GoogleSync Brings Push Gmail to iPhone - At Last!

Google's official mobile blog has just (and finally!) announced Push Gmail support for the iPhone!

Integrated into their existing GoogleSync service, which up until now supported only contacts and calendar, now:

Using Google Sync, you can now get your Gmail messages pushed directly to your phone. Having an over-the-air, always-on connection means that your inbox is up to date, no matter where you are or what you're doing. Sync works with your phone's native email application so there's no additional software needed. Only interested in syncing your Gmail, but not your Calendar? Google Sync allows you to sync just your Contacts, Calendar, or Gmail, or any combination of the three.

One big caveat remains, however. GoogleSync is powered by Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, and most devices -- including the iPhone -- can only handle one (1) EAS account at a time. So, if you're already using Exchange ActiveSync for your corporate email, that slot is taken and GoogleSync is useless to you.

For everyone else -- joy! And if you try it out, let us know how it works for you!

[Thanks to mattshall for the head's up!]

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Finalyyy
  • Yeah boi!!!!!
  • From what I can tell you can only set up sync through a computer, not on mobile safari directly. Requests me to back up my data there before setting up push notifications.
  • YEZ!!! Works great for me. All my folders are there and everything! THANK YOU GOOGLE! What changed to let this through? The only thing that would make this better is if it didn't take up my one lonely Exchange slot. FTW!
  • I'm using mobile me... so i can't use this =/
  • works like a charm. the best email service just got better. you could kiis all those garbage apps with notification good bye. pushmail, gpush, you could work or not work when ever you want from now...see ya
  • works like a charm! Finally.
  • zomg finally! now i can get rid of gpush which, while a valiant effort, just never worked consistently. thank you, google.
  • I'm syncing contacts and mail. Just go to settings>contacts (I already had contacts set up through exchange) and turn on the services you want. Google says you can sync mail, contacts, and calendar. I'm syncing calendar through ical right now though so I just have mail and contacts turned on.
  • Oh yeah, I've tested it several times and it's working like a champ. So far the mail app has taken no longer than one minute to ding at me and tell me I've gotten the email I just sent myself from the computer.
  • Doesn't work for me as I'm already using Exchange for mynoffice email. :/
  • Now I can drop nuevasync! That service was never reliable for me.
  • I just received this text message from at&t: Picture &video message(MMS) will be available for iphone on 9/25. While we prepare your account for MMS capability, the current " view my message" experience will be turned off but your ability to send and receive text messages will not be affected.
  • Works great!
    Further you get to choose which folders to push so you can filter the unimportant stuff aside with your google control panel.
    With google handling imap quite well, it's really only the notifications that are being pushed so this should not lead to massive battery drain. (Since the actual mail message itself is only fetched on request).
    It's fast too.
  • View my message experience?? Is that what they wewe calling it? Nightmare would be mort accurate.
  • iPhoneMilk: You can use MobileMe with 1 Exchange account (google in this instance). I did it since google opened sync.
  • Doesn't work for me, keeps on requesting my password, saying its incorrect. When in fact it is correct. Luckily I've the Push Mail app, but It would be nice to have sync, Oh well.
  • Works ok, but keeping gpush, i like the popup notification!
  • OK, but I have two gmail accounts, so I imagine I can't use push with both of them...
  • My bad, fixed it now, push is working perfectly fine. Make sure you the full email address, for example not
  • Sweet I got props for the heads up! :)
  • So far I haven't managed to figure out how to get popups about the new mails being pushed though. Indeed, is it even possible? If not, I just might hang on to that gpush for a while more...
  • @kristian
    Push Email and Push Notifications are two different things. Push Email just pushes the email to your phone, rather than your phone fetching. Push Notifications are the popups you refer to
  • P.S. And now let the complaints about battery life with push begin...
  • @Joe McG: Ah, right! Thanks for the clarification.
    Then, personally, I'll turn off push email and keep to push notification (fetching email manually when I know something interesting has turned up in the inbox).
  • @Joe McG:
    Push Email just pushes the email to your phone, rather than your phone fetching. Push Notifications are the popups you refer to
    However, it gets a little murky when you are talking about an Imap mail account.
    Most people run google as Imap, (you can choose, but there's little reason to use pop).
    With imap, the message is not actually pushed to your phone, only the notification of the message, and maybe headers and subject.
    The actual mail is not fetched till you tap on that message.
