Google Sync Gets Push Gmail Support on the iPhone


gmail_sync_comicOh, MobileMe, how will you deal with this latest threat to your iPhone (s aapl) feature dominance? First it was improved Exchange support, and now it’s push Gmail using Google Sync.

Remember Google Sync? It’s the service from Google (s goog) which allows you to synchronize your contacts and calendar with your iPhone or iPod touch, in much the same way that MobileMe users can, only using a free service instead of a paid one. With Gmail push support, the trifecta of basic services is now complete.

True, MobileMe users still get some questionable value-add services like photo and video media-sharing via their MobileMe gallery, online disk storage space, cloud data backup, and Find My iPhone and other remote anti-theft and security features, but will those be enough to stop people from switching over to Google’s free, just-the-basics service? Time will tell. I know I’m thinking seriously about not renewing my MobileMe subscription at this point.

Google Sync allows you to mix and match, so you don’t have to enable all three of the syncing services. That’s a good thing for people like me whose Google Contacts is in a state of utter disarray, but who often uses Google Calendar and Gmail.

You can get set up with Google Sync by following the instructions posted here, if you haven’t already been using it. If you have, check out these instructions to get Gmail’s push features working for you. Gmail push also works on Windows Mobile devices, which no one in their right mind should be using anymore, unless forced to by the company they work for. Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to thumb my nose at BlackBerry (s rimm) users.



If Gmail is your primary account for everything (mail, contacts, calendar), then I see this as a good thing for Gmail users. However, I hardly see this as a threat to MobileMe. I have two Gmail accounts (home and university) and use it a lot but it’s not the end-all-be-all of e-mail as some people make it out to be.

Anna Langella

Didn’t this already exist? I’ve had Gmail on my iPhone (set up by choosing “Microsoft Exchange”) for a long time now. What is the difference between what I had and this new setup?


I had a Mobileme account for a year but unfortunately it seemsto be very slow to upload/download content from Australia. I used to try to keep my iPhoto galleries sync’d but it always took forever (and it wasn’t my local connection as I have a fast Adsl2+ connection).
The other thing that prevented me from renewing myobileme account was the inability to use my own email domain. I can use my domain for the web browsing but not my email. As everyone I know has my email address and I have registered my domain for the next 10 years I wanted to be able to continue using it. I find it quite disappointing that people can’t use their own domain names as it seems like quite a simple “feature” (and is supported by google).
I’d use the MobileMe service again if it had this ability as I did like the ease of syncing and the push email to my iPhone


doesn’t work for me. I had contacts and calendar working and just enabled Mail in the mail settings. When I go to the Mail Application it keeps telling me it can’t connect to the server.


update: now appears to be pushing the visual notification instantaneously(number on the mail icon), but not the mail notification sound


that is..the push functionality doesn’t work…the mail syncs fine, but no push


I was already using google sync on the iphone for contacts and calendars and I just enabled mail in the iphone settings and ran a few tests and it doesn’t appear to be working for me.


Yup, without the support for multiple Exchange accounts this is darn near useless. MobileMe is great, and I use it heavily, but I also use works Exchange, and other personal GMail accounts over IMAP. It would be great to have GMail push, but not at the expense of giving up work’s Exchange connectivity.


Great news! Will this also resolve the problem with calendar invitations? So they show up in the calendar app.


Until the iPhone supports more than one Exchange account, this is a no go for me (and a lot of other people.)


I agree 100%. I would love to use the service, but already have an Exchange server setup for work.

Mark Crump

I think it’s a limitation of the ActiveSync protocol, not the iPhone. Which means, “probably never.”


I don’t get why every time an apple website reports on something like this they have to make some smart ass comment about mobile me. Mobileme is much more than this. It’s a hodgepodge of little and big features that’s also dead simple. I know, for some people it would be a waste of money. But for many, it’s worth it.

To take this one little development as some precursor to mobileme death is comical. It shows the author is either completely out of it or a troll. Pick one.


MobileMe not only synchronize emails, contacts, calendars, but also keychains, email accounts / rules, preferences, bookmarks, dashboard widgets, etc. Even third-party applications use MobileMe to synchronize their data: TextExpander, Yojimbo, etc.

Until I can do all that for free and without hassle I’m sticking to MobileMe.

I also don’t like the way Google’s IMAP works. I prefer to organize my emails into folders. Google’s implementation of tags and archiving leaves a lot to be desired for my taste. For example, I don’t like having all my Sent email always there in the Sent folder, I like to archive it and have it gone from there. In GMail you can do that, but the emails still show in the Sent folder (unless I’m doing something really wrong).

Until then MobileMe it is for me.


I’m confused… You don’t like your “Sent email always there in the Sent folder”? What is it that you use a “Sent” folder for, if it’s not for sent mail?

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