Are you a Gmail user and you own an iPhone? You probably aren’t taking full advantage of either product. Want faster mail delivery or multiple calendars? Here is the advanced setup.
The Better Setup for Gmail on iPhone
Many people assume they should use the Google Mail option when adding their Gmail account to their phone but it doesn’t support push mail, meaning that new mail isn’t automatically pushed to your iPhone. What you should use is Microsoft Exchange.
Select Microsoft Exchange under the “Add Account”
Use your full email address in the Email field
Leave domain blank
Use your full email address as your username
Use your Google password as the Password
(If you get a “Unable to Verify Certificate” box at this point just choose cancel.
A new Server field will appear, enter m.google.com
Tell it to sync your email, calendars, and contacts
Next we’ll look at how to enable multiple Google Calendars
Sync Multiple Google Calendars to your iPhone
I balance my life among 4 personal calendars so just having my primary google calendar on my iPhone doesn’t help me much. Here’s how to enable more.
Click “Sync” and you should see your iPhone listed here
Checkmark the additional calendars you’d like to sync
Now open your iPhone Calendar app, select calendars in top left and you should now see the additional calendars added to your phone. Just select the ones you want to be visible.
This gives you full advantage of my Google account on my iPhone. Contacts are synced so they aren’t ever lost, all of your calendars are synced and visible, and mail arrives ASAP.
I’m an Goooglephile who can’t live without an iPhone and I’ve been using this configuration for years. It’s much more stable and responsive and sings through 1000 contacts and 5 calendars. All that is to say… you can take my word on this.
As our everyday lives become more ingrained with our social networks and smartphones becoming the norm it’s easy to see why the mobile communications space is getting white hot.
Last spring SXSW was abuzz with a new breed of apps that were a hybrid of IM and texting that focused on enabling small groups of people to communicate more efficiently. The most talked about apps, GroupMe, Beluga, and Fast Society represented a fresh take on the entire idea mobile communication. The apps combined IM, texting, photos, checkins, conference calls, and map views into a holistic and incredibly useful tool.
They broke new ground but it was only a matter of time before the major players arrived. A few short months have passed and we are beginning to see how the big 3 are approaching mobile communication. Things are about to get interesting.
The Big 3
Facebook just this week released Facebook Messenger. It’s positioned as a mobile messaging app with group communication and multiple notification methods at its core. It’s an essential piece of Facebook’s unified messaging goal of combining texting, email, and FB messaging all through the Facebook platform. It’s an obvious outgrowth of Facebook’s purchase of Beluga and while it isn’t as nice as Beluga I like the app because I can use Facebook messaging without opening the Facebook app. It will be interesting to see how this app is adopted. Are we ready to hand more communication over to Facebook?
Google is also jumping head first into the mobile messaging with Google+ Huddle.
Huddle isn’t terribly impressive on it’s own. It is simply group messaging and lacks support for SMS, locations, and photos. However, as Google integrates Google Voice, Latitude, and Google Photos deeper into Google+ I expect that to change.
It might seem like an odd to include them in a mobile messaging discussion but I’m convinced they are the 800lb gorilla in the room. Why? They bought Skype in May. Consider:
Finally I’ve got to give some little guy love to GroupMe.
GroupMe is still a serious contender in group messaging (and at the moment my app of choice). They offer more features than anyone else and it works with people that don’t even have the app. Texting, conference calls, mapping, foursquare – they integrated everything in a very easy to use app. They recently released GroupMe 3.0 and added questions, web chat, and direct messages. They are certainly and underdog compared to the big 3 but their technology is still in the lead… for now.
This is a fascinating battleground that is focused not on how we communicate but where we communicate. Email and texting doesn’t care about where. They work across all platforms and providers (PC, Mac, mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo) because they are standards based communication.
This new wave of apps and networks are proprietary technology and could indicate we are headed for the platform wars that have plagued computers for decades. (Think: I’m a Facebook vs I’m a Google) However, unlike the platform debate communication isn’t an individual decision. A critical mass of your social graph has to be present for these tools to even be a consideration.
I have more questions than answers:
Will we see the adoption of standards like XMPP for mobile group messaging?
Are tools like Huddle and GroupMe destined to be fringe apps or utility networks that everyone uses?
Most importantly can we quickly find what we are all going to use? I’d like to delete some apps from my iPhone.
Leave a comment below or Facebook me, Google+ me, skype me… forget it, just send me a telegraph.
Google+ is the smartest social network I’ve ever used and it has more potential to change how I use the web than anything I’ve seen in a decade.
What is it?
