Gmail Push Notification Using Yahoo! Mail, How-To

by Rob   on August 20, 2009
Filed under News, Tips and How-To's, Tips Tricks and How Tos

gmail logo push 150x150 Gmail Push Notification Using Yahoo! Mail, How To

[Note: For iPhone Users Only] There is a lot of desire out there from GMail users to have push notifications to their iPhones.  In fact, I’m one of them.  The recent attempt to provide push notifications by GPush, an app by Tiverias Apps, was an utter failure.  However, their immediate success to the top 100 list shows that there is indeed huge demand for this type of service.  The real solution is for Apple and Google to implement it the “right” way.  However, in the meantime, while we wait for the powers that be, what are some alternative solutions?

I have been looking into this scenario for a few days now.  Unlike others, I don’t mind fetching my email every 15 minutes.  I know it’s not the best for battery life, but I deal with it.  I can’t be bothered with the cumbersome solutions that some have proposed of running a desktop client on your computer that notifies your iPhone when you get mail – too tedious.  I want something I can set and forget.

Probably the most consumer friendly solution here is to use another email provider to push your notifications.  Yahoo! mail and MobileMe both support push notifications to your iPhone.  MobileMe provides a very nice integration, why wouldn’t it? it’s Apple’s solution.  However, MobileMe will also set you back $99.00 per year.

The cost-free way is to use Yahoo! Mail, and it’s super easy to setup and works excellently.  Here’s what you do:

  1. First and foremost, if you don’t already have one go and get a Yahoo! Mail account.  You will use this email account as your push notification account on your device.
  2. Now that you have your new Yahoo! Mail account, you must add it to your iPhone.  Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Yahoo! Mail and enter the values as you set them up in step 1.p 480 320 aaeefeb2 fddc 441c 950e f854141785d1 100x150 Gmail Push Notification Using Yahoo! Mail, How To
  3. Ensure that Push is enabled.  Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data.  Should read “Push” if it doesn’t, slide the toggle to On.  At this point, if you were only to use Yahoo! Mail you will have push notifications for that account.p 480 320 d71de489 871b 4973 8e8d 1e6b1d5253c1 100x150 Gmail Push Notification Using Yahoo! Mail, How To
  4. The last piece of this is to forward your GMail to your Yahoo! Mail.  Since forwarding happens near immediately, when Yahoo! Mail receives it the notification should show up on your iPhone fairly quickly.  To do this step, you must sign into your GMail account on a computer.  Go to Settings (top of page) > Forwarding and Pop/IMAP then click the radio button to enable forwarding.  Enter the email address you setup at Yahoo! Mail.  Click Save Changes.
  5. You’re pretty much done now, except to give it a test try.  Send yourself an email to your Yahoo! Mail account.  You should be notified by Yahoo! within a minute, or less.

I should note that you will want to keep your other GMail accounts on your iPhone.  This way you can use the GMail account for replies and keeps your GMail synced should you read an email in the GMail account, etc.

We keep hoping that one of these firmware updates from Apple will enable true GMail push notifications.  However, in the meantime, we’ll continue to work around the deficiency and come up with our own creative solutions!  I should also note that this same trick will work for any email account.  Now that you have the Yahoo! part setup, forward any email account to your Yahoo! email and it will push it to your device.  Enjoy!


2 Responses to “Gmail Push Notification Using Yahoo! Mail, How-To”
  1. Hey,

    Push doesn’t seem to work for me with my free Yahoo! mail account and an Ipod Touch 2nd gen with 3.0 OS. I’ve deleted and recreated my Yahoo! mail account on my iPod about 50 times already and even created a brand new Yahoo Mail account and tried following the steps you suggest using the new account without success. Whenever I go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data > Advanced I only have Fetch and Manual as options for my Yahoo! Mail account.

    Any ideas on what else I should try or what I might be missing?

  2. Rob says:

    I just did some research and found an old support document from Apple stating that “free” Push notifications for Yahoo! Mail are only available to iPhone customers. Sorry for the confusion and the runaround. I’ll update the post so that it is clearer so that others don’t fall into this trap.


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