Tutorial: "Push" Gmail Alternative

seanwes

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Feb 13, 2008
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#1
I'm sure many of you, like myself, have really been wishing for a push setting for your gmail account so emails show up instantly when they arrive, but unfortunately, push is not supported with gmail on the iPhone right now. I have found myself clicking the refresh button in my mail app on my iPhone when waiting for an important email to arrive. Well here is something I tried, and it has really been a life saver for me, so I figured I'd post it, and maybe it'll help some of you out.
________________________________


Basically, what we are going to do is forward your email to xxxxxxxxxx@text.att.net (where the x's would be your 10-digit phone numer, with no spaces, dashes, or parentheses).

This will allow you to get a real time alert of new mail. As far as I know, It will be limited to the standard 160 character SMS limit, but this will inform you that you have a new email, and you can immediately check your mail on the iPhone mail app.

This does use a text message, so standard rates apply, and I would not recommend this method if you do not have an unlimited texting plan.

________________________________



Steps
First of all, this tutorial is for gmail, but the concept isn't just for gmail exclusively. You can easily adapt the steps to any other email service that supports filtering and/or forwarding.


  • First, go into the Settings in your gmail account. You have 2 options. Forwarding, or Filtering. Let's explore Forwarding first.



Forwarding (not recommended)
If you decide to use Forwarding, this will forward a copy of every incoming email you get. I would not recommend using this method unless...

A: You don't get very much email on the account you are using.
B: You don't mind getting a text message every time an email comes in.


  • If you do in fact want to have a copy of every incoming email texted to you, then you are going to select Forward a copy of incoming mail to: and enter xxxxxxxxxx@text.att.net (where the x's are your 10-digit number)


  • Click Save Changes at the bottom.



Filter (recommended)
This method is much more selective, and allows you to choose which emails you want to have forwarded to your phone.


  • First, we need to create a filter.




  • In this example, I use a specific email address in my filter. This means if I get an email from a specific person, it will get forwarded to my phone. You can make as many of these as you like. Maybe one each for your significant other, family member, boss etc. You can also have an email forwarded to you if it contains a certain word or subject. click here if you need help with filters.




  • Now that you have decided what your filter is going to do, you need to tell it to forward that message to your phone. Check Forward it to: and enter xxxxxxxxxx@text.att.net (where the x's are your 10-digit number)


You should now receive text notifications of new email that look similar to the above screen shot.
 

acosmichippo

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Sep 10, 2007
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#2
yeah, if you happen to have unlimited texts that'll work... otherwise you might as well sign up for MobileMe and forward Gmail there.
 

smknSRT8

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#4
This is good. Really good. I have unlimited texting so this is fine for me. This probably saves a lot more battery than have Push turned on. Awesome idea!

Did you think of this yourself or hear about it from somewhere?

EDIT: Noticed that when I got my first "push" email from gmail, it was from "1(010)100-004" I am OK with cause I created a contact for number as "Gmail". I found out on my next email that it was from "1(010)100-005". It went to "006" when I got another one as well. What to do? I don't want to delete each text as they come in AND on my email, but I do want "push" Gmail.

Any Ideas?
 

seanwes

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Feb 13, 2008
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#5
This is good. Really good. I have unlimited texting so this is fine for me. This probably saves a lot more battery than have Push turned on. Awesome idea!

Did you think of this yourself or hear about it from somewhere?
I had seen people talking about sending mms through email gateways, and it made me think, why not make a gmail filter that forwards important emails to me via text? So I tried it out and of course it worked. I searched here and google, and couldn't find examples of anyone else doing it, so I figured it might be of some use to people if I posted it here.


EDIT: Noticed that when I got my first "push" email from gmail, it was from "1(010)100-004" I am OK with cause I created a contact for number as "Gmail". I found out on my next email that it was from "1(010)100-005". It went to "006" when I got another one as well. What to do? I don't want to delete each text as they come in AND on my email, but I do want "push" Gmail.

Any Ideas?
Oh, good point. I hadn't got enough for it to be an issue like that since I was real selective about what emails were pushed, but I'll have to brainstorm on that one.
 

smknSRT8

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Oct 13, 2007
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#6
I might just limit what email gets "pushed", like you, so I am not getting every email. I am definantly going to use this though! great find!
 

smknSRT8

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Oct 13, 2007
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#7
I am surprised this isn't more popular. Maybe not everyone has the unlimited text?

I am trying to set it up so I receive all my emails except iCafe email, only because I get so many. Any suggestions on how to do it?
 

seanwes

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Feb 13, 2008
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#8
I am surprised this isn't more popular. Maybe not everyone has the unlimited text?

I am trying to set it up so I receive all my emails except iCafe email, only because I get so many. Any suggestions on how to do it?




:laugh2:
 

smknSRT8

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Oct 13, 2007
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#9
Awesome! I was overthinking it, instead of using "everythingicafe.com" I just used iCafe. I don't know why my results weren't working, but it works great now!
 

wildonrio

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Jul 4, 2007
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#11
This is a great idea, thanks seanwes. Now this has got me thinking and I'm wondering if we can come up with an even better solution using Yahoo! as our intermediary email instead of a text. How about this: We forward all our Gmail to Yahoo!, but then have Yahoo! instantly delete all emails that are received there. Then we set up our iPhones to retrieve Gmail manually but Yahoo! with Push. Then, when we get an email, Gmail forwards it to Yahoo!, Yahoo! pushes it to our iPhones which gives us instant notification, but then Yahoo! instantly self-deletes it right away. That way we get the notification and then when we go to our Mail app it to see what it was, Gmail will do a manual check and then we'll just read and respond in Gmail. Get it? This basically just nullifies our red badge counter for Mail since our Gmail will always be checked manually, and our Yahoo! will alert us with a sound of a new email, but then self-delete so we wouldn't ever really see a red badge counter. Please analyze this for problems, I just thought of it now...