I've spent way too many hours on this. As of Today July 10th 2014, if you are on IOS 6, the only FREE solution available to have that precious PUSH instant notification and yet manage the sound alerts without having a slow app (or something that will drain your battery), is to have both Altamail and Gmail installed for 2 different purposes.
I've installed Altamail, then forward my Gmail account to Altamail (by following the instruction they provide), and than, within Altamail, set the email notification the way I want it using filters (the Mail equivalent of VIPs) cuz I dont want to receive an alert for ALL my messages!).
Then I put Altamail somewhere on my iphone where I dont see it, cuz I'm actually going to use it only as an app that PUSHES my incoming messages instantly.
Then I install Gmail, log in, and set notification to NONE. I'm actually going to use Gmail all the time, but I dont want their slow and unpredictable push notification system.
Then in my Iphone settings:
- I go to Notification and select Gmail and slide the "notification center" button to the left to disable it.
- Still in my iphone settings, I go to Altamail and enable banners and sounds.
And that's it!
It sucks that Gmail or Altamail doesnt provide all these simple features. This is the only FREE solution I've found. Gmail isnt good at sending instant incoming messages and Altamail is way too slow when it comes to opening a message or load the entire conversation.
So that way you get both!
Hope this will allow some of you to avoid all the time and energy + useless downloads and useless account creation on many websites + Imap and pop3 information reading I've been through. None of the above solutions really works, even though some of them sound easy and logical (like Icloud or Exchange that dont work anymore)!