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Sync efficiency: iCloud vs Gmail. Opinions?

Never mind privacy, security, Google politics versus Apple politics, and all that. I've read and keep reading about it. This question is about bolts and wrenches. Simple efficiency.


I've gone back and forth a couple times, with of course grief in transition, but I've finally figured out how. I migrated my Contacts from Gmail back to iCloud yesterday. Neither syncs perfectly. Always occasional considerable delay. (3 devices: MBP, iPad mini, iPhone).


Does anyone have an opinion on which is more efficient, robust? And why?

iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi, Cellular, iOS 10.2.1

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 7:18 AM

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F J Poblam wrote:


I think I am inferring your advice as, simply, "push" is better than "fetch". Right?

From what I inferred from your original post, yes. Depending on the volume of email you get, push may use more battery life. But, you get the mail almost as soon as it hits the server. For some people, Fetch is sufficient.


Honestly, I can't speak to how it all effects contacts. I don't add contacts often enough to my Google account to pay that much attention. I've been using Gmail/Google Calendar for years and I rarely have an issue with syncing. However, I only sync between Google an my iOS devices and my Android devices. On my Mac, I access everything via browser.

Posted on Feb 27, 2017 9:07 AM

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Feb 27, 2017 8:27 AM in response to F J Poblam

My experience is that, if you're using a mix of platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows), Google is a better choice. If you are only using Apple devices, then it's personal preference. And, I agree with Bob, that without knowing more about your needs, it's hard to advise.


One thing I would note is that, unless you have a paid Google account, you are limited to fetch in the Mail app on the iOS devices. The way around that would be to use one of the Google apps (e.g. Gmail, Inbox) which will allow push to your iOS devices.

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Feb 27, 2017 8:17 AM in response to BobTheFisherman

By efficiency I mean *less* prone to delays, lost information (e.g., between devices). At times I have had problems with "collaboration". Say, John Doe gets a new phone number on one device and a new email address on another: no telling which device will "win" but at times either one or the other update is lost, and neither update appears on the third device, even overnight (all three connected in the same room via the same wi-fi network and using the same appleid and same gmail account).

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Feb 27, 2017 8:27 AM in response to F J Poblam

My experience is that, if you're using a mix of platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows), Google is a better choice. If you are only using Apple devices, then it's personal preference. And, I agree with Bob, that without knowing more about your needs, it's hard to advise.


One thing I would note is that, unless you have a paid Google account, you are limited to fetch in the Mail app on the iOS devices. The way around that would be to use one of the Google apps (e.g. Gmail, Inbox) which will allow push to your iOS devices.

Feb 27, 2017 8:28 AM in response to F J Poblam

F J Poblam wrote:


What do you mean by *paid* Google account? Does Google apps (enterprise) work different from/better than the freebie?

Yes, Google (enterprise) will support push for email using Microsoft ActiveSync. The free version does not. If you use the built in Mail app on an iOS device, you will be limited to fetch. To get push with a free account, you need to use a Google app such as Gmail or Inbox. If you dislike those apps, you can still install them on your phone for notification purposes but still read the email in the Mail app. You'll just need to pull down to refresh when you open the Mail app.

Question marked as Best answer

Feb 27, 2017 9:07 AM in response to F J Poblam

F J Poblam wrote:


I think I am inferring your advice as, simply, "push" is better than "fetch". Right?

From what I inferred from your original post, yes. Depending on the volume of email you get, push may use more battery life. But, you get the mail almost as soon as it hits the server. For some people, Fetch is sufficient.


Honestly, I can't speak to how it all effects contacts. I don't add contacts often enough to my Google account to pay that much attention. I've been using Gmail/Google Calendar for years and I rarely have an issue with syncing. However, I only sync between Google an my iOS devices and my Android devices. On my Mac, I access everything via browser.

Sync efficiency: iCloud vs Gmail. Opinions?

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