You may have been using Google Sync to synchronize your Google contacts and calendar events with iPhone. On Tuesday, Google announced the expansion of the Google Sync service to support email, in which emails are automatically pushed to your iPhone in near real-time fashion.
Google Sync was launched as a beta service in Feb to offer sync service for mobile phones (including iPhone & Windows Mobile) over Microsoft’s Exchange protocol. When Google Sync was first debut, it only supports the synchronization of Google contacts and calendar events. Any new contacts or calendar events appeared in your Google account (or the other way round) are automatically synced with your iphone over-the-air instantaneously. Since then, many users are awaiting the extension of sync support to email — what so called “Push Email”. Now, the email sync is finally here.
So, what’s Push Email?
For those with the technical background, you may wonder what Push Email is. Consider how you check email today on iPhone. You launch the Mail app. Then iPhone connects to the mail server and pull any new email from the server. With Google Sync’s Push Email, the whole process is completely done in background. Once someone sends you email to your Gmail account, Google Sync automatically informs your iPhone and pushes the email to it. When the email is delivered to your iPhone, depending on the configuration, your iPhone will vibrate or chime to let you know – You’ve got a new email. When you open the Mail app, unlike the pull approach, the email is right there. You do not need to wait for your iPhone to retrieve the email for you. So, Push Email is always considered as the preferred method for its “always-on” capability, in which email is actively delivered to you instantly.
Configure Push Email on iPhone
Google Sync is available for free. As long as you’re using iPhone OS 3.0 or up, you can configure Push Email on your iPhone. Please note that as Google Sync works over MS Exchange protocol, you can configure at most one Exchange account on iPhone. So, if you have more than one Gmail account (say, one for personal and one for business), only one of them can be configured to use Push Email.
To get started with Google Sync’s push email, point your browser to Google Support page. It’s a very detailed step-by-step guide to show you how to enable push email on your iPhone.
If you have configured Google Sync for contacts and calendars before, you can simply flip the Mail switch of your exchange account to enable push email.
As a final note, Push Email is also available for Google App account. Simply follow these instructions to enable Google Sync in your Google App dashboard.
Update: As of now, the Google Sync for email is pretty slow. You’ll need to wait for a few minutes to get your email sync. Probably many users rush to try out the feature these days and hope Google can improve the performance soon.