GMail configuration tip for iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Baron58, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    OK, to make up for all the useless crap threads with ill-informed speculation, here's something that will actually be useful.

    Let me preface this by saying that I'm *well* aware of the differences between IMAP and POP (having supported hundreds of users with both) and absolutely IMAP is better than POP for many reasons that go far beyond the superficial ones that most people cite. However....

    One of the most obvious advantages of IMAP over POP is that multiple email clients (say, your desktop and your iPhone) can see the same messages - If you 'get' your email on one device, you will 'get' the same email on the other device. By contrast, if you have POP'ed your email to one device, those messages aren't available to the other device any more (yes, I know you can do tricks with settings like 'leave on server', but that doesn't work in the expected way with GMail).

    So, if you want to use GMail and make sure that you get the exact same messages everywhere (GMail web interface/your Mac or PC mail software/your iPhone), Google has provided a feature to make sure this works smoothly. Here are the instructions from the GMail help site. Just use instead of just when setting up your GMail account on your iPhone, and it's all good.

    Don't fall into the hype about needing 'push' email (edit: in order to see your mail 'right away') - just set your checking interval for 1 minute, and you'll never be more than 60 seconds away from your newest email.

    (edited to clarify the last sentence)
  2. Aniej macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2006
    What do you mean fall into the hype about push?

    The iPhone has push and push does more than what you just listed, its functionality is not limited to just displaying the message in both locations.
  3. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    That's a great tip on how to get your gmail on every device. Just wish you had a trick so you didn't have to manually delete/file every email on each device. (i.e. if you delete an email on your iPhone, it's not going to delete that copy of the message from the web interface or your Mac/PC mail software -- you'll manually have to delete them there too). Since you've supported hundreds of users, I know you know this, but I thought I'd mention it for those who don't have as much POP experience.

    I don't know if this will hold true for the iPhone, but the battery difference between a Windows Mobile phone polling every 60 seconds and a Windows Mobile phone setup where Exchange pushes email directly to the device is pretty substantial. Push uses a lot less battery.
  4. Baron58 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    By 'hype' I meant 'misunderstanding what it means & does, and making decisions based on that misunderstanding'.

    The iPhone does not 'have' 'push'. ("Push" what? That's like ordering 'French'. Did you mean 'French fries', 'French dip', or 'French toast'? It's an adjective, not a noun.) The iPhone is capable of working with push IMAP service, if your mail provider offers it. GMail does not. The "push" feature of IMAP, which is not part of the basic IMAP specification, does not have anything to do with displaying the message in both locations. That, and many other cool features, are part of the basic IMAP specificaiton. The 'push' feature is simply a form of new-message notification.
  5. joshysquashy macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2005
    people mean push email. on a computer email is "pulled" from the web, this was the case with mobiles until recently.

    in order to minimise data bandwidth and other issues (not sure which ones), emails are sent to the phone like a txt is, and show up immediately, with no checking needed. the emails are pushed rather than pulled.
  6. Baron58 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Absolutely true, and a great point. I do really wish that Google offered IMAP service for GMail, but there's not a lot we can do about that right now. I'm just happy that at least there's not the problem of having some mails on one device and other emails on another device - that's a freakin' nightmare! Having to delete or mark-as-read is a minor inconvenience by comparison.

    Don't know, we'll have to see what it's like after the 29th, I guess.

    Personally, I won't have it polling every minute, 24/7. Most of the time I'll keep the mail client closed, especially when I'm at home with my computer.
  7. Baron58 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
  8. NJDevils44 macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2006
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I'm going to ignore the "hype about push" commentary, but I did not know about the recent feature. That's great information. Thanks! :)

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