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Awesome iOS mail app tip: one Gmail account, multiple “from” addresses

I have all of my mail forwarded to my Gmail address so that checking my mail is a one inbox affair, but what about replying? I’m not ashamed of the fact that I’m using Gmail, but using my iSource address looks just a little more official than somedude@gmail.com (not my actual address).

Until yesterday, I thought that I had to add my other IMAP accounts to the iPhone and iPad in order to be able to send e-mails from them, but thanks to Nick Cernis at the Modern Nerd, this is no longer the case. Cernis put together an incredibly detailed post about how he has one Gmail address set up as an IMAP account on his iPhone and iPad, but is able to respond to e-mails as though he was using one of his other e-mail addresses. The tip is essentially to use a comma to add your other e-mail addresses to the “Address” field, but it’s probably best to follow Cernis’ step-by-step instructions.

The only downside is that people can still tell that you’ve sent your e-mail from a Gmail account if they look hard enough at the header, but for most (like myself), this should serve quite nicely. It will also keep me from seeing all the double e-mails I’ve been dealing with, since my iOS devices have been checking my iSource account and my Gmail account for a couple of months now.

[Then again, if you’re jailbroken, you could also just try using the excellent Mail Rules add-on from Cydia]

Extra Tips

I also wanted to mention a quick tip of my own, and that is to pay attention to what your Drafts, Sent, and Trash folders correspond to on the server side, so that all your iOS folders correspond to Gmail’s labels, and vice versa. You reach these settings by going to Settings -> Mail ->  [your Gmail account] -> Advanced and set up the three boxes under “Mailbox Behaviors”. I’ve set my account up as follows:

  • Drafts Mailbox -> Drafts (the one just below Inbox)
  • Sent Mailbox -> Sent Messages (the one with the paper airplane beside it)
  • Deleted Mailbox -> All Mail (so that deleting on the iPhone acts like archiving in Gmail)

I also set my Deleted Messages to Never, so that the trash is never emptied.



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  • Ray

    Good post. Thanks.
    Regarding your tip re settings, sounds good but I can’t find:
    Settings -> Mail -> Advanced
    on my iPhone (iOS 4.3.1)

    • Apologies. One step missing there. It is Settings -> Mail -> [your Gmail account] -> Advanced

      You’ll have to scroll down a bit after opening your Gmail account settings to see advanced

  • Renato

    Fast forward a year later, not sure if it’s due to iOS ver 5 but I can’t get it to work in my gmail account using an Exchange setup (so I can sync my contacts and calendar). So what I did is create a dummy “send only” account with the personal email address I needed to use. You just have to make sure you don’t enter the correct inbound server info, only the outbound smtp server info. The drawback is that you’ll now have an additional account listed in your mail app, but at least you’ll be able to send from it.