Getting Gmail Mobile to Work on your Treo

After some tweaking, I was able to get Gmail Mobile working on my Treo 700p. While not officially supported on the Palm OS, it appears to function just fine. Here’s what you do:

    1. Download and install IBM’s “WebSphere Everyplace Micro Environment Technology for Palm.” (It’s a Java Virtual Machine (JVM))
    2. Download and install Gmail Mobile.

You can install these over-the-air or from your desktop via Hotsync. I went with the former approach. (Ever since we moved to an Exchange Server at the office, I don’t bother to sync my Treo anymore except to restore the occasionally lost file…)

There’s some fiddling you’ll have to do to get Gmail installed under the IBM JVM, but it’s not all that difficult.

It doesn’t check mail in the background so when you launch Gmail Mobile, you can use only that application. To use another app, you’ll have to exit Gmail Mobile.

Gmail Mobile also keeps asking if it’s OK to use your data plan, which can get pretty annoying especially since I have an unlimited data plan. I guess they don’t want users to have any surprises when their cellular bill arrives. Hopefully they’ll allow this explicit check to be disabled in future versions.

The key commands are a bit odd as well. For instance, deleting a message or “conversation” is done by pressing the “7” key whereas I’m used to pressing “d” on Chatteremail.

All told, it works and it works a lot better than dealing with Gmail’s non-standard implementation of POP3 protocols in Chatteremail or other mobile/desktop POP clients.

I haven’t tried it, but I would imagine the installation and user experience would be the same on the Treo 650 and 680.

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