Facebook without the noise & junk.
Twitter with context & 1000x more functionality.
Friendfeed without the cacophony of aggregated content.
Why it matters?
It is the first social network to begin to replicate real relationships.
Twitter & Facebook offer 2 choices: friend or follow. No middle ground. Life isn’t like that and Google+ circles allows you to segment & mix relationships however you choose. It’s asynchronous, like Twitter, so a reciprocated relationship isn’t required to connect.
Perhaps the most social feature I’ve ever seen. At its core it’s just group video chat but it’s different when enabled in a large social network where you are already present. I’ve visited with friends today I never get to chat with and met friends of friends just by “hanging out”. It’s a perfect name and killer feature. Skype should be very concerned.
It looks good & feels good. The UI is intuitive and the platform screams “interact with me”. It is omnipresent on google services so you can be sure most of us will often be a click away from connecting.
I just handed Google my social graph and I fully expect my search results are going to get much better in the coming months.
I might be overly exuberant due to shiny-new-object syndrome but it has exceeded all my expectations. It’s polished and just lovely.
Google learned the lessons of wave & buzz and I think they have a hit on their hands.
Will it kill Facebook in the foreseeable future? No. But competition is sorely needed & Google+ just changed the game.
You can’t see it, yet it affects everyone on the web. Doing it well is the holy grail for sites like Google and Facebook but the better they get the less informed we may become. What is it? The Relevant Web.
The rise of the Relevance Engine
We are suffering from a digital deluge. Hundreds of daily links, news, blogs, status updates, and photos have overwhelmed our ability to consume content. We are unconsciously seeking a system that assists in cutting through the clutter and we may get more than we bargained for.
Here is how it works:
Search/Social site collects data on you, your usage, and your social connections
Site uses that data to predict what you would find interesting or relevant
You click a search result or comment on a Facebook status and think how useful the internet is
More clicks, more pages, more time = More $$
Ever notice how once you defined your family or spouse in Facebook how their posts always seem to appear near the top of your feed? Not accidental.
Gmail and Facebook ads are uncannily similar to your recent activity.
Isn’t this a good thing?
Yes, temporarily but we may regret it in the long-term.
one online pioneer believes we pay a big price for that customized experience – living in our own information universe. In our so-called “filter bubble,” we receive mainly familiar news that confirms our beliefs. And we don’t know what’s being hidden from us
To oversimplify Pariser proposes that Google, Facebook and others bring more visibility into how these algorithms work and provide the users more options to adjust the level of filtering.
The latter part of his argument is most crucial. Most of us would not understand the relevance equations but we should certainly be provided the means to tweak or disable the filtering.
If we are going to trust a company to show us only certain parts of the web shouldn’t we be informed and part of that decision?
Unfortunately few people are aware this is even happening and it will be a good deal longer before they care. Ask yourself how many of your Facebook friends are even aware they can edit the settings of their Facebook feed?
The relevant web is the next phase of the internet and as we become more educated users companies like Google and Facebook will be forced to respond or it will open the door to competitors.
Rarely a week goes by without one of my friends losing contacts or photos due to a lost or malfunctioning iPhone so welcome to iPhone Backup 101.
I’m a mobile warrior and the father of an 8 month old daughter so my iPhone data is literally priceless. I don’t take chances. You could take my phone and toss it into the river right now and I wouldn’t lose a thing.
Would you like that peace of mind?
Here’s how I backup up everything.
Backup Contacts and Calendar
The key to preserving this critical info is having a copy of your calendar and contacts in the cloud that the iPhone syncs automatically.
The best way I’ve found is synching my Gmail account.
Open Settings, go to “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
Add accounts, select Microsoft Exchange
Enter your gmail address in the email & username field, then your password
When the certificate verification dialog pops up click cancel and enter m.google.com as the server name.
Select all 3 services to sync, Mail, Contacts, Calendars
My wife and I have taken just shy of 1000 photos since on our iPhones since my baby girl arrived last Aug. These are solitary moments and that photo is a treasure to us. Here’s how I make sure I don’t lose it.
To the Cloud: PixelPipe – This is a brilliant app that allows you to upload photos to a variety of services. My 2 defaults are flickr and dropbox. I don’t wait untill I get home and sync I upload the photos within minutes of taking them. *Tip – Set up your “pipes” to services at Pixelpipe.com, it’s fast and easy.
To the Computer: Picasa – Google’s excellent photo manager is the perfect way to import photos from the iPhone via USB. It detects which photos I’ve already copied so I know exactly where to begin and it shows me previews so I can choose only the ones I want.