CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
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The present application is a continuation of and claims priority to U.S. non-provisional patent application having application Ser. No. 12/979,136 and filing date of 27 Dec. 2010, now U.S. Pat. No. ______, which is a continuation of and claims priority to U.S. non-provisional patent application having application Ser. No. 11/683,705 and filing date of 8 Mar. 2007, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,885,649, which is a continuation of and claims priority to U.S. non-provisional patent application having application Ser. No. 10/997,178 and filing date of 24 Nov. 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,212,814, each application being hereby incorporated by reference herein.
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1. Field of the Technology
The present application relates generally to mobile stations operating in a wireless communication network, and more particularly to methods and apparatus for efficiently managing the storage of e-mail message information for mobile stations.
2. Description of the Related Art
A wireless communication device, such as a mobile station operating in a cellular telecommunications network, may provide for both voice telephony and data communications. A mobile station may, for example, be compatible with 3rd Generation (3G) communication standards (such as IS-2000 Release 0) and utilize Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless network technologies.
Such mobile stations may have the ability to send and receive electronic mail (e-mail) messages. These e-mail messages may be seamlessly integrated, synchronized, and updated via the cellular network, with the mobile station user's corresponding e-mail messages being stored and/or associated with a host computer system or server to thereby create a mirrored host computer for the mobile station.
The mobile station itself, however, has a limited amount of memory for the storage of e-mail. Traditional techniques for managing the storage of e-mail message information involve the automatic deletion of some of the “oldest” e-mail messages in the memory once the memory is full or near full. This is inconvenient as there may be a desire to retrieve some of these older messages at some point in time.
Accordingly, what are needed are improved methods and apparatus for efficiently managing the storage of e-mail message information for mobile stations so as to overcome the deficiencies in the prior art.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
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Embodiments of present application will now be described by way of example with reference to attached figures, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram which illustrates pertinent components of a mobile station and a wireless communication network;
FIG. 2 is a more detailed diagram of a preferred mobile station of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an illustration of a preferred system for the mobile station of FIG. 1 or FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an illustration of a user interface of the mobile station which includes a visual display which displays a plurality of electronic mail (e-mail) message headers of e-mail messages stored in memory of the mobile station;
FIG. 5 is an illustration of the user interface of FIG. 4 which includes the visual display which displays an e-mail message body associated with one of the e-mail messages;
FIG. 6 is an illustration of a general format of an electronic mail (e-mail) message which includes an e-mail message header and an e-mail message body;
FIG. 7 is a flowchart for describing a method of efficiently managing the storage of e-mail message information for the mobile station; and
FIG. 8 is an illustrative depiction of the mobile station\'s memory which stores e-mail messages according to the present application.
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Methods and apparatus for efficiently managing the storage of e-mail message information for a mobile station are described herein. A plurality of e-mail messages are received by a mobile station through a wireless network and stored in memory. If a size of the e-mail messages reaches a predetermined limit of the memory, e-mail message bodies of some of the e-mail messages are deleted from the memory while e-mail message headers of the e-mail messages are retained. E-mail message headers of e-mail messages having deleted e-mail message bodies may still be visually displayed at the mobile station. If a user selection of one of these e-mail messages is identified, an e-mail message body of the e-mail message is requested by the mobile station and received from a server through the wireless network. Thus, the e-mail message body of the selected e-mail message can still be visually displayed at the mobile station.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a communication system 100 which includes a mobile station 102, which communicates through a wireless communication network 104. Mobile station 102 preferably includes a visual display 112, a keyboard 114, and perhaps one or more auxiliary user interfaces (UI) 116, each of which is coupled to a controller 106. Controller 106 is also coupled to radio frequency (RF) transceiver circuitry 108 and an antenna 110. Typically, controller 106 is embodied as a central processing unit (CPU), which runs operating system software in a memory component (not shown). Controller 106 will normally control overall operation of mobile station 102, whereas signal-processing operations associated with communication functions are typically performed in RF transceiver circuitry 108. Controller 106 interfaces with device display 112 to display received information, stored information, user inputs, and the like. Keyboard 114, which may be a telephone type keypad or full alphanumeric keyboard, is normally provided for entering data for storage in mobile station 102, information for transmission to network 104, a telephone number to place a telephone call, commands to be executed on mobile station 102, and possibly other or different user inputs.
Mobile station 102 sends communication signals to and receives communication signals from network 104 over a wireless link via antenna 110. RF transceiver circuitry 108 performs functions similar to those of a radio network (RN) 128, including for example modulation/demodulation and possibly encoding/decoding and encryption/decryption. It is also contemplated that RF transceiver circuitry 108 may perform certain functions in addition to those performed by RN 128. It will be apparent to those skilled in art that RF transceiver circuitry 108 will be adapted to particular wireless network or networks in which mobile station 102 is intended to operate.
