I bought my first smartphone in 2012. I had one motivation for doing so: my clients, instead of ringing me, were increasingly emailing me. I had to have a computer "to go" to respond in a timely manner.

But a flaw emerged as I got to grips with my first Samsung: although I had configured a bleep to be sounded every time an email arrived in my Gmail inbox, this, er, didn't always happen.

At that time, I think, I probably assumed that this was a small thing which was associated with the teething troubles of a spanking new technology, and would quickly be ironed out.

That did not happen. 12 years later and no improvement. It is simply unbelievable.

I have spent many, many hours viewing forums about the notification problem and struggling to try anything and everything, repeatedly. Often finding that supposedly available options etc. didn't in fact exist on my phone. The defect is still there.

I almost said "the Samsung notification problem". Indeed I almost also said "the Android notification problem". Recently I have even contemplated the unthinkable, i.e. going over to the Other Side. But when I googled things, I found that (reportedly) various models of iPhone in reality seem to suffer the same thing.

A few days ago it occurred to me: is there an app for Android which has one single function? Every 5 minutes, it looks at the Gmail inbox for a given account, and if an unread message is present it makes a bleep. How hard can that be?

I searched for such an app at PlayStore. I didn't find one. Which doesn't mean one doesn't exist. If someone knows of such a thing, please enlighten me.

Therefore my question is: is it feasible to create such an app? I have never tried to create an Android app, but there's always a first time.

Does anyone know whether emails arriving in a Gmail inbox are detectable by the phone pretty much immediately? My understanding to date has been that this giant intermittent defect happens despite the fact that a new email has already arrived in the phone. Maybe that's not always the case. But certainly there have been MANY MANY times over the past 12 years when I have glimpsed down at my phone to find, yes, an email has arrived in the Gmail app ... but my ****ing phone never bleeped me a notification. The app I imagine would at least put an end to that source of fury.

This is no joke for me. It hasn't been for years. With my line of work, my clients will tend to contact other people if they don't get a response within 30 minutes or an hour. I have lost 000s of £/€/$ over the past 12 years due to this unfathomably frustrating nonsense.

  • Notifications may not be received in real-time because of battery saving measures. Especially Samsung phones are known for their very aggressive battery saving features.
    – Robert
    Commented Feb 21 at 21:47
  • Thanks. Yes, this is a theme I've heard many times over the past 12 years and have followed many MANY suggestions about what to do about it. With no solution. I'm obviously asking a specific question about polling/probing the Gmail app every 5 minutes. Commented Feb 22 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


I am using fairmail on my phone. Its very versatile and has many options for notification. It always beeps when an email arrives. And I get 100s of emails a day.

I am not associated with it. I have multiple accounts and it can handle them separately or all in, and still answer from the account it was received on.

I am sure there are other email clients that will also work.

  • Thanks. I've installed this and it looks like it's well designed. With the Gmail app you have (via Settings) a way of saying "this particular account should cause a bleep when a notification happens (i.e. when an email arrives in the Inbox)". I can't see this with this app. I only want a bleep to happen with ONE of my gmail accounts (the address I give to my clients). Anyway I'll see what happens! Commented Feb 22 at 9:14
  • Actually I've only configured it for that one Gmail account. I see some options for notifications are greyed-out and marked "pro feature". Which is fair enough. You seem to be quite a techy ... do you know how it works behind the scenes? Is it still relying on push notification or is it using some other mechanism? Commented Feb 22 at 9:33

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