Over a year ago I wrote a post pondering whether to move back to gMail since getting my iPhone 4s. Over Christmas I again fancied using Inbox from Google and see what it had to offer, especially with using Google Now.
The migration was pretty easy:
- Stop forwarding emails gMail to iCloud.
- Forward emails from iCloud to gMail.
- Export contacts from iCloud (don’t delete just yet)
- Import contacts into gMail.
- Export calendar from iCloud.
- Import calendar to gMail.
Not deleting contacts from iCloud was important – I had fallen foul of a bug the last time I deleted contacts – their birthdays remained in my calendar and once deleted could not be removed! You must first remove their birthday entries from their contact page and wait for the change to sync with calendar. Once there are no more birthdays showing on the calendar, then you can delete the contact.
Initially I liked Inbox, it separated out my emails into the different tabs (social, productivity, social etc). I also liked the swipe to archive or remind me later – a great idea for inbox zero! I also liked how Google Now was able to show me when a package was going to be delivered from Amazon without having to open the email.
At first I liked the change from iCloud email and Calendar – Google’s apps are fresh and colourful but I found a few issues: Inbox doesn’t show the count of unread emails if in one of the other tabs. I also received duplicate notifications when receiving an email. Even when I removed Inbox and installed gMail I noticed a few issues: the app would be slow to show the email I just received the notification for. I also noticed that my contacts wouldn’t sync the contact photos!
After a few weeks I decided to return to iCloud. My experiment with gMail was short lived but at least I got the curiosity out of my system. I have friends that are happy running gMail on their iPhones but it’s not for me. I think I’ve been converted too deeply into the Apple eco-system.