GMail IMAP- the bane of the traveler

gmail-logoThis year has started differently for me than most as I am already in the middle of my third trip this year.  In just over a month I have been on the road and in hotels for almost half the year.  The trips have gone very well with the exception of one single thing that has continued to drive me mad.

I use GMail which in and of itself is not a problem.  GMail is… well, GMail and it just works, the web version anyway.  The problem sets in when you use the IMAP ability in GMail so you can use a client email app or a mobile phone to keep up with the GMail.

I have been confronted on all three trips with significant stretches when my notebook mail app cannot connect to the GMail IMAP server.  When this happens my normal mail work is dead in the water and I have to resort to using the web version.  Don’t get me wrong, the web version is fine it just means that I have an interruption in my normal work routine which is aggravating.

The real problem is that when my mail app can’t access the IMAP server then my iPhone can’t either as it uses IMAP too.  That’s a real problem for someone on the road as it means you can’t get your email on the run.  That’s a big no-no.

These outages are pretty commonplace I’ve discovered given all this travel.  I usually see it happen at least once a day without rhyme nor reason and the outage lasts for variable lengths of time.  Sometimes it’s only a little while but other times it can be for hours.  This throws a monkey wrench in my normal work routine when typically I am trying to jump on, get stuff done and then jump off again.  I have to change my routine during the outages and it’s enough to have me cursing Google frequently.  I sure wish Google would learn to do IMAP correctly so it would just work.  I suppose this is why Google keeps GMail classified as beta.