Apple Notes and Gmail Notes


I accidentally ended up creating some notes in the Gmail Notes inside my iDevice only to be completely confounded by the fact I could not see them in my desktop. I tried to find some resolution by looking at the instructions for the Apple notes, but got frustrated with the lack of information.

So, here it is how I solved my issue:

It seems that as an Apple Notes user, one can select to have the Notes saved “On my iPhone/iPad/Mac” or synced to any email account of one’s choice. If you chose the first option, then no issues there, but the “fun” part comes with the latter. In that case the application will send notes from the device via Gmail to the Gmail servers, or for that matter to the email account you designated under IMAP. This means that your notes are therefore treated as normal email and labelled as “Notes”. Not only that, they are automatically archived on arrival. The initial transfer is one-way only and this implies that the notes can’t be restored from Gmail to the device. In order to find your Notes in Gmail you have to search for the “Notes” label!

If you call up your note on your device, the application access it from Gmail and displays it. But if you deleted it, as many of us do, then the app gets confused as it does not know where they are… If they are deleted from the device removes the label in Gmail and thus they cannot be accessed by the device and they get zombiefied in Gmail! They will still be present in All Mail, but without label.

How to fix this… well it depends. If the Notes have been deleted from the Gmail account from the web interface they will still be there in the Trash for 30 days. You can “restore” then during that time and will be showing in the Notes App on the device.

If the Notes folder was deleted using the Mail App on the device, the notes will (probably) still be there under “All Mail” but without a label. You can search for them and re-apply the label!

My advice would be not to use the synching at all… it has caused more pains than it should be. Let me know if this helps.

Syncing Gmail contacts with Mac (OS)

Aha… now that I have posted about Gmail contacts and iOS, it seems that some of us are having questions about syncing with Mac OS… Well, here is a brief post about this.

OPTION 1 – Synchronize with Google 

Open the Contacts App and go to “Preferences”. Go to “On My Mac” and you will see the following window:




Select “Synchronize with Google”, you will need to accept the terms and conditions and then authenticate your account. Note that, this method will bring all Gmail contacts under All Contacts (which includes everybody you have emailed) and they will be pushed to your Mac OS X address book. If you want to keep your Gmail and iCloud (for instance) or any other account separate from each other, then the next option is for you.

OPTION 2 – Separate Accounts

If you want to keep your Gmail contacts separate, then go to the “Preferences” in the Contacts app and follow these steps:

  1. Open the Accounts category.
  2. Click + and select CardDAV
  3. Type your full Gmail address for the User name and authenticate your account
  4. Under server enter “” and click “Create”

If you do not want to sync your Mail, Notes or Calendars, make sure they are not selected. After you do this you will have your Gmail contacts under a new account in the groups list.



Syncing Gmail contacts to iPhone or iPad

Further to my previous post about Gmail, I noticed earlier in the week that I was missing a number of contacts in my phone. “Surely I did not delete them, did I?” I thought… Checked and checked again and indeed I was missing contacts stored in my Gmail account. How could that be? I had set up my account so that my contacts were synced… oh well, it turns out that back in September 2012 Gmail announced the possibility to sync contacts using CardDAV. However, in December, in their wisdom they decided to discontinue Google Sync from January 30th 2013. I had no idea about this, but here is a post from macworld about it.

So, my contacts had not been deleted, Gmail was not working as I imagined… So, here is how to sync your contacts using CardDAV.

  • Open the “Settings” application on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • Select “Add Account” and then “Other”
  • Select “Add CardDAV Account” and fill in the information. In the Server enter “”
  • Select “Next” at the top of your screen, and make sure that the “Contacts” option is turned on.

Once you have done that open your Contacts app and the syncing will start.

A similar problem may occur for calendars, if you are looking for info about that follow this link



Fixing Gmail incorrect password/user error (iPhone and iPad)


I recently got a very annoying error message in an iPhone regarding the password/user resolution for my Gmail account. I again and again kept entering the correct combination and nothing seemed to work. I thought I was mistyping, or perhaps my fingertips suddenly got fatter… I tried logging in via the website and lo and behold I could indeed login.

Error PasswordThe message: ‘The user name or password for “” is incorrect’ and it appears even if you haven’t made any changes to your account. Well, here is a way to solve the issue:

  1. Quit all mail clients that are having the issue. For the iPhone or iPad you can open the multi-tasking menu and tap the mail icon for a few seconds. A red minus sign will appear at the upper left-hand corner. Tap the minus sign and that quits the application.
  2. Open a web browser (Safari will do) and go to the following link:
  3. Login using your credentials for the troublesome account to verify the account.
  4. Open again your Mail app and voilà


Fixed Problem with Sparrow Not Quitting

Sparrow (e-mail client)
Sparrow (e-mail client) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I first heard of Sparrow, a new email client (in beta back October 2010) that used the IMAP protocol and promised to be good, minimalist e-mail interface, I was indeed interested in finding more about it. At the beginning you could only use it to read GMail, but eventually it started supporting providers, including even Exchange.

I was not particularly horrified by its acquisition by Google, but I was a bit sad to see that the move meant that they would not update or change the application. There was even that petition asking Google to “keep Sparrow alive”. Anyway, after the taken over took place, I found that suddenly some bit and pieces were not working as they had been. One that has been an annoying one, was the fact that some accounts would take forever to download mail and particularly the fact that when quitting the application, it would just get zombified, i.e. Sparrow would not quit and I would have to Force Quit the application.

I have now managed to sort that problem. I am not sure if this was an issue with my Exchange server or indeed a bug in Sparrow, but now the application is happier than it was for a long time (and me too!). The issue was with a particular Exchange account, more specifically with the SMTP server. For some reason, Sparrow did not like the settings that seem to be working fine in or Thunderbird. So, here is what I did:

I deleted the account and started afresh setting it up, when asked for the SMTP server details, I made sure that the “Secure Connection” option was left unticked and that the Port was the one specified by my provider (in this case Port 25 – see figure below). That has made the application to work and exit fine. If you are having a similar problem, I hope this helps.sparrow