How to Use Gmail As Your Default Email App in IOS 14

Update 9/21/20 3:00 PM: Well it was fast! Updating the Gmail app for iOS to version 6.0.200825 also unlocks the ability to set Gmail as the default mail app on iOS. (As a reminder, you can do this in the iOS Settings app> Gmail.)

Original story:

Apple’s latest mobile operating system introduces two new options that will delight anyone who doesn’t want to use Apple’s web browser and email apps. You can now set your own default web browser and email apps, but not all apps support this feature, not even Gmail.

I will explain.

As noted earlier , app developers should update their apps to be considered a potential web browser or default email client in iOS 14. Since Apple did not announce that the iOS 14 launch last Wednesday should have taken place before last Tuesday unsurprisingly, not all email clients and web browsers have already been updated to use them by default.

For example, you can set Edge, Chrome, or Firefox as your default browser, but not Brave (yet). For mail apps Hey, Spark and Outlook can be set as the default mail app in iOS 14, but not … Gmail. Or not yet, which is surprising given that Chrome can be set as the default browser. (You might think that updates to allow this option go hand in hand, but here we are.)

If you click the email link in Messages or Safari with Gmail as the only email client installed on your iPhone with iOS 14, you’ll see the following prompt:

If you’d rather not restore your mail, thanks, you can now either wait for Google to update Gmail so that it can be set as the default mail app – which will undoubtedly be done at some point – or you can use the following workaround.

Just switch to using Chrome as your default web browser (if you haven’t already). When you click on an email link in the iOS version of Google’s browser, the Gmail app launches (if you also have it installed). I just tried it using one of the email links in my weekly Tech 911 column and it worked great.

So yes, you will need to use a Google product to be able to use a Google product effectively in iOS 14 (for now), and this trick will only work in Chrome, not any other email links you come across on yours. iPhone or iPad. However, this is something; It really confused me at first, as I thought it meant that the “Gmail as default email client” feature was already deployed – perhaps I set it up and forgot? Nope. It’s just a Chrome quirk, albeit a welcome one.


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