Google, what is up with Android’s GMail outbox?

Do you have problems with your outgoing GMail in Android? It happens to me nearly every day lately: I type an email on my Android device, hit send, and mistakenly believe my message has been passed along to its intended recipient when, in actuality, my words are sitting patiently in my outbox; sometimes for days on end. No errors pop up. Unless I check my sent items or outbox, I have no reason to believe there is a problem. That is, I wouldn’t if I didn’t know the scenario so well.

Over the past two years, this has happened so many times that I don’t even care to estimate a number or frequency. And while I haven’t kept track of which devices it has or has not occurred with, out of the two or three dozen Androids I’ve