The Easy Way To Set Up Google Services on iOS

The iPhone is a fantastic phone, but if you're a heavy user of Google services, it can be a little confusing to set up your Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Contacts to sync with iOS. Here's how to do it.

You can get all your Google services syncing with iOS by setting up just one account. The trick is to choose Microsoft Exchange at the prompt instead of Gmail. This will give you access not only to your Gmail, but your calendars and contacts, and they will all sync directly to your phone — when you add a contact in Gmail or edit an event on Google Calendar, you'll see it show up on your phone without having to sync anything. To set it up:

  1. Open up the Settings app on your iOS device and go to the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" section. Hit "Add Account".
  2. From there, choose Microsoft Exchange as the type of account (again, don't choose Gmail).
  3. Type in your Gmail address under Email. Leave the Domain field blank and enter your full Gmail address under Username (including the,, or other suffix). Type in your password and give it any description you like. Mine's just called "Gmail".
  4. Press the Next button at the top of the screen. It should pop up a message saying Unable to Verify Certificate—if it does, just hit cancel. Then, type in the new "Server" box that shows up at the top of the screen. Then tap Next.

From there, you should be all set. You can turn on Mail, Contact, and Calendar syncing from the account settings page that shows up. Note that pressing the trash can icon in the Mail app will archive a message, not delete it completely. If you want to delete it, you can hit the folder icon and choose Trash from the menu to move it to the trash. For more information on setting up Gmail with iOS, check out Google's help page on the subject.


    This does not sync notes however, I just add another entry as an actual google/gmail account, then turn off everything except notes, let the Exchange entry handle the rest.

    Pfft. Old news.

    Note that Google Contacts has a problem with the iPhone 4S's Siri... Contacts don't have fields for family relations eg Sister/Brother/Mother/etc (it has business relations manager/assistant/etc). The net effect of this is that one can't command Siri to "Call my brother". Siri will always ask who you're brother is.

      What does Siri do if you have more than one brother?

      Ah I was wondering why Siri put my dad down as my "manager" on my contact card. Thanks for the heads up.

      yes, but you can also tell Siri, so and so is my brother and then it will work.

      What, you don't know the poor dude's name by now?!

    I set this up ages ago, and it all works except contacts don't sync from my iPhone contacts to my google contacts.

    Any suggestions?

      Oh - and I'd love to be able to sync with Thunderbird as I have other email accounts too.
      Does anyone know of a way to do this? I don't understand why iOS doesn't do this - It is surely in the top 5 clients. (or not - what do I know?)

        You can use the Zindus Thunderbird addon to sync Gmail contacts with Thunderbird.

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