I read somewhere that with the update to iOS14 on the iPhone and iPad we can now finally change our default email program from Apple Mail to something else. Finally. But I can’t figure out how to actually do it. Can you help me switch it to Gmail, please?
For all that Apple does really well, the company does seem to love dropping us into the so-called walled garden. Sure, it’s pretty in there, but if you want a bit more freedom and flexibility, that’s often a hard goal to attain in the Apple ecosystem, whether you’re on a Mac or an iPhone. The constant complaints – and anti-monopoly lawsuits – must have finally had an effect, however, because with the introduction of iOS 14 you can indeed change your default Web browser and email program. If the other programs support the necessary additional feature, that is.
And that’s where you might be encountering your problem; you need the very latest version of Google’s Gmail app for the iPhone to be able to switch and have that become your default email program on your phone. Doable, however, so let’s have a look…
First off, you can see that both Apple Mail and Gmail are on the bottom frequently used apps bar of honor on my iPhone:
Two mailboxes, two email apps. A bit clumsy, I admit, but that’s how I have things set up currently.
To make Gmail my default mail app, the change can’t be made in the Settings area of Gmail itself. You have to go to the Settings app, find Gmail, then tap. If you’re running the older version here’s what you’re seeing:
No obvious way to make it your default email program, right? This is version 6.0.200824.
Update Gmail through the App Store, and suddenly this very same screen in Settings gains a new option:
Ahhh, that’s what you seek! Tap on “Default Mail App” and you’ll see all the options available based on what apps are currently installed on your iPhone:
Tap Gmail, close the window and you’re done. Surprisingly easy, really.
I do expect quite a few more options over the next month or two as other email programs like Outlook, Edison Mail, Yahoo Mail and Spark Mail add themselves to the list. Then we’ll be baffled by too many choices, right? Or can you please all the people all the time after all?
Needless to say, it’s the same situation with Web browsers if you finally want to bail on Safari and switch to something better.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about the Apple iPhone since the very first day it was released. My iPhone help library has hundreds of useful tutorials, so please do check it out while you’re visiting. Thanks!