Finally, you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to Gmail on the iPhone. With the introduction of iCloud, Apple decided not to play nice with Gmail. This was a strategic move on their part -- if you use an @me.com email address (part of iCloud) then everything Just Works. But who wants to ditch their beloved Gmail address? The problem is this: Depending on how you set up your Gmail account on your iPhone, you can only have some of features, but never all of the features. There are many threads here on MacRumors and on the Apple forums with users who are upset about their Gmail experience in iOS 5. Often these complaints are as simple as "why doesn't archive work?" or "why won't push notifications work?", but the bigger issue is that the Gmail experience on the iPhone is not seamless. Depending on the method you used to set up Gmail on your phone, you will see different features: IMAP method (i.e. click "Gmail" when adding a new email account): The ability to archive and flag ('star') emails directly in the mail app New messages appear in Notification Center every 15 minutes Exchange method (i.e. set up "Microsoft Exchange" as described in these instructions): Instantaneous Push notifications New messages appear in Notification Center instantaneously Sync contacts Ability to select custom calendar colors Either method: Send and receive emails Sync calendars from Google Calendar There is a solution, but it takes a bit of configuration to get things working smoothly. Thanks to the new Gmail app for iPhone you can do all of the fun Gmail stuff (stars, labels, muting, archiving). You can also use Gmail's powerful searches. Unfortunately, this app does not work with Notification Center, but there is a workaround. After much experimentation, I'd recommend the following setup: Install the Gmail app from here Set up Gmail with the Exchange method (i.e. set up "Microsoft Exchange" as described here). Mail ON Contacts ON Calendars ON (edited Feb 6, 2012 -- sorry, this used to say "Off") Sync 3 days Push Inbox iCloud settings Mail = OFF Contacts = ON Calendars = OFF Reminders = ON Bookmarks = ON Notes = OFF Photo stream = ON Documents & Data = ON Find my phone = ON Enable Mail notifications via Push (Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars --> Fetch New Data) Push ON Fetch Manually Turn on mail notifications in the Notification Center (Settings --> Notifications --> Mail). Alerts: Banner Previews ON Badge App Icon OFF Show in lock screen ON Turn off notification center for the Gmail app (Settings --> Notifications --> Gmail). *see note below* Notification Center OFF Badge App Icon ON Sounds OFF (turn on if you want your phone to buzz every time you get a message) View in lock screen OFF Use the Gmail app for everything email-related. Put it in the bottom bar on the home screen, and hide your Mail app in a folder somewhere. If you use multiple Google calendars, you must configure them to sync with the Calendar app by enabling them for your device here. With the setup described here, new mail produces an instantaneous notification with an entry in the Notification center. It shows a banner on the display if you are using the phone. It updates the badge on the Gmail icon with the number of unread messages. The Gmail app allows you to do all of the snazzy Gmail stuff (searching, archiving, labels, etc.) This is my personal solution -- I'm documenting it here as much for my own recollection as to hopefully help others. If this helped you, or if I missed a step, or if you have your own solution, please post below. *Note: Currently, the Google Gmail app for iPhone does not support notification center. If/when they ever add this functionality, new mail notifications on the lock screen will be directed to the Gmail app instead of the Mail app. As of today (January 3, 2012), this is not yet the case.