    But no pop-ups in either case, nor with any other mail. I suspect this would be a little unmanageable given the volume of email most people get.
  • Oh oh...
    Seven message came thru fine, and now the account is saying it can't connect to the server anymore, and the swirly thing is running constantly.
    Well it was fun while it lasted. A few bugs to shake out I think.
  • i was wondering why my phone kept going off, i though i was going crazy. now i just can't wait for my picture messaging to come through. it's like christmas!!! woot!!
  • Im a little confused by the directions on googles site. It states:
    If you'd like to enable Google Sync for your domain, follow these steps:
    The google help des
    In the Service settings section of your Dashboard, click Mobile.
    Select the checkbox next to Enable Google Sync.
    Click Save changes.
    This feature is currently available only in the Next Generation version of the control panel.
    I am not seeing any of this when I look at my gmail inbox. Closest thing Is ee is "settings," and nothing in there shows anything mobile. What am I missing?
  • My swirly thing running constantly too.
  • @Kristian:
    Then, personally, I’ll turn off push email and keep to push notification (fetching email manually when I know something interesting has turned up in the inbox).
    That doesn't seem to make much sense. Your mail application will get a badge, and optionally vibrate. Why would you also need a pop up about mail?
  • nevermind its magically working now.
  • Nice! But, let me ask this, has anyone noticed that thus far it's a little slow? I wonder if that's because every iPhone/GMail lover is hammering the servers :)
  • Duh, I've been using this for almost 8 months already...where have you been?
  • I am having the issue with the constant attempt at connecting ("the swirly thing") also. It is working sporadically...
  • Constant swirly here too...
  • Surprised this hasn't been touched on, but do you need the enterprise data plan to utilize this?
  • No you do not need the enterprise data plan, i am on the regular and have been using for 8 months already with no problems.
  • Also getting the constant swirly and it's very slow and draining my battery to death. Maybe I have it set up wrong?
  • @Icebike: Gpush (push notification) gives me popups with subject line and sender. Not only do I get a badge and optional vibration, but I know what the badge and optional vibration is for. I can choose whether there's an email I actually want to read right now, or not.
    The email push would give me badge, sound and optional vibration, but I'd only know there is mail, not what mail there'd be.
    Although I appreciate the fact that this might be useless, or next to it, for people who get a huge quantity of email, it suits my needs quite well.
  • Everyone else find it slow??
  • Very. Waiting on it updating my contacts to my phone. Taken 40 minutes to get mail and calendar.
  • I guess I shouldn't turn off my Mobile ME just yet! Still very slow. But, again, I'm sure it's because everyone and their mama is trying to connect. So hopefully tomorrow it will be much better...
  • "The actual mail is not fetched till you tap on that message. "
    Wait, really? So its kind of useless for those of us with iPod touches. I was hoping that I could set it up to push mail to my phone so it would magically get mail whenever I had wifi (doing the check every 15 minutes thing drains the battery when it gets blocked by not having wifi).
    But anyway, how do you set it up? is it in Mail settings or gmail settings or what?
  • Getting the swilly and "connecting" lasting forever!!! This will kill the battery life!! Anyone else?
    I also go a message saying "This Message has not been downloaded from the server." and I can't see the body of the email.
  • @gnash I've been getting the "This Message has not been downloaded from the server." also. I'm hoping all this is sort of a one time thing otherwise I'll go back to just plain old IMAP.
  • I can't delete messages on the iphone using gmail sync. Says message cannot be moved to trash.
    Any clues?
  • Mine isn't working for crap. First it wouldn't validate my account when I attempted to set up. Now my account seems to be validated but I'm lucky if I can retreive my mail, let alone consider it pushed or synced. I get a spinning wheel and can almost see my battery gague moving. :-) All that, and the only entries on my calendar are my repeating ones. No sign of my one-off entries/events.
    Here's a thread for those having similar problems:
    Hoping a little time will fix it, but its relatively inconvenient. Don't really want to re-add my GMail account the old fashioned way for it to work, but maybe I need to give it a couple days to settle down.
  • I have a great design for a iphone app
    how do i find someone to design it for me?
  • Ok, I seem to have been overreacting. Email sync seems to be working well now and all my calendar entries are there. It looks like it just took about 45 mins or so and 1/3 of my battery (over 3G) to get things synced and rolling along.
    Google does seem to have confirmed a load issue, though...
  • It's kinda working when it wants to. It's fairly slow and I have the swirley thing constantly. I'm going to try and change my email to @google instead and @gmail.
