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 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


Downgrade iPhone 3GS from iOS 4 back to 3.1.3

I have been very happy with the performance of my iPhone, but I could not help noticing that after upgrading the 3GS to iOS 4, the phone not only slowed down, but effectively stood still. Not really what you want when you are in need of getting directions, finding the name of that actor in that film, or simply making a phonecall. So, if you are in that boat, here is a recipe to downgrade your device and recover some functionality! You will need the following ingredients:

  1. iPhone 3GS
  2. iTunes
  3. Cable to connect iPhone to iTunes
  4. A copy of iOS 3.1.3
  5. RecBoot
  6. Some patience

Preparation 1 – Get iOS 3.1.3 ready

This sounds like a tricky one, but do not panic, it might well be that you do indeed have a copy of the iOS available in your hard drive, check in:

~/Library/iTunes/iPhone Software Updates

On Windows, your iPhone OS updates should be stored in:

C:Documents and Settings[username]Application DataApple ComputeriTunesiPhone Software Updates

If you see a file inside this folder corresponding to




those are likely the restore images you need.

If you don’t see anything that resembles the 3.1.3 OS or you just want  a freshly downloaded one,  iClarified has a list of iPhone firmware files. Just find 3.1.3 for your phone and download it to a place in your hard drive that you can remember.

Preparation 2 – RecBoot

Later on in the process, you will need RecBoot to be able to tell iTunes to free your iPhone after downgrading. You can download it here (available for Mac and Windows).

Preparation 3 – Put your iPhone into DFU mode

You need to put your iPhone into Device Firmware Update (or DFU) mode in order to downgrade to 3.1.3., here is how:

  1. Plug in your iPhone.
  2. Power it down by holding the sleep/lock button at the top and sliding to power off.
  3. Once it’s powered down, press and hold both the sleep/lock button and the home button for ten seconds.
  4. After ten seconds, release the power button but continue holding down the home button.
  5. If you did it right, iTunes will pop up a window telling you that it’s detected an iPhone in recovery mode and your iPhone’s screen will be black. If it didn’t work, start from the beginning and try again.

Preparation 4 – Downgrade to 3.1.3

It is now time to do the downgrading. Dismiss the iTunes alert that told you you’re in recovery mode. Select the iPhone in the iTunes sidebar

  1. Hold Cmd and click the Restore button
  2. iTunes will pop up a window prompting you to choose a file. Navigate to the location of the 3.1.3 OS file you obtained in preparation 1.
  3. Select that file, and iTunes will start the OS restore process. You will now use the bit of patience as thos takes a few minutes
  4. When it’s finished, you’ll  receive an error message  and your iPhone will boot up with a “Connect to iTunes” screen.

Preparation 5 – Recovering the iPhone

This is where RecBoot becomes useful. Open RecBoot, and click “Exit Recovery Mode”. After a few seconds the software should prompt your iPhone to leave the plug-me-into-iTunes mood  and there you go, you have a freshly downgraded iPhone device!

Serve cold and enjoy!