One of the more prevailing free email services is Google’s Gmail and for good reason. Google, often known for search (and some other mobile OS), brings those powerful search tools to your inbox. Gmail offers 10GB of storage, with more available for purchase if your account grows. It is also part of Google’s Apps for Business, all resulting in Gmail becoming an incredibly popular email client. Here’s how to setup Gmail on iPhone and iPad.
Apple’s built-in Mail app makes it easy to set up a Gmail account.

setup gmail on iPhone

  1. Navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  2. Select Add Account… >
  3. Tap on Gmail option
  4. Enter your full name or as you’d like it to appear in outbound emails
  5. Enter your Gmail address
  6. Enter your Gmail password
  7. Description: If you have multiple accounts, enter a name that you’ll easily recognize

Click ‘Next’ and your iOS device will contact Google to verify your login credentials. If all goes well, you’ll see the screen below. Here you can set your iPhone or iPad to sync Calendars and Notes in addition to your Mail account.

Gmail iPhone settings

Select ‘Save’ and you should see a message that your Gmail account has been added.

To verify that it’s working correctly, press the home button and launch the Mail app. If you have an existing account setup, you might need to go back in Mail to select either ‘All Inboxes’ or ‘Gmail’. The former will combine messages from any other mail accounts with your newly created Gmail account.

Accessing Gmail Folders
Gmail uses a filing system based on ‘Labels’. Instead of physically dragging a message into a folder like a traditional filing system, labels are a way to tag and categorize emails. In the default mail view, there is no way to view your labels. It is basically a free for all, with your messages fighting for your attention. Labels helps restore order in your life. Now instead of searching thousands of messages, you can navigate to the proper label to find a specific email. Let’s say that I begin planning for CES 2013 meetings in advance. I can set up a folder for CES 2013 and label any correspondence as such. I’m typically the forgetful type of individual, so email received in March of 2013 won’t be memorable come January of 2014. Future me can easily access emails based on that label.

Gmail labels

Best Gmail Apps for iPhone and iPad

Google has a dedicated Gmail app for iOS that has seen steady improvements since launching a few years back. The new version features a slick interface with a panel for quick access to folders (labels), starred, sent and drafts. The new version also supports swiping through email.

Gmail app

Download Gmail from App Store

Getting access to this app isn’t easy, as it requires you download Mailbox and get on a waiting list to use the app. It’s free, but due to the overwhelming demand and stress on their servers, getting access may take some time. It just be worth the wait, as this app uses a myriad of gestures to help you cut and slash through your Gmail inbox. For example a swipe left will reveal a pop-up that will archive the email until a date you set which could be later that same day, tomorrow, the weekend or someday. If you use the very same gesture, but at a slower speed, Mailbox will help you add it to a list. There are a host of cool features built-in to Mailbox and it can help you achieve the goal of zero inbox.

Mailbox app

Download Mailbox from App Store

If you are looking for a free email service, there are plenty of good choices including Outlook and my personal favorite, Gmail. With 10GB of storage and more available if needed, the advanced feature set of Gmail is perfect for personal or business use. Using the tutorial above, you should be able to easily set up your Gmail account on your iPhone, iPad or iOS device. While Gmail works great on the default Mail app, be sure to check out some of the best Gmail apps for iPhone including Google’s very own Gmail and Mailbox. These can be used in conjunction with your Mail app until you decide which works best for your workflow.