    It could be the way it was supposed to be done and that's what it's acting crazy. I'm a putz, I get it.
  • Nope, doesn't work at all that way.
  • @mminoo and others: This doesn't replace gpush or PushMail. Those are for push notifications which the native Mail app still will not do.
  • Yeah, I spoke too soon again. That thread I linked to is a month old, so I'm not aware of any acknowledgement Google gave of load issues today. Like Gregory Foster said, it seems to work off and on. For a while it seemed pretty quick, but my last two tests took 9 minutes and 5 minutes before I dinged. Regardless, hopefully it settles down in the next couple days and weeks as people aren't bogging down the server getting themselves setup.
  • How is this different from setting up the address to imap gmail. It updates my inbox fine, havw been using it it for 2 years
  • What's the name if this app we are talking about can't find it....
  • Works for me, but
    1. Slow (for now, probably due to high # of people configuring/trying out)
    2. Had to strip from my username to get it to work.
  • Just got a push email! All my folders show up now; however checking all mail is still slow.
  • wow, well done google!
  • I've been using for push email and its perfect, just like it comes from gmail.
  • Now we need Apple to add Reply-To address and Unified Inbox and we rocking
  • Mine isn't working. Was working fine before with contacts/calenders but now nothing happens. Their instructions also do not seem as clear as before.
  • @Stin7k:
    Their instructions also do not seem as clear as before.
    If you had Contacts/Calendars syncing, all you have to do is go to that account on the phone and Move the Mail slider to On just like the Contacts/Calendars.
    You're done.
  • @Patrick:
    Well, no, Nuevasync is not perfect. I used it for a while, but no more. They have more outages than Gmail.
    Plus, you have entrusted your password to a third party to store on their servers, and log into your account. Always a bad idea.
    Plus they take up one of your login count. (You can only have something like 10 stations logged in at once, overkill for most of us, but our Illustrious Leader Herr Rene managed to get oversubscribed and didn't even realize it.
  • Controlling the The Swirly....
    It seems to me that the swirly at the top of the screen keeps running directly proportional to the number of Mail days to sync setting you used.
    For very busy mail account, where you have lots of mail sitting around, setting this too high seems to keep the swirly on forever.
    Gmail never did this before. Anyone else seeing this?
  • @Jessica:
    Then use Pop for your Touch, since it does not always have a connection. It will download all the mail when it does connect.
  • @John:
    How is this different from setting up the address to imap gmail. It updates my inbox fine, havw been using it it for 2 years
    It will tell you within a minute or two that mail has arrived.
    This way you will not miss that notification from the Ex President of Nigeria telling you about the 850 Million he wants to share with you.
    Other than timeliness, it adds nothing. Its a cute toy for 98% of the people who wanted it (including me) but it wastes more battery than fetch on a 30 minute cycle.
  • Works so far!
  • Sweet! I love it.
  • I set this up and it works great...except now whenever I send an email on my phone to someone, it sends a copy of it to my apple mail. My phone is not setup to automatically BCC myself. Any ideas on how to fix this?
  • Finally! Works great for me.
  • Any idea about having MobileMe calender sync on and google calender sync on? think they will get screwed up or work together?
  • @cdudek2
    maybe you set this copy option in your GMail control panel on the web?
  • i just paid for mobileme 2 days ago!!
  • sorry for the language
  • It's working well now. Instant email push! We'll see how it affects battery life...
  • Im using push Mobile Me. over 3G I am at 5 hours 13 minutes usage and 13 hours 33 minutes standby. I dont think push is a battery killer.
  • Here's a complete tutorial on how to setup push gmail on your iPhone!
  • Since i wiped my iphone and set up as "new phone" didnt restore from backup. and after it was done the first thing i did was set up push gmail. that was an hour and a half ago and i have yet to receive the test email i sent to myself from another email.
    EVEN MANUALLY GOING INTO MAIL APP DOESN'T FORCE A FETCH of the new email. this is totally unacceptable. I guess google is back in beta :/ I'll just keep using my 15 minute fetch thank you very much.
    Contacts and calenders both synced and work fine though...
  • If you really need contents of your Gmail inbox pushed to you and you've already used up your Microsoft Exchange account, you could set up a Yahoo! account and have Gmail forward all your messages to the Yahoo! account. Yahoo! has push email for iPhone. Most of you already know this but for those that don't.
  • Oh well I cant have my Microsoft Mail on there. Not like I need to know all about work when Im not there. I much prefer my gmail sync with push. Also microsoft require you to turn on your passcode ;(
  • Ok... Now I'm not sure if it is killing my battery or maybe I turned paranoid..
