iPhone: Push GMail without an App

By on Jan 25, 2010 | 5 comments

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People have been searching a long time for applications to push GMail messages to their iPhone or Touch. Many pay apps have become available in the App Store which send the user a push notification of new mail to their GMail accounts, but that is literally all they do.

I can’t believe I never came across this before, but thanks to Twitter I saw a link posted regarding Google Sync.

Below are the simple steps involved to set up Google Sync on your iPhone or Touch. By doing so, it will set up your Gmail account to work basically like Mobile Me (an Apple service) and push your mail directly to your Mail App in real time. It will also sync your Contacts and Calendars if you choose to do so.

Requirements and Upload

1. Google Sync is only supported on iPhone OS versions 3.0 and above. You can check your current version by going to Settings > General > About > Version. To upgrade, follow the instructions at http://www.apple.com/iphone/softwareupdate/. Please upgrade to iPhone OS 3.0 before setting up Google Sync.

2. Perform a sync with iTunes to ensure that Contacts and Calendars from your iPhone are backed up to your computer.

3. If your business, school, or organization uses Google Apps, your administrator will first need to enable Google Sync before you can take advantage of this feature.

Getting Started

1. Open the Settings application on your device’s home screen.
2. Open Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
3. Tap Add Account….
4. Select Microsoft Exchange.

Enter Account Info

5. In the Email field, enter your full Google Account email address. If you use an @googlemail.com address, you may see an “Unable to verify certificate” warning when you proceed to the next step.
6. Leave the Domain field blank.
7. Enter your full Google Account email address as the Username.
8. Enter your Google Account password as the Password.
9. Tap Next at the top of your screen.
9a. Choose Accept if the Unable to Verify Certificate dialog appears.
10. When the new Server field appears, enter m.google.com.
11. Press Next at the top of your screen again.
12. Select the Google services you want to sync.
13. Unless you want to delete all the existing Contacts and Calendars on your phone, select the Keep on my iPhone option when prompted. This will also allow you to keep syncing with your computer via iTunes.

If you want to sync only the My Contacts group, you must choose to Delete Existing Contacts during the Google Sync install when prompted. If you choose to keep existing contacts, it will sync the contents of the “All Contacts” group instead.

You’ve set up Google Sync for your iPhone. Synchronization will begin automatically if you have Push enabled on your phone. You can also open the Mail, Calendar or Contacts app and wait a few seconds to start a sync.

More detailed information for this process can be found here:  Google Sync: Setting Up Your iPhone or iPod Touch


  1. Kat Kat

    January 25, 2010

    Post a Reply

    This is a wonderfully useful share. It works perfectly on my touch and I love how it syncs my calendar.


  2. MK

    January 25, 2010

    Post a Reply

    This worked perfectly. Was so easy to do even for someone like me, and it usually gets to my touch before it shows up in my email inbox. Thanks Steve, its perfect!

  3. John John

    January 25, 2010

    Post a Reply

    I wish it was that easy to sync my Storm up with Gmail. Yet another reason why Apple beats RIM…

  4. Kat sent me here when I asked a question about Microsoft Exchange on Plurk. This article was very helpful. I was about to lose my mind trying to figure it out. My school district’s tech people take forever to get back on this type of thing. Thank you so much!


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