Combined Inbox (Exchange & Gmail)


Dec 6, 2009
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I bounce back and forth between Android and WebOS a lot really like having the WebOS combined inbox view of my Exchange and Gmail accounts.

I didn't realize this was possible until I was messing around this morning with my Froyo'ed Droid.

1. Under Account Settings, Disable Email syncing of Gmail account (Leave Contacts, Calendar)
2. Create new account in Email application and choose manual Exchange
3. Domain\Username to "\[Email Address]"
4. Enter password
5. Enter for the Server
6. Make sure both SSL boxes are checked
7. Make sure Sync Contacts and Sync Calendar boxes are unchecked

I know you can sync Contacts and Calendar with the Exchange setup, but I was afraid that my starred contacts and wife's shared calendar wouldn't come over correctly.

Anyway, I didn't find much when I was searching ways to do this so I figured I would post it here...

Updated Warning: As pointed out by aminaked in the reply directly following this, there are some pretty serious bugs reported with the stock email client. I have not encountered any of them in my setup or with my wife's, but be warned that it is possible that you could have some strange and possibly bad results when using the stock email application.
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I'm using custom ROMs (LithiumMod at the moment) so I'm not sure if that is considered stock anymore, but I haven't had any of the issues you list with my Exchange account. This might be an Exchange vs SMTP(IMAP/POP) difference, but in either case I haven't had any issues.

I previously used Touchdown for my Exchange email, but was sick of not being able to have a combined calendar view so I changed over to using the built in Email app instead. I'm going on 3 weeks now without a single issue.

I might be in the minority on this as well, but I'm not a fan of the threaded email view that Gmail provides when I'm using the phone. I love it on my laptop, but there have been too many times where I've missed emails in a thread because I wasn't paying close enough attention in the Gmail app.
Android email app will start attaching random emails from the past (ones you've deleted and ones from other accounts) when you reply to an email. It sends base 64 encoded messages which appear as gibberish on some clients. It stops polling randomly.

I used the stock app for about a month until it started to get wacky on me. You should use K9, Maildroid, Touchdown, or ANYTHING ELSE.

The Froyo email app on the Droid is just fine. I've been using it for awhile now and have no issues. Most of the bugs you linked to are old (saw one for Android 1.6). Others aren't that significant and if the user isn't having issues, who are you to tell us to switch? Do you work for K-9 or something?

@danwanna Thanks for the info. I can confirm that this works for GMail.

I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't seem to work for Google Apps accounts. I tried and it seems to setup fine, but never shows the inbox or any folders. I also tried mail.<domain>.com and<domain> to no avail.
The account I have setup is my Google Apps account. Make sure you have enabled Google Sync for the domain.

1. Login to your mail and choose Manage Domain (if you are admin)
2. Expand the "Service settings" menu and choose "Mobile"
3. Check "Enable Google Sync" and Save Changes.

I had mine previously enabled so I didn't try it without this setting.

I've tried K-9 mail in the past (and just did again at your suggestion), but it will not connect to my Exchange server due to unsupported policies. It also doesn't support Calendar or Contacts on Exchange from what I can tell so it really doesn't help me much with the goal of having combined views.

If we all just quit using the stock email client and submitting bug tickets, what motivation will Google have to resolve issues. It personally makes me a little nervous downloading relatively unknown email clients and configuring them to connect to my mail servers. Who knows what they are doing with your account information or emails. That combined with the fact that I'm sure there are bugs with these implementations as well.

I'm sure K-9 is fine, but it is still a risk and I would prefer to stick with the standard Google apps when possible for things like this.

That being said, I am using custom ROMs so I'm obviously not that much of security nut...

Just my 2 cents...
K9 is open source so anyone can check out the code. Furthermore, I think the guys working on it work for Google as their Google Code site says they plan on rolling their work into the stock client at some point.

If K9 doesn't work, I would normally recommend Touchdown for exchange but it isn't developed by Google.

I'm just trying to make people aware of the issues with the stock email client. The stock email client is "fine" until it acts up.

I do appreciate the feedback, but the solution you recommend doesn't work with my servers or meet my needs so I am looking for alternatives.

