iPhone Mail Sync Styncs

I know this is Heresy. They are probably getting the pitchforks and torches out in Cupertino as we speak, but I’m going to turn my curmudgeonly focus on two annoying iDevice (iPhone, iPad, Ipod Touch) Mail Sync problems.

First problem. Sent messages not synced. We are in the midst of a real estate transaction. I had sent an email to the mortgage broker with our homeowner’s insurance information from my iPhone. The next day, at my iMac, I received an email request from the title company for the same information. OK, I’ll just go to the Sent folder, find the previous message and re-send it to the title company. Except that it’s not there. The only place it is is in the Sent folder in the .Mac account on the iPhone, which isn’t synced back to any other devices. I had to go hunt down my iPhone and re-send it from there.

This problem is fixable. It turns out that it’s the fault of the default. There is a setting for where to store sent messages, but it is buried deep in the catacombs of the iPhone Settings and is by default set to keep sent messages only on the iPhone. Here is a map of the expedition to find it.

The path on the iPad is similar but a little simpler. You can repeat this setting for other mail accounts which you may have. Google mail doesn’t have this choice in settings. Sent mail goes automatically to the Sent Mail folder on the Google server.

Second problem. Only the Inboxes of mail accounts on the iDevice are synced automatically. If you have a lot of other mailboxes as I do for convenience in sorting your mail, they are synced only when you actually click on them. If you want to have up-to-date copies of the messages in these mailboxes that you can read when you are off-line, you have to remember beforehand when you do have a WiFi or cellular data connection to click on each mailbox in every account one-by-one to update it. Very tedious and annoying.