How-to: Getting Gmail to work on the iPad 2

So a friend I know bought an iPad – a 32GB one with 3G to boot. It came with iOS 4.3.5. – I couldn’t use the 5 finger pinch to home screen.

His wife wanted to check her email on it and asked me to set it up, so I did. Then she wanted to change the password because somebody set it up for her and she was afraid that they’d check her mail, so we did that too. Who knew? The darned thing stopped working. I deleted the mail account and tried to set it up again, no joy. I switched it off and on – nope. I cleared the browser cache – nope. In fact, we tried so many times (I gave the iPad to her everytime I needed to key in the password) that eventually I figured out her password.

This is where I made the fatal mistake – I did a restore. Oops! I get the plug to iTunes screen and no way to get out of it.

Dumb, I know. I was hungry. And tired.

So I offered to take it home to fix. I figure I’ll update it to iOS 5 for them while I’m at it. Get it home, download and install the 700+MB update. Set up the device, set up AppleID, set up iCloud. Set up email again. Fail.

Something is wrong here. Who knew? Gmail blocks the account on the mobile device if it thinks you’re doing something cheeky. Like changing your password. AND. It won’t tell you that either. I logged into Gmail on my PC and that was fine.

They have an “unlock Captcha”. You have to go to this page:, sign in, key in some mangled letters to prove to Gmail that you are in fact a human being.

Tried again. All good.

I’ve also configured iCloud. I’ve put a note in the iPad to help them remember their AppleID password. Yeah… go figure. I’ve set up the Apple Store with no credit card, downloaded some free apps to make sure it works.

Now the question is… when I return the iPad tomorrow, should I still pretend I don’t know her email password?

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