I learned that GMail does not like to play friendly with the iPhone. Upon further investigation this is an issue with GMail’s POP3 settings affecting Blackberries, Thunderbird, Outlook, and other POP clients alike.
GMail does not use folders to store its e-mails, therefore all e-mails are sitting in the inbox, but are tagged differently. Based on these tags you have your Sent mail, archived, trash etc. The annoying part about this occurs when you use a client whether it be a desktop e-mail application or your mobile device, to POP GMail you end up receiving all of your sent e-mails to your inbox. This is because the client can’t differentiate between GMail’s tags, therefore it thinks it is sitting in the Inbox, which it really is.
The Fix (for the iPhone but will work similarly on other devices/clients)
- Create an e-mail address with AOL
- Setup Mail Forwarding on your GMail account to the new AOL account
- Add an “Other” account on the iPhone
- Make sure the Incoming Server is imap.aol.com with your username and password
- Make sure the Outgoing Server is smtp.gmail.com with your username and password
Voila, you can now receive e-mails without having to worry about your sent messages showing up in your inbox. Since you are using the GMail SMTP your sent messages are archived in GMail and are fully searchable.
* Some side effects to note – GMail will forward all of your mail, so if you have read it in GMail it will not be marked as read when it goes to AOL, so you may have to read the same message twice if you read it on the GMail web client and on your iPhone.