Gmail IMAP down… Then back up… but they won’t admit it

here’s a fun story for all you tech people out there.
Since 5-19-2011, Google has been rolling out an update for their IMAP servers. Since it’s Google, it’s a rolling update, slowly affecting users instead of an instant “Wham” and then a pile of problems.
They’re lucky they did it this way. There was a bug with IMAP, slowly rolling into more and more people’s Gmail accounts. I was hit early, on the 20th. My mom was hit 2 days later. your typical Gmail user will have never noticed this UNLESS they use a smartphone.
here’s where it gets funny, and sad at the same time. On an Android device, if it gets a response from IMAP that it doesn’t recognize, it tells you. On Windows Mobile, it just keeps trying. (or as I discovered, it was taking all the data that Gmail was dumping to it as auth data, and trying to process it all… Processing over 7000 emails as auth data can really kill your phone).
Google posted that they knew that something was wrong in their support forums FOR DESKTOP CLIENTS. Too bad they didn’t let their mobile support people know that IMAP works on more than desktop clients. The past week has been spent on Google’s forums trying to pry an answer out of a few Google support reps on the internet, who claim they could not replicate the problem. (so the community stepped in and created a few different Youtube videos for them to see what happens). Google never admitted to this being a problem on the mobile phone end, and never looked cross client to see if it was more than just a problem with the specific OS.
Either way, it’s back up now, but not without a week of headaches and crashed phones.

Oh well, I hope Google can get their game together and try to fix their customer support problems better (they need to look cross platform to see if it’s more than a specific device).



About Author
Someone who feels the need to help others using the information that I have discovered. If someone else finds it useful, I'm more than happy to have helped.

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