While I’m the first to admit that I’m not some sort of digitally enhanced road warrior — in fact, I prefer not to travel — I definitely have appreciated the nice Google Gmail mobile application that the company made available to us Blackberry users. Between it and Gmail accessed in a computer’s Web browser, the two were in perfect sync and it was easy to keep an eye on my Gmail mailbox without trouble.
Switching over from a Blackberry Pearl to an Apple iPhone, however, the last thing I thought I’d experience was a completely dysfunctional Gmail client for the iPhone. Yet that’s exactly what I have…
Here’s the problem in a nutshell: when I go to my Gmail account on my Mac, I see that there are 14 threads, of which six are new. Unthread it (or imagine it’s unthreaded) and I have 38 individual messages across those fourteen threads.
If I go to Gmail on the iPhone via the Safari browser, I see the same data: that is, of course, in sync with the regular Web-based version because, well, it is the Web-based version.
Set up Google Gmail for the iPhone, however, and it’s in some sort of weird twilight zone, dragging messages I sent or received months ago (and that are not in my inbox) back into the daylight and generally having zero relationship with my current Gmail configuration.
On my iPhone, in the iPhone mail application, it’s showing 198 messages, ranging from the very latest that I also have on the Web-based version to messages I sent out in April of this year. Even more ominously, the very last slot shows: Load 50 More Messages… and indicates that there are 391 messages, 391 messages unread.
What the heck?
There are some (completely undocumented) settings I can change with the Gmail account setup on the iPhone, notably Deleted Messages / Remove and Delete from server / When removed from inbox, but neither seems to affect the weird lack of sync I’m seeing.
And yet, when I searched for “iPhone Gmail” I didn’t find anyone else complaining about the complete screwiness of Gmail on the iPhone, so I’m not sure what gives here. Is it possible that this is conscious, deliberate, planned behavior for this email system?
I’ll say one thing, it’s the first major glitch and software bug I’ve found on this otherwise fun and way-cool new phone and handheld computer…