Google stopped supporting their version of Exchange (ActiveSync) unless you have a premium GMail account.
The "proper" setup depends on your preferences and needs.
You can use the standard iOS profile to set up your GMail account using the standard iOS Mail app, or use the GMail app. The GMail app supports Push, the standard iOS GMail does not.
If you want your Google contacts to be available on your iPhone, the GMail app will pull a contact into a new message without the contacts actually being installed in your iOS Contacts app, but of course they won't be available for any other purpose. The standard iOS profile for GMail does not let you sync your Google contacts, so the best route is to set up your Google contacts as a CardDAV account:
This is done as an additional account to your iOS GMail account (or just set up contacts only and use the GMail app).
The GMail app does not provide Calendar or Notes support, only the iOS GMail profile does.
Personally I use the standard iOS GMail account for Mail, Calendar, and Notes, and set up a separate CardDAV account to sync my Google contacts. I'm OK with not having Push support for mail, there are more important things to fret over.
Really appreciate the reply. This is going to put me in loony bin lol.
I am a professional so I had it set up to send mail from my own domain using Gmail on my desktop. Setting this up on iPhone hasn't been as easy. Until recently I had IMAP for my email and Exchange for contacts and calendars. That worked well for a week or two at a time then would crash and I had to delete and reinstall. This seemed to be the norm as many others reported the same problems.
All I want is to set this up and walk away. Not spending my days questioning the email capabilities of my phone.
With this info is there a solution for me?
Your GMail configuration for IMAP is done from any computer, and once that is set up you can either use the GMail app or the standard iOS GMail setup (which you might do anyway for Calendar support). For contacts I'd use the CardDAV method, it has proven to be very reliable and syncs both ways just like Exchange.
Have you tried these instructions? As I said above, you have to set this up from a computer, but once you do that then it may work from the mobile mail app of your choice?