At this time I haven't found any other way to get combined views of my inbox and calendar. I will take the time to further investigate the issues you linked to so I can make an informed decision.

Just an FYI, I am pretty sure you are acting as a "test bunny" for K-9 Mail as well. Have you taken the time to review the Issues or Release Notes lists?

K-9 Open Issues -> Issues - k9mail - Project Hosting on Google Code
K-9 Release Notes -> ReleaseNotes - k9mail - Changes in each revision of K-9 - Project Hosting on Google Code

I'm sure if you looked at Touchdown, Maildroid or any other piece of software that is developed by humans for humans you would find the same sort of thing. At my day job (don't need a gig at a lab) the project I lead also has a backlog of issues.

That is the difficult thing about software development. It is relatively easy to write software that works with the primary use cases, but when you deviate into alternate flows, strange and difficult to reproduce bugs often occur. That is even more true in the case of mobile development as there are many variables (connectivity, server versions, user error, OS and API differences) that can contribute to those alternate flows.

Please don't take any of this as a slam against you or K-9 Mail. From what I've read, K-9 seems like a very well run project and is meeting lots of people's needs. I just wanted to present a counter point.

As for me, I've tried K-9 and Maildroid (my Exchange Server only supports EAS) as well as purchased and used Touchdown for 8+ months (works great with Exchange but doesn't support the combined views I am looking for).

I also have 8+ months of my wife using the stock Email client on her Eris via IMAP and SMTP without a single issue.

Since I mostly triage mail on my phone (read, flag, delete) and rarely send anything I am going to continue to try the solution while I check on the status of the bugs.
I'm a software dev. K9 is based on the stock client's code. It is continually updated and enhanced. The stock client has had the same open bugs for nearly a year. The scariest stock client bugs have been squashed in k9. K9's code will hopefully, according to the devs, be rolled into android. The choice is clear for me.

I didn't appreciate the other poster thinking I had an agenda that wasn't altruistic. Who am I to say not to use the stock client? I'm the guy who's on this forum every day helping people figure out why their email is jacked. I'm the guy who's on the android and K9 google code sites checking out every new bug submission. I'm the guy who had to deal with problems with the stock client and who's nice/stupid enough to want to help total strangers avoid that mess.

I appreciate your posts. I hope you find your answers.
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I've run Touchdown, but the fact that it doesn't integrate with the stock calendar is at this point a no-go. I just tried the latest version of K-9 (from the code site, not the market), and came to find out it only supports Exchange 2003, so that's a no-go. MailDroid is ad-supported, which a mail client should never be (in my opinion). So that leaves me with the stock email client for Froyo. It instantly setup my exchange account, and has worked flawlessly for me. If I run into issues by adding my Gmail accounts, I'll go back to the Gmail app for those.

If someone is having problems, feel free to point them in another direction. When someone posts a helpful tip, there's no need to come in and act like a troll and bash the program. I apologize if I thought you had an ulterior motive, but a one-line off-topic post really makes easy to assume that there's something behind it besides trying to be the "good samaritan" for E-mail users.

Thanks for the tip and instructions. Still trying to get my head a round how all of the accounts work and sync, but it does seem to be working on my phone. My emails (pop3) still poll at my one hour setting, and the new gmail exchange does push.

It appears the main benefit is that you can see both accounts in a single view. What I am trying to get my head around is how much syncing I can turn off and still get just gmails, emails and google voice's that get translated to gmail. As I am constantly in and out of 3g coverage, I am thinking that perhaps this can save me some syncing battery life?

Thanks again,

@Bear in NM
If your main goal is improved battery life I would suggest setting up your Gmail account to pull in your POP3 mail automatically. You can do that from by going to Settings-Accounts and entering your POP3 info in the "Get mail from other accounts section". That would allow your phone to only deal with syncing one account.

If that solution works for you, I would just continue to use the stock Gmail app instead of the Email one I was describing. The only issue I would see is that you would only be able to send mail from one of your addresses. You can specify which account your mail will come from in the settings, but I think it can only be set to one at a time.

In my scenario, I have work email, calendar and contacts on Exchange and personal email, calendar and contacts on Gmail so I was trying to get combined views of all three items from both accounts.