Friday, July 24, 2009

Email Standards Support Chart - Update

I've added a second, handy chart

Email Standards Support

CSS Selectors BlackBerrys & Treos iPhone 2.1 iPhone 2.2 & 3.0
Background-position a:hover
Descendant-selectors ? ?
Font family/size/weight/style
Font-family names with quotes
Font inheritance
Varying link-colors

HTML 1993 Support (HTML 1.0)

  iPhones BlackBerry Bold & Android Every other smart phone
HTML 1.0

Android hits the same low bar of the Blackberry Bold

Following CSS support in mobile email clients is getting discouraging. At least with Android Google has chosen to display the email as unstyled HTML similar to the BlackBerry Bold. This trend to support basic HTML instead of reproducing the HTML as a nasty looking text email (å la Palm Pre and most BlackBerrys) at least gives senders some comfort that their CSS layout emails may some day degrade nicely and predictably for mobile devices. If only Microsoft would Fix Outlook so we could use CSS layouts again...

At any rate, Android's lack of CSS support is a disappointing start but their HTML 1.0 support at least leaves us with hope for the future. Here's what it looks like:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Official Gmail Blog: Unsubscribing made easy

Gmail's update: Official Gmail Blog: Unsubscribing made easy was poorly reported by Tech Crunch. Gmail is addressing a few issues with this feature:
  1. Reducing spam by making it easier for people to get off of mailing lists.
  2. Reducing false positives by making it easier for legitimate mailers to get annoyed subscribers off their lists.
  3. BREAKING THE CYCLE of irritated subscribers of legitimate lists creating false positives in Gmail's spam filter but not being removed from senders' lists. As a result, the next newsletter is still likely to be sent to the irritated subscriber.

I don't think Mr. Schonfled is aware how much power Gmail users have when they flag email as spam. He's also making the assumption that what is spam to him is spam to me and you. This is simply not the case. A vocal minority who decide your favorite newsletter is spam can prevent that newsletter from getting through to you. If enough Gmail users flag email from a sender as spam, Gmail can use that information to:

  • Block the sending ip address.
  • Report the ip address to a blacklist.
  • Move other like messages in other Gmail users' accounts to their spam folder
  • Feedback to the sender

Gmail will do any or all of these things based on the ingenious logic of Mr. Taylor and his team.

As much as we hate spam, we are also frustrated when email we want doesn't get through to us. Gmail is refining its tools to help keep the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. I like the move. We're going to add List-Unsubscribe to our headers in the near future as a result of Gmail's move.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Palm Pre doesn't support HTML email

This is disappointing from such a promising device. The Palm Pre doesn't support HTML at all. Sadly, the Pre chooses to render a text-ish. version of the HTML version of the email rather than displaying the Text Only version of the multipart ACID test email.
Thanks to Jonathan I. Ezor for the screen shots!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mobile Email Rendering iPhone 3.0 update

Quick notes for designers. The iphone gives users a preview of the first 70 or so characters of text of the email.

When viewed vertically, the viewable area of the email is: 320 pixels wide x 372 pixels high

When viewed horizontally, the viewable area of the email is: 480 pixels wide x 236 pixels high

In both cases, users can zoom to the the width of a div or td within the content.

Interestingly, the h1, h2 & h3 tags seem to have been reduced in size while the p tags have not.

Floats seem to be the only thing that doesn't work properly.

Check out the whole collection on Flickr