    I've been using GPush for a month now and it seems like it required less power for that. Do you think there's any difference between push notifications and the Gmail push services in terms of power consumption?
  • Hi
    So why would Push affect your battery more than say the app GPush.
    Does Push Notification use battery even when you don't have any emails coming in?
    Since every time I'm notified I have an email I fetch it I can't understand why this would be any different?
  • Hello, long story short. I have my company email (Domino Lotus notes) forwarding to my gmail account. Gmail then pushes this email to my iPhone. How can I get my iphone to reply from my work email address rather than my gmail account?
  • I wanted popups with message snippets, and for it to download the whole message. Not sure if this is useful to me at all as is. I don't really see how it's any better than imap with fetching every 15 minutes. And to the person who said I should use pop-- why? Imap downloads the whole message too... And syncs better all around ( ie at all).
    But, I didn't know you could sync with google calendar. Does it sync both directions? I currently just use iCal, and when I tried setting this up, I don't think any events from my iPod made it to google calendar. I thought it might be useful to sync iCal and google calendar, but I'm not sure it works like that.
  • When I enable push thru google sync my inbox shows messages that I've already deleted throughout the day. Any one know why this might happen. When I switch back to IMAP it shows my correct inbox.
    Any insights?
  • I was on nuevasync and found it slow and unreliable. Switched back to imap 2 months ago and a few weeks ago bought gpush and love it. Thought ibwoyld give google exchange sync a try as I already use google exchange sync for my calendar and contacts and love it.
    Anyway gmail exchange sync is not ready for prime time yet. No editing drafts (just like nuevasync). Slow folder loads. Some folders have nothing inside even though I have hundreds really in them. And that swirly thong seems to always be going.
    I really like the push notification pop up from gpush as it let's me see who the email is from and the subject. This way if it is not important I put my phone back down and can read the email later.
  • Everything is still working fine with one exception. Not all of my folders are syncing properly. About half of them are correct but the server is not populating the others. Any ideas as to what may be occurring?
  • It's official Gmail Push on iPhone 3G drains battery at no time. fully charged my battery. at 4pm disconnected from charger Usage: 3 hours 36 minutes, Standby 23 Hours 42minutes. 20% only left. Verdict: FAIL !
  • mine is working, but no sounds, badges, or notifications...why???
  • @zak :
    turn off mute, badges do not appear if mail is in subfolder, exchange activesync push is not push notifications.
  • wow, my blackberry has ALWAYS been able to do this.
  • HI everyone,
    I have to say that it works, but it is quite a bad service.
    First of all, if you have a "tilde" in your name like me (Javier González), exchange send the mail like Javier Gonz?lez. It may not be so bad; hawever there is a major bug; when you write a large mail, exchange will tabulate it randomly, so the reader will find out an extremely unpleasant reading...
    In my view there is still too much to do, even when this is a great concept for a new service!
  • I set up Gmail push (through Exchange) today and noticed it was not working consistently. Some test e-mails came through just fine, some not at all ... some "this message was not downloaded from the server" notes...
    I decided between the spotty performance and the potential battery issues to switch back to fetch. It's a good thing -- and here's a tip -- that instead of deleting the Gmail account I initially added to the iPhone, I just turned it off when I added the Exchange account. Now I've just turned off Exchange and turned Gmail back on. Easy enough.
    Besides, it dawned on me that I get enough e-mails that I'm not sure I want the notification going off for each one. This way I can just check every 15 minutes to see what's up.
  • Why not (GoogleSync/Push) your Contacts and Calandars... and (Fetch) gmail, so you get notifications icon on the homescreen.
    I would probably turn off (GoogleSync/Push) once after I updated all my Conacts and Calandars jsut to save battery life. Use it only once-in-while during changes.
  • It works pretty bad.
    When it was only Contacs and Calendars it worked great, with real Push.
    But now with Mail, it is not pushing anything! It only works when it wants to, and when it's not I can't even download mails manually.
    I have another account configured with the Gmail settings, and it works perfect fetching emails, so I guess the problem is with Exchange.
    Is there another way to Push Mail, Contacts and Calendars without the crappy Exchange? Please Google, male it!
  • Works well up to now.
    Well pleased
  • working offline with gmail push on the iphone is a big drama! can't move or delete any messages offline!! think i will switch back to imap
  • Mail for my domain has not been "pushing" with any regularity for the past several days.
  • Push not working for the past 4 days, how long us it gonna take google to fix this??????
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