc, this issue will be brought up with development during our next review meeting. As of right now though, the resync operation we're seeing in the logs is being initiated from the client device, and this leads us to believe this is something potentially occurring in the iOS updates. We should have more information for you in the near future though so please standby and we'll get some feedback out to you as soon as possible. 
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
csoft Replied
I have the same issue on an iPhone X with iOS 13.2.3. Seems to be sporadic and not easily replicable.
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Brian Davidson Replied
Same here, especially with a large inbox. iOS 13.2.3 on (at least) iPhone 7 and iPhone XRs.
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Marc Frega Replied
Here is what I have confirmed.

IMAP is all i tested. and it is still happenning
Accounts can be new or older
Inbox size irrelevant
number of folders irrelevant
multiple devices using imap possibly is an influencer but only happens with iphone/ipads
IOS 12.x doesnt seem to suffer the problems
happens on sm16.x and current releases.
Doesnt happen with gmail
always effects my clients who are the most demanding and would really hurt me if they quit my services because of this.
those same clients say "why doesn't it happen with gmail and aol".


0
It seems to me an IOS issue, not a SmarterMail one.

Can you confirm?
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Marc Frega Replied
Smartertools believes it is not them but I was told they will be addressing it in some way in next release. I can confirm on my end of about 1500 users that only 5 reports have come in and I have been able to duplicate it and its only happenning on iphone IOS 13.x. No android users have reported the issue
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Tim Uzzanti Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
We don't believe the issues you are seeing are related to SmarterMail. We have seen, and continue to see, similar issues on Exchange as well as Office365 when using an iOS client.  This last minor update for iOS has drastically increased the stability of the mail app in iOS and Apple has conceded that iOS 13 was extremely buggy upon release. As a result, they’ve vowed to make changes to their release processes for future updates. 
 
Regarding responses from support relating to EAS, us “addressing (the issues) in some way” and our upcoming SmarterMail release, we have updated all protocols to be even more RFC compliant.  We have also added new features for all protocols.  I’m sure that’s what they mean, and not that we’re addressing this issue (these issues) in particular.) We have worked with Microsoft so that Outlook for iOS and Android perform similar to Exchange.  We have also approached timezones differently, which will help calendaring.  The number of improvements and changes we’ve made will improve things across all protocols and clients. That’s why we are asking customers to test the BETA to make sure anything they see today gets resolved early. If not, we want to know about it so we can work on it.
 
If your users are seeing problems using the mail app on iOS using EAS, it is critical they delete and re-add their accounts on iOS because the mail app doesn't recover well from a problem. Deleting and re-adding may help, but there’s no guarantee the issue won’t come back. It’s just that updates to the mail client and its ability to “recover” or stop repeating the same issues can be problematic at best — removing and re-adding can help things start fresh.
 
We are getting very close to the production release of the upcoming SmarterMail which will greatly simplify the conversation with customers because we will be focusing on one codebase... not two very different versions of SmarterMail.
Tim Uzzanti
CEO
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Alex Clarke Replied
Thanks for the update Tim. Is that a beta production release or final that you’re close to?
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Brian Davidson Replied
I appreciate the update as well. I will say that the IOS devices I've tested with the problem are on the latest version (13.2.3), so any improvements from that release didn't translate to our issue being solved.
2
Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
Just a quick follow up on the point Marc raised about improvements coming in IMAP. As Tim pointed out - This note was referring to incoming functionality in the IMAP protocol sync that should net better overall performance in the future. Unfortunately though this doesn't relate to the issue at hand and was more offered as a side note due to our troubleshooting.

On these sync issues, I have received word from two environments that IMAP sync is in better shape with the most recent updates to iOS. I've also heard another update is inbound at this time, and so we're going to reevaluate the behavior there to see if it has improved once available. 
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com

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