I currently use Gmail and Google Calendar for my primary email and calendar system. I've been using them both through the web interface so I can best take advantage of all the features. However I'm considering switching to Mail & iCal, and I'm trying to figure out what I will and won't be able to do. (I already set up syncing with Mail & Calendar on my iPhone, and Address Book on both my iPhone and Mac.)

Here are the features I use:

  • Keyboard shortcuts in Gmail
  • Several alternate email addresses that are forwarded to and fetched by my primary Gmail account
    • When I reply to an email that was sent to one of these addresses, Gmail automatically picks that address to send from
    • Sending mail from plus-addresses (e.g. [email protected])
  • Priority Inbox ("Important" messages, as determined by Gmail's algorithm, appear at the top of my inbox)
  • Labels, which appear next to the message subject in my inbox
  • In Google Calendar, I have added a couple public calendars that I can view events from.

Are all of these features easy to sync with Mail and iCal? In particular, how do I set up the ability to send from my other addresses? Will I have to add my other accounts separately in Mail (and if so, will I still be able to view them when I visit gmail.com on another device)?

1 Answer 1


Keyboard shortcuts: Mail has it's own keyboard shortcuts, which you may have to learn.

Alternate email addresses/multiple accounts: works fine. Don't know about plus-addresses.

Priority inbox: this is not supported. Labels work, as does flagging. Public calendars work in iCal.

Syncing is very easy to set up - via IMAP in Mail, and in Preferences in iCal. In Lion it's even simpler.

Yes, you add each account separately in mail. You can still visit them in any browser or device.

  • Keyboard shortcuts: can I go between conversations with something other than a 3-finger swipe? Multiple accounts: how do you recommend setting it up? If I add them in Mail, but I also have them set up in Gmail, won't I see messages twice? Labels: how can I make them appear in Mail (I don't just want folders)?
    – jtbandes
    Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 21:22
  • You can navigate conversations with arrow keys. You won't see messages twice, thanks to the magic of IMAP. As for labels, it does make them "folders". Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 13:19

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