Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Mobile Gmail Variations

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Differences between Blackberry push and Mobile Gmail

This will always be a work in progress so please come back.

Background to Enhanced Google Mail

In all probability prior to 25th August 2009 Gmail in it’s mobile mode led the field for it’s synchronisity with the normal web based computer but it is now dwarfed by Enhanced Google Mail which unfortunately for users of other mobile phones is only available to Blackberry users and possibly Blackberry Emulators.

What’s the difference?
Mobile Google mail is a direct link to your Web based account or in other words the one you see on your computer screen and whatever you see on one should be directly mirrored in the other. Newly refreshed it will show whatever is in the Inbox and anything else can be searched from the Menu. Deliveries of new mails are governed by the Automatic Refresh or it can be brought up to date by manually refreshing on demand.
Enhanced Google Mail is the Blackberry push now with direct commands back to the Web base which will reflect directly on the Computer screen but not the reverse way around so if you read an email on the phone it will show as read on your computer screen but reading it on the pc will not show it as being read on the phone. Emails are brought to you as and when they are delivered to the Gmail servers and this is near as instant as possible and if you were to put both side by side could be even faster thean your pc will see it.

Basic mobile Gmail and how to install it for the first time user:

Unfortunately this option has been discontinued but the details are left for historic detail.
Thanks to fhbm who found a way of turning the clock back with this link to download the Gmail app:
Find and open the Blackberry web browser, in the Address bar backspace once to delete the www. and complete the address to show or to find it and other Google apps – click the trackball or Return key and the app will go through the normal procedures guiding all the way and at one point will ask if you would like to “Set application permissions” and this box should be ticked. Once fully downloaded you will need to sign into one of your Gmail/Googlemail Accounts. Since at this point Gmail/Googlemail can cause it’s own problems it can pay to go to the bottom of the Gmail page in a pc and find the Last Account Activity (Details), open it and Close all other Activities. The full Gmail/Googlemail address must be used and the password should be entered exactly as normal including Upper and Lower case letters.
Once you are into your mail account which will automatically load everything in your Inbox it is possible to Sign out, and Sign back in by using the Menu key and scrolling to the bottom where it also has the option of adding other accounts and signing into one or other of these, only one account is accessible at a time. Reading emails and replying is simple (click on the Trackball or the menu key). As the app only refreshes at certain times if you would like to bring yourself up to date then using Refresh in the menu does this while you wait.
Biggest benefit is that it syncs in both directions so that if you were to Delete or Read in either mobile or web app it will copy and show this in the other on the next refresh.
What doesn’t it do? Well you can’t attach anything to the emails you want to send and neither can you open attachments. Links hardly ever work and viewing an email with images or pictures is a monumental task and (being honest) I’ve never managed it.

New Browser Version:

Logging straight in from the BB’s Browser directly to gives a near desktop experience and as this is directly to the web access whatever you do here will be reflected in the normal pc view immediately Search from the Blackberry Browser and you can create a shortcut on the Home page when you are in.

Enhanced Google Mail:

This is the Blackberry’s own emailer brought up to date to work with Gmail. Primarily you need to use the E-mail Settings and this can be found in the Setup folder. Depending on your supplier you may find it better to better to Create New Account using the supplier’s or Blackberry’s own service and then move onto the Existing Users. Add all your Gmail accounts and as each is created it will advise you to use the Enhanced Googlemail Plugin and once you have done this the first time it will work with all the subsequent addresses you add. Should you not be able to do the primary set up this way contact your service supplier who will guide you how to create the accounts from your pc. Each new account will have it’s own folder and to save bloating out the home or primary screen I created a new folder to hold these as all mail will now come into the Messages folder and be accessible from there but you will be able to find these in the appropriate folder and answer directly from this so it will be sent from the correct account.
Syncing details is single direction only, from phone to Gmail so if you open an email using the phone it will show as read on the pc but the other way around until you open or tell the phone to mark it Read it will still show as Unread. Links and attachments will open and cut/copy and paste is now available as are most other extras. Deleting from the Blackberry can delete from the Web app and the phone but the other way round is governed by the settings in the phone.


A word of warning that the wrong advice was given in one article that has been misleading some trying to install this where it was said you had to delete the Gmail app but should have said if you are already using the Blackberry emailer you will need to delete the accounts and then re-open them as new accounts in this only. This is also badly explained in Blackberry’s own page.
A further WARNING: If you have Google Sync installed you need to make a choice as to which you will use for Sync purposes as both together will cause multiple duplications in Calendar and Contacts. To disable in Enhanced Googlemail scroll to the bottom of the screen in BB Email Setup and disable these. Otherwise disable them in Google Sync.

Evidently some users have been surprised to find their phone contacts have been synced to their Google accounts. If you don't want this to happen you should scroll to the bottom of the screen when setting up the account or by using "Edit" from the menu when the correct account is highlighted and disable from here.
Two little extras gained from this Enhanced Google Mail is individual colours for each Gmail Account in Blackberry Calendars and the ability to use the menu to choose to see the individual entries for each Calendar or Contact account if you have more than one. See more about this in  Mobile Google Calendars & Contacts.

For further advice read Blackberry’s guide which can be downloaded from here

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