Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blackberry: How to get Push IMAP Gmail if you are on BIS.

Today RIM quietly released a fantastic feature - IMAP email for those of us Blackberry addicts whom are NOT on an Enterprise Server. Basically if you don't connect to a work Exchange server chances are you are on BIS (Blackberry Internet Server).

This new feature essentially means that if you use Gmail (or any other email service that supports IMAP) you can now get true IMAP push email to your Blackberry. Previous to today you had to use POP3 which meant delays; sometimes up to 15 minutes before you would get a gmail message to your handheld.

The set up procedure isn't the most intuitive, so I have put together a step by step to get it working. Thanks to Scott and TESZ9 (commenters @ RIMarkable for the help)

~ Click on any of the images to make them bigger.

Step 1 - Enable IMAP support in your Gmail account. You do this by going to Settings, then Forwarding and POP/IMAP.

Step 2 - Log into your Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) account to configure your mailbox. Delete your previous Gmail account and add a new service.

Step 3 - Add a new account BUT don't put the passwords for you gmail account in the utility boxes or it will default to POP3 and you will have to start again. Then just click next and

Step 3b - Additional Information Required -> Click next

Step 3c - Click Personal Account (if configuring for Gmail) then click next.

Step 3d - We were Unable to configure error.. Click I will provide the setting

Step 3E - Internet Service Provider Email (POP/IMAP) Click I will provide the settings then next.

Step 3F - Set Up Exisiting email account - Enter your Gmail information here - along with as your email server. RIM (someone was thinking :) ) will recognize it is a gmail account and autoconfigure your IMAP ports to 993 for you after you click next and save!.

Thats IT! you will now get true push GMail to your Blackberry! This will also work for all IMAP supported mailboxes, you just have to enter your port information manually as I don't think that RIM's BIS web service will recognize all but the big providers.

I have had this working now for a few hours and my Gmail comes to my Blackberry immediately, it used to be about a 15 minute delay.

Congrats to RIM on adding an awesome feature, I just can't understand why it took years to do.


Anonymous said...

do you get true 2-way sync, i.e., mails deleted on PC will disappear from BB device?

Andrew said...

Correct, you actually don't get two-way synch in the method you described..

I amended the post.

Howard said...

Does it also notify you when you receive new email? With Exchange, my Blackberry will notify me every time a receive a new email (mine vibrates). Can I get this same functionality without Exchange using Gmail as you describe here?

Andrew said...

@ Howard, yes that is correct.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thank you for the clear steps. Could you be more clear on what kind of synchronisation takes place between the BB device and Gmail on the Internet? If I save a draft message on the blackberry, will it also show on Gmail (Internet)?


Andrew said...

@Stefan - it is only one way - it will mark your gmail messages as read in your inbox (a huge improvement over POP3) and keep a log of your sent messages.

This, with the instant delivery make it a pretty nice upgrade for free!

jasonn said...

Is this new??? I have had IMAP through BIS for months. It is not 2 way sync, and its not much of a push, cause its not immediate. I think the BIS is still polling. Not as slow as pop3, but still not speedy. If this is new improved functionality, then that would be great. The lack of IMAP on the bb is joke. Almost deal killer.

Andrew said...

@Jason - it was new functionality to me, it seems a LOT faster - and I agree with you it could be a lot more complete.

Anonymous said...

this is definitely not new at all, has been around for over a year and no improvements have been made with the lack of true 2-way sync.

you might want to amend the post so that people don't think you are revealing something new or that some new technology or functionality has been released, because it hasn't.

tjb said...

Does this traffic flow thru your companys enterprise server, then routed to Google or does is talk straight with Google?

Andrew said...

@ TJB - If you are using a BES, this isn't applicable, it is for people using BIS.

Andrew said...

@anonymous - I don't think you are correct, I have spoken to several BB experts and IMAP is new for BIS users.

David Miller said...

The important question for me is whether I can file emails in a folder on my device and it will file them on the mail server. The time suck of having to sort already-read emails is THE #1 drawback to blackberry.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Andrew!

Not sure if anyone ran into the same error I did.

After going through the steps, I received an error message. So I after changing step 3F to, it worked. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Andrew!

Not sure if anyone ran into the same error I did.

After going through the steps, I received an error message. So I after changing step 3F to, it worked. Any thoughts?

>>>>I got this error also and changing step 3f to worked for me too.

Silas said...

Use and it should work! It did for me!

Keagan Theatre Company said...

Thanks for this - but I'm having problems. When I go to BB site, to try and register with them, (on this screen: and then when I enter my information, it says: "Your account is not accessible via an HTML browser. Please use your device to access BIS."

The obvious problem is that this workaround, doesn't work on my BB - it won't allow me to leave the password field blank.....

Any help would be HUGELY APPRECIATED. I need imap!


Aquarius757 said...

Do you have to log into BIS on a computer and not your phone? I haven't been able to get this working directly on the BB.