iPad (1) Gmail setup - IMAP vs. Gmail


After setting up the iPad with iTunes, syncing and upgrading the next challenge was to setup Gmail. I ran the standard iPad mail account setup procedure, selected the built-in Gmail configuration option and followed the prompts which worked successfully. The success was short lived as I discovered that upon opening up the Gmail mailbox within the iPad mail client there was no 'delete' command, mail could only be 'archived'. Read on...



iPad Challenge #2 - 'Built-in' Gmail vs IMAP Gmail
The next challenge was to setup Gmail, I ran the standard iPad mail account setup procedure, selected the built-in Gmail configuration option and followed the prompts which worked successfully. The success was short lived as I discovered that upon opening up the Gmail mailbox within the iPad mail client there was no 'delete' command, mail could only be 'archived'.

After a Google it was apparent that manually setting up the e-mail account as an IMAP account (as opposed to using the built-in Gmail configuration option) was the way forward. This article from Eric Cheng aimed at devices pre iOS 4.xx to overcome an older 'Delete vs Archive' issue was still relevant for iOS 4.33 and was the key to regaining 'Delete' functionality.

Here’s what to do:

Go to 'Settings' then 'Mail, Contacts, Calendars' and tap 'Add Account'... under Accounts.

Select 'Other' and then 'Mail Account'. DO NOT select Gmail. Use the following settings:

Incoming server: imap.gmail.com 

Outgoing server: smtp.gmail.com
Put in your entire gmail address and password in both incoming and outgoing server settings.

*** You may need to enable IMAP access within the Gmail settings at www.gmail.com ***

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' then 'Mail, Contacts, Calendars' and select the new mail account you just created, scroll down, and tap 'Advanced'.

Select 'Drafts Mailbox' > 'On the Server'  and enable 'Drafts'. Click return to the Advanced view.

Select 'Sent Mailbox' > 'On the Server' and enable 'Sent Mail'. Click return to the Advanced view.

Select 'Deleted Mailbox' > 'On the Server' and enable 'Deleted Messages'

Back all the way out and hit Done.

Set up this way, the 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 searchable and will not automatically be deleted like messages in 'Trash' are. - Kudos to Eric Cheng

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