It's been more than two months since we first reported the Gmail synchronization woes that many users were facing. The issue itself had been submitted to the Nexus Help Forums even before that, in November, and to the AOSP bug tracker in January.

Everyone affected reported a long delay or lack of notifications from the Gmail app on Android. The circumstances weren't very clear-cut: some had it on Marshmallow but a few reported it on Lollipop (and are now mentioning it on N), some had it on Nexuses but others said it affected other brands of devices too, some only saw the issue with Gmail while others had it across several apps. Some hypothesized that it was Doze mode, others blamed the Gmail app specifically.

Nothing was certain and we followed this bug saga until Googler Orrin stated that the issue was identified and a fix was rolling out (server-side) to users. That was more than a month ago and yet here we are talking about this pesky bug again because the majority of users are still affected. Several Gmail versions have come and gone since then, several weeks have passed that should have seen the server-side fix reaching everyone (especially for a bug this major) and yet users are still reporting zero notifications from Gmail on their phone or very delayed notifications if they manage to arrive at all.

Orrin, the Nexus Community Manager who had announced the fix on the Help Forums, has only posted two messages since then and essentially acknowledged that the issue was still there and was still being investigated by the team. Here's what he said on March 5:

Hey Everyone,

First off, thanks for continuing to post your updates and feedback here. There are a number of you that have reported improvements with gmail syncing, but for many of you, the issue is still happening. I am going to reach out to a few of you privately for bug reports that I can pass along to the product team. Please do not share bug report information in this public forum.

And again on March 7:

Thank you to those who have provided bug reports - they are very helpful. I passed the reports along to the product team, and I'll update this thread with any updates I receive from them.

So we're back to square one, awaiting for the team to identify the issue, figure out a fix, and release it to everyone. In the meantime, someone has theorized that the problem could be due to some weird IPv6 shenanigans where the Gmail app is unable to process IPv6 protocols. The proposed "solution" is to use another email application.

It's also worth noting that while some of us here on Android Police aren't facing as drastic a problem as zero Gmail notifications, we're still seeing lots of issues with delayed notifications and synchronization. Sometimes things work perfectly well, other times it's radio silence followed by a deluge of notifications. We're inclined to think this is Doze Mode-related, since it randomly affects other apps too, but we can't be sure that it isn't overlapping with a real Gmail bug.

  • Thanks:
  • David Crowley,
  • Freek Smulders

Image credit: Imgur (which was based on this tweet)