Get push email, contacts and calendar to your mobile with Gmail or Google Apps

by Ron Bertino on December 21, 2009

iPhone

Push email is when your mobile will notify you that you have a new email the second it arrives in your inbox.

I’ve never had a big need for push email. I don’t want to be interrupted 100 times a day with the emails coming into my inbox. I prefer to manually fetch email a couple of times a day.

I did have a need to keep my calendar and contacts in sync from my iPhone to my Google Apps account though. The way I’ve had this configured for the past year or so was:

  • create an email account on my iPhone linked to Gmail (which accepts a connection profile to Google Apps as well)
  • create a second email account to the free service hosted by NuevaSync, which enables you to get live sync for your contacts and calendar between the iPhone and Gmail/GApps. This second account is configured to sync calendar and contacts but not email.

The above has worked perfectly for me for the past year. The only downside is that it doesn’t support push mail, but as mentioned, for me this wasn’t a big deal at all.

Today I was catching up on some blog reading, and I found out that you can now do push mail, contacts and calendar sync natively from almost any mobile to Google.

Setup was very simple.

I started off by deleting my existing 2 mail accounts on my iPhone (Gmail account and NuevaSync account).

You then need to enable Google Sync services on your Google Apps account. To do this go to your Google Apps dashboard, and select Mobile.

Google Dashboard

Enable Google Sync:

Enable Google Sync

Then click on the link directly next to the above checkbox which says “Learn how to set it up on your device”, and follow those instructions in order to set up your mobile device with the required connection settings.

I had everything set up in under 5 minutes.

I now have native push email, contacts and calendars sync between my iPhone and my Google Apps account. And all of this for free. Thanks Google.

[Image courtesy of William Hook]

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