How to properly set up Gmail on your iPad
:: Monday, April 5th, 2010 @ 3:01:29 pm
UPDATE: This post is only valid for users using iPads and iPhones prior to iOS 4. Users running iOS 4 should read this post instead.
If you’re a Gmail user and have just taken delivery of a shiny new iPad, you should be sure to set your Gmail account up properly, just like you had to when you set up your iPhone. On the iPhone, the default Gmail setup did bad things because it violated Gmail conventions (actually deleting your mail instead of archiving it). I’m not sure if they’ve fixed the issue on the iPad, but the only way to be sure is to set it up manually.
Here’s what to do:
Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars and tap Add Account... under Accounts.
Select Other, and then, Mail Account. DO NOT select Gmail.
Use imap.gmail.com as incoming server and smtp.gmail.com as outgoing server. Put in your entire gmail address and password in both incoming and outgoing server settings.
Go back to iPad home and start up the Mail app. Once it connects and downloads mail for the first time, go back to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Select the new mail account you just created, scroll down, and tap Advanced.
Select Drafts Mailbox > On the Server > Drafts. Return to the Advanced view.
Select Sent Mailbox > On the Server > Sent Mail. Return to the Advanced view.
Select Deleted Mailbox > On the Server > Deleted Messages
Back all the way out and hit Done.
Set up this way, your iPad will now store also Drafts and Sent Mail in Gmail instead of only storing it locally. Here’s the GMail Blog entry that details this for the iPhone. Deleted mails will go into the archives under the “Deleted Messages” label, but they will still be searcheable and will not automatically be deleted like messages in “Trash” are.
Alternatively, you can set up your iPhone or iPad to talk to Google using ActiveSync (Exchange). I’ve been doing this for awhile now, and it’s been working perfectly.