Well, it needs to be a quick one today as I’m popping out later to take Edward on a visit to school – he’ll be starting in September and has had one afternoon visit to see how he got on (he liked it – liked the stories and played outside on the climbing frame which he loved) and he’s got a second visit today. So I must be finished in time to take him!
But first I wanted to talk about something that affects both tablets and PCs… but is most noticeable on tablets.
It’s about emails. There are lots of different ways to access your emails – different programs you can use or you can go to a website and log in (webmail). On the PC I think it’s about 50/50 – half of people use webmail, half use a program, but on tablets most people seem to use an app. (Don’t be put off by me calling it a program on a PC and an app on a tablet – it means the same thing but people tend to use different words.)
But what most people don’t realise is how the app (or program) checks for new emails.
I don’t mean technically – exactly what series of electronic dots and dashes it uses. I mean how it’s set up to do it – and when it does it.
On most apps, when you start the app up, it checks for any new emails. “Syncing” it’s often called, short for synchronising.
And then it periodically checks again.
But how often it checks varies quite a lot. On some devices it’s every couple of minutes or even every minute. On some it’s every five minutes or even more.
It doesn’t matter most of the time, but if you’re waiting for an email, it could be worth knowing.
For example, if you’ve just booked a hotel or a flight online or bought something and are waiting for the confirmation email. If your device only checks every five minutes and it’s just checked, then you click on “book” or “buy” or whatever, then even if the company you’ve bought from send the email immediately, you might not get it for five minutes.
Don’t worry, though. If you’re waiting for an email, you can tell your app or program to check for emails straight away. Look for a button marked “Sync” or in some older programs “Send and receive”. Or “Check for mail”. Or sometimes it’ll have a symbol that’s two curved arrows pointing at each others’ tails in a circle.
Then it’ll check for emails straight away rather than waiting for its next planned check. And you can tap or click that option as often as you like, so if the email hasn’t come in, wait a minute or so and tap it again.
I should also mentioned that sometimes emails aren’t immediate anyway. They usually are, more or less. But occasionally you’ll get one that takes a while – even hours – to get where it’s going, if it doesn’t go directly to you or if your email company is struggling to keep up. It doesn’t tend to happen as much nowadays as it used to, but it’s possible. So don’t assume the worst if an email doesn’t appear straight away.
Right, I’ve still got plenty of time to pop out and take Edward to school. Time for a cup of tea first to calm me down… not that I’m at all emotional about my little boy going to school or anything, oh no…