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Google Sync push support for Gmail seems to be faking it

Although you’ve been able to keep your Contacts and your Calendars synced wirelessly between your Google Accounts, your desktop apps, and your iPhone via Google Sync for a while now, Google finally added push Gmail support today. However, it’s not really push from what I can tell. I enabled it on my iPhone, per the instructions here. Unfortunately, following those instructions resulted in all my Contacts and Calendars having to resync to my iPhone. It took well over an hour for everything to fully sync up, which was annoying.

I had thought that the arrival of Gmail support in Google Sync would signal the death of apps like Gpush for iPhone, but I was wrong. First, when new email arrives via push, all that happens is a new mail sound plays and the number count on Mail.app updates. Google Sync’s push support on the iPhone doesn’t offer the nice pop-up summary that Gpush provides, and which I’ve grown accustomed to.

Second, and this is kind of disconcerting, the iPhone’s Mail.app isn’t getting new messaged pushed to it as quickly as I’m receiving notifications from Gpush. Gpush seems to know exactly when a new email arrives in my inbox. When I receive a notification from Gpush, often I launch Mail with Gmail Sync turned on only to discover that not only has no email been pushed to my device yet, but that when I manually check for email, it sometimes checks and finds no new mail. That’s not true Push. That’s Google (and Apple) faking it. Lame.

I can understand some delay in the notification, but if Gpush tells me there is a new email and I check email and Mail.app and Google Sync still don’t give me a new email, there’s no way it’s actually doing push. That’s basically the same scenario I was in with fetch.

More on discussion on this new feature here

UPDATE: After using it for a day, I consistently am seeing slower access to my email than I was getting with regular IMAP. Lame.