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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gmail Tips: Gmail on iPhone

If you set up your mail on the iPhone as a "Gmail" account, you're probably not getting mail "pushed" to your phone.  This means that the iPhone or you have to manually ask Gmail if there's new mail, which in turn means you don't get an email notification in real time.  The Gmail experience on your iPhone isn't the best experience, but having mail sent to your phone a few seconds after Gmail receives it makes it that much better.

When setting up Gmail on the iPhone you need to select Microsoft Exchange as your account type.  As shown to the right.  To get to this screen go to Settings -> "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" -> "Add Account...".   Once you select Microsoft Exchange as your mail type, fill in the following like so:
  • Domain:
  • Email:
  • Server:
  • Username:  your gmail address
  • Password:  your gmail password

And that's it.  Now when you send mail to your gmail account, you will get it instantly on your phone.  The full official documentation is located on Google's site.

What the what?  If you set up your gmail as a Microsoft Exchange account like above, you'll notice that there's no actual way to really delete mail in gmail.  Sure you can try hit the trash icon, but if you look in your gmail account you'll see that the message is just archived and put into the "All Mail" folder, not deleted.  If you haven't set your gmail up like above, read the next paragraph.  I'm sad to say, there is no way to delete a message from your iPhone when gmail is set up as Exchange.  However, I recently learned from a friend that there is a way to handle this:
  1. Set up a "trash!" label in Gmail.
  2. Every time you want to delete mail from you iPhone, label it with the "trash!" label.
  3. Every once in a while when you feel like cleaning house, log into Gmail, select all the "trash!" labeled messages and hit Delete.
If you set up Gmail as a Gmail account (and not like above) you can delete messages from your iPhone.  Here's how:
  1. Open  Settings -> "Mail, Contacts, Calendars"
  2. Select your Gmail account
  3. Set the Archived Messages to OFF

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