As most new iPad owners I wanted to setup Gmail, which is my primary email client, on the iPad so I could access email when I am away from my desktop or on the road. Until recently, I used iPhone for this task. However, I recall that when I setup my Gmail account using the default Gmail setup on the iPhone, it violated Gmail’s conventions by actually deleted your mail instead of archiving it which IMO is what makes Gmail different than the rest of the we clients I’ve used in the past. Another quark was that it stored my drafts locally on the device which need less to say was annoying. With this said, I didn’t even bother to find out if they’ve fixed the issue on the iPad, I figured that the only way to be sure is to set it up manually.

Benefits to this manual setup included your iPad will now store Drafts and Sent Mail in Gmail instead of storing them locally on the Device. That way if you access Gmail from your desktop or iPhone your drafts and trash will be accessible on that device as well.

Here’s what to do (This method will also work with the iPhone):

  1. Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars and then tap the Add Account under Accounts section.  DON’T select Gmail as this method violated Gmail’s conventions by actually deleted your mail instead of archiving.
  2. Select Other, and then, Add Mail Account.
  3. Use imap.gmail.com as incoming server and smtp.gmail.com as outgoing server. Put in your entire Gmail address and password in both the incoming and outgoing server settings.
  4. Go back to iPad home and start up the Mail application. Once it connects and downloads mail for the first time, go back to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Select the new mail account you just created, scroll down, and tap Advanced.
  5. Select Drafts Mailbox > On the Server > Drafts. Return to the Advanced view.
  6. Select Sent Mailbox > On the Server > Sent Mail. Return to the Advanced view.
  7. Select Deleted Mailbox > On the Server > Trash
  8. Back all the way out and hit Done.

Alternatively, you can setup your iPad or iPhone using GoogleSync (Googles version of Exchange). I have been using this method on my iPhone since the release of the iPhone OS versions 3.0 and it would be the preferred method for power users that also use Google Calendar and would like to have access to the their Google Contacts. If your interested in this method of mail retrieval visit the GoogleSync setup page for the iPhone which I can confirm also works on the iPad.