Mobile station 102 includes a battery interface 122 for receiving one or more rechargeable batteries 124. Battery 124 provides electrical power to electrical circuitry in mobile station 102, and battery interface 122 provides for a mechanical and electrical connection for battery 124. Battery interface 122 is coupled to a regulator 126 which regulates power to the device, providing an output having a regulated voltage V. The output from battery interface 122 is further coupled to battery sensing circuitry 190 which helps monitor the condition of battery 124 with controller 106. Mobile station 102 also operates using a memory module 120, such as a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) or a Removable User Identity Module (R-UIM), which is connected to or inserted in mobile station 102 at an interface 118.
Mobile station 102 may consist of a single unit, such as a data communication device, a cellular telephone, a multiple-function communication device with data and voice communication capabilities, a personal digital assistant (PDA) enabled for wireless communication, or a computer incorporating an internal modem. Alternatively, mobile station 102 may be a multiple-module unit comprising a plurality of separate components, including but in no way limited to a computer or other device connected to a wireless modem. In particular, for example, in the mobile station block diagram of FIG. 1, RF transceiver circuitry 108 and antenna 110 may be implemented as a radio modem unit that may be inserted into a port on a laptop computer. In this case, the laptop computer would include display 112, keyboard 114, one or more auxiliary UIs 116, and controller 106 embodied as the computer\'s CPU. It is also contemplated that a computer or other equipment not normally capable of wireless communication may be adapted to connect to and effectively assume control of RF transceiver circuitry 108 and antenna 110 of a single-unit device such as one of those described above. Such a mobile station 102 may have a more particular implementation as described later in relation to mobile station 202 of FIG. 2.
Mobile station 102 communicates in and through wireless communication network 104. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, wireless network 104 is a Third Generation (3G) supported network based on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technologies. In particular, wireless network 104 is a cdma2000™ network which includes fixed network components coupled as shown in FIG. 1. Cdma2000™ is a trademark of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Wireless network 104 of the cdma2000-type includes a Radio Network (RN) 128, a Mobile Switching Center (MSC) 130, a Signaling System 7 (SS7) network 140, a Home Location Register/Authentication Center (HLR/AC) 138, a Packet Data Serving Node (PDSN) 132, an IP network 134, and a Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) server 136. SS7 network 140 is communicatively coupled to a network 142 (such as a Public Switched Telephone Network or PSTN), whereas IP network is communicatively coupled to a network 144 (such as the Internet).
During operation, mobile station 102 communicates with RN 128, which performs functions such as call-setup, call processing, and mobility management. RN 128 includes a plurality of base station transceiver systems that provide wireless network coverage for a particular coverage area commonly referred to as a “cell”. A given base station transceiver system of RN 128, such as the one shown in FIG. 1, transmits communication signals to and receives communication signals from mobile stations within its cell. The base station transceiver system normally performs such functions as modulation and possibly encoding and/or encryption of signals to be transmitted to the mobile station in accordance with particular, usually predetermined, communication protocols and parameters, under control of its controller. The base station transceiver system similarly demodulates and possibly decodes and decrypts, if necessary, any communication signals received from mobile station 102 within its cell. Communication protocols and parameters may vary between different networks. For example, one network may employ a different modulation scheme and operate at different frequencies than other networks. The underlying services may also differ based on its particular protocol revision.
The wireless link shown in, communication system 100 of FIG. 1 represents one or more different channels, typically different radio frequency (RF) channels, and associated protocols used between wireless network 104 and mobile station 102. An RF channel is a limited resource that must be conserved, typically due to limits in overall bandwidth and a limited battery power of mobile station 102. Those skilled in art will appreciate that a wireless network in actual practice may include hundreds of cells depending upon desired overall expanse of network coverage. All pertinent components may be connected by multiple switches and routers (not shown), controlled by multiple network controllers.
For all mobile station\'s 102 registered with a network operator, permanent data (such as mobile station 102 user\'s profile) as well as temporary data (such as mobile station\'s 102 current location) are stored in a HLR/AC 138. In case of a voice call to mobile station 102, HLR/AC 138 is queried to determine the current location of mobile station 102. A Visitor Location Register (VLR) of MSC 130 is responsible for a group of location areas and stores the data of those mobile stations that are currently in its area of responsibility. This includes parts of the permanent mobile station data that have been transmitted from HLR/AC 138 to the VLR for faster access. However, the VLR of MSC 130 may also assign and store local data, such as temporary identifications. HLR/AC 138 also authenticates mobile station 102 on system access. In order to provide packet data services to mobile station 102 in a cdma2000-based network, RN 128 communicates with PDSN 132. PDSN 132 provides access to the Internet 144 (or intranets, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) servers, etc.) through IP network 134. PDSN 132 also provides foreign agent (FA) functionality in mobile IP networks as well as packet transport for virtual private networking. PDSN 132 has a range of IP addresses and performs IP address management, session maintenance, and optional caching. RADIUS server 136 is responsible for performing functions related to authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) of packet data services, and may be referred to as an AAA server.