How to improve mail search from iPad and other mobile devices

Bron Gondwana brong at
Thu Sep 18 11:43:36 EDT 2014

On Thu, Sep 18, 2014, at 11:51 PM, Sebastian Hagedorn wrote:
> Hi,
> my boss has tasked me with improving the performance of IMAP searches using 
> mail clients on mobile devices, mostly Apple's Mail on iPhone and iPad, 
> because that's what he uses. The bad performance he experiences is 
> exacerbated by the fact that he has one of the largest mail accounts we 
> have: currently he has 23 GB of mails ... at least they're not all in his 
> INBOX – he has about 1,750 folders.
> According to Apple's manual, Mail searches all folders like this: 
> "Searching looks at the address fields, the subject, and the message body."
> Search for addresses and subject should in theory be reasonably fast 
> because the results should mostly come from the cache. We also use 
> squatter, which should help with the body searches. However, each mailbox 
> is currently squatted roughly every 24 hours. With busy mailboxes I presume 
> that leaves a large window where search will have to fall back to searching 
> every message in that mailbox, right?
> We are looking into using metapartitions to move all the relevant files to 
> SSD to make access to cache and squat files faster, but that won't help 
> with "outdated" squat files, right? Would it make sense to squat his 
> mailboxes more often?

It sounds remarkably like you want the full text xapian indexing that exists
in the FastMail branch!


  Bron Gondwana
  brong at

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