Multiple From Addresses on the BlackBerry

Out of the box (at least with an “internet plan”), the BlackBerry doesn’t support multiple e-mail personalities (multiple “from” addresses). This absolutely shocked me. The BlackBerry is widely regarded as being a superior mobile e-mail device, so much so that users will forgive pretty much any other shortcomings it may have in other areas, so to discover that it lacked the functionality I had in my mail clients back in the mid-90’s was really a surprise.

There are two products that people recommend to provide multiple From addresses for the BlackBerry:

  • BBReply (free, open source)
  • PocketDay (commercial, there is a stand-alone util that does just the Reply-To as well according to what I’ve gleaned from the various BB forums)

Unfortunately, neither of these actually provide multiple From addresses or “personality” support, they only allow you to set a Reply-To field for the message. I tried to get BBReply working, and failed.

The :scare: solution :/scare: , is really just to stop fighting with what isn’t there and use what is – support for multiple e-mail accounts in the BIS set-up. I choose Google as my free POP mail account provider, added 2 more Gmail accounts and hooked them along with my existing 2 Gmail accounts up in BIS (with filters to never forward mail from these accounts to my BlackBerry), and I now have 5 accounts to send mail from.

Sure, I have to remember which real e-mail address is have masquerading as a Gmail address (the From options show the “real” e-mail address), but I set up the Gmail accounts in a smart way so that isn’t much of an issue.

Do I think it’s ridiculous to jump through these hoops to get multiple “From” functionality on the BlackBerry? Oh yes. Have I decided that it’s not worth fighting against how the BlackBerry wants to work? Yes again. :)

I’m complaining a lot about things I find to be shortcomings on the BlackBerry, mainly because I don’t like taking a giant step backwards in certain areas when I “upgrade”, but there are some really nice things as well; as I’ve noted in previous posts.

There is also one big issue that makes the BlackBerry very appealing that I haven’t really covered yet. More on that later.

UPDATE: This solution works on T-Mobile, but may not work on Cingular (see comments).