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Fetch New Mail.app Messages from Your Phone

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retrieve emailsThis post is intended for people with mobile phones that don’t have Internet access, but can receive emails in the form of text messages. You will also be interested in this post if you’ve had problems with Mail.app rules in Leopard.

Need to check for new messages in Mail.app from your stone-age mobile phone? No problem. Send yoursef an email with a preset subject like “MsgFetch” and your unread emails received that day will be forwarded to your phone. This way you don’t always forward to your phone, burning up all your text messages.

The script will append the sender name into the subject so it’s easy to glance at your phone and see who sent each message – since they’re all forwarded from your email address. The messages are marked as read in Mail.app so they won’t be resent if you issue another request later.

One more thing: This solution also gets around a problem with rules in Mail.app under Leopard. It seems that scripts called by a rule won’t generate a new mail message, which is something this script needs to do.

Instead of relying on the rules of Mail.app, the rule processing is baked into the Applescript. By setting the script to run on a periodic basis we can test for trigger emails in the inbox.

How do you get the script to run periodically? You can have iCal do it. Or you could use something like Lingon to configure launchd, which handles scheduled tasks in Leopard. This post has a screencast that covers Lingon.

You could also create a shell script that kicks off your Applescript, or a group of Applescripts for that matter. The shell script would look something like this:

osascript <path to script file>/ <script file>

or

osascript ~/Documents/scripts/mailforwarder.scpt

You can download the Applescript and read the in-line comments explaining how it works. But let’s take a quick look at two excerpts from the Applescript:

The first part of the script handles what a Mail.app rule would normally cover. Since rules aren’t working as expected the Applescript handles that duty by looking for an unread email with MsgFetch in the subject. If there is such a message the script calls a subroutine ( a chunk of script) called mail_forwarder.


The other part we’ll look at is located within the mail_forwarder subroutine. It finds the emails that arrived today. The next part, not shown here, checks to see if the message has been read.



The rest of the script has been covered in other Murphy Mac posts. It’s the part that creates and sends the mail message. Murphy’s posts on mailing files from Finder and retrieving files by email both create and send mail messages using Applescript. The Finder post has a screencast that goes with it.

Related posts:

Using Lingon

Creating a shell script

Other tricks with Mail: Pick a Playlist by EmailRetrieve a File by EmailMail a File Dropped in a Finder Folder

Download Applescript | Permalink

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