Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gmail in your Blackberry

I use Gmail as my primary email, and have struggled between choosing among the different ways of reading it in my berry.
Until now, I used the Gmail app for Blackberry. Yesterday I found out it was deprecated on November 2011 by Google. No wonder it was malfunctioning a lot lately, specially with the search. I used it primarily because Google recommended as the best way of reading your mail in your berry, because of some incompatibilities in the syncing between the native push email of the berry and Gmail.
Now that the app is deprecated, I was left with 2 options

  • Native push to the berry (i.e., registering the mail account in the berry as with any other)
  • Browsing to the Gmail web site
I finally decided to use a mix of both. I registered the account, because I can't afford to go to the site each time I want to check my mails (3G coverage is not that good in Argentina yet) and I really longed for the full array of features of writing mail directly in the berry. I can use the site if I want to make a search of an old mail (however it seems that you can do that in your berry by using "server search")

Until know I like the way the pushed mail works, except for one big flaw: If you read a mail in the Gmail site, and it has already been pushed, it won't appear as read in the berry. The reverse is not true, if you read a mail in your berry, it will almost instantly appear as read in the Gmail site. This is a known flaw in the IMAP integration (seems that berry hasn't got real IMAP, and also Google doesn't has it either, it has something called GMAP).  The berry already had conversation mode, and with the enhanced plugin for Gmail you can star mails and use labels (to use the plugin you must be inside your Gmail mail icon, not on your Messages icon).

So basically now you are stuck with using the push mail (unless you have a very fast internet connection in the phone, in that case you can just read in the mobile web site, which is very good also, specially with a big screen berry). The push is not so bad, just keep in mind that most of the syncing is done from the berry to the web, and not in reverse (in addition to the read status, starring and other properties of the mails won't be updated after they are pushed)

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