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Apple Mail struggles when bringing in attachments from GMail run on Google apps.

The GMail account will show a 4mb attachment in a millisecond.

Apple Mail when importing the same attachment produces the spinning cof for about two minutes.

Apple Support 2nd level team told to forget Apple Mail and use GMail only.

Can this be right?

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No, the person you spoke with at Apple Support Tier II was either lazy or not a very smart rep. Your mileage with Tier II may vary on more complex matters like this. – bispymusic Mar 8 '13 at 18:53
Question #1: What protocol do you connect through (POP, IMAP, etc.)? Question #2: Have you tried creating a test user account on your Mac and setting it up through this? – bispymusic Mar 8 '13 at 18:54

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