Using Gmail on Your Mobile Device
On your mobile device, Gmail may look a bit different from what you're used to, but most of the functionality is still there. You can send, receive, and reply to messages, and you can even archive and apply labels to messages. Different devices use different mail apps, so the appearance and functionality will vary. For example, Android devices use the built-in Gmail app, which is specifically tailored to Gmail, while iPhones and iPads use the built-in Mail app.
From your inbox, you'll be able to view your messages, including the subject, sender, date, and sometimes part of the message body as well. You can tap a message to read it or reply to it. On Android devices, you'll also be able to see any labels that your messages have, and you can add a star by tapping the star icon on the right side of the message
The Gmail inbox on an Android phone
The Gmail inbox on an iPhone
You can also manage your messages from your inbox by selecting one or more messages.
- On an Android device, tap the check boxes on the left side of each message. You can then Archive, Delete, or Label the messages.
- On an iPhone or iPad, tap Edit at the top of the screen, and then tap the check boxes on the left side of each message. You can then Archive the messages or tap Move to apply a label.
Selecting multiple messages on an Android phone
Selecting multiple messages on an iPhone
Responding to Messages
Just like "regular" Gmail, mobile Gmail groups messages into conversations. When you're viewing a conversation, or just an individual message, you can reply, reply to all, or forward it. You can also archive or delete it.
Viewing a message on an Android phone
Viewing a message on an iPhone
Composing a New Message
Composing a new message varies depending on what type of device you have.
- On an Android device, you'll need to press the Menu button at the bottom of the device, and then tap Compose.
- On an iPhone or iPad, you can tap the icon that looks like a pencil and paper.
Composing an email on an Android phone
Composing an email on an iPhone
You can then type one or more recipients. If they are in your contacts, you can begin typing their names and Gmail will offer suggestions from your contacts.
Typing a recipient on an Android phone
Typing a recipient on an iPhone
Finally, you can type the subject and body of your message and tap Send.
Writing an email on an Android phone
Writing an email on an iPhone
Contacts & Google Sync
One important difference with mobile Gmail is that it uses your mobile device's contacts instead of your Gmail contacts. This can be frustrating when you're composing a new message, since you may not have everyone's email addresses on your mobile device. However, you can use a feature called Google Sync to keep your contacts, calendar, and other information in sync. That means you can add a Gmail contact with your computer, and it will automatically add the contact on your mobile device. Android devices allow you to turn on Google Sync when you first set up the the device. For other mobile devices, go to Google Sync for your phone to view instructions for setting it up.
Using Gmail on the iPad
Tablets such as the iPad have much larger displays than mobile phones, giving you more room to read, manage, and compose emails. When you turn the iPad on its side, your inbox will appear on the left, and any message you select will appear on the right. That means you don't have to switch between different views as much, which helps to make your email experience more pleasant.
Viewing the inbox and a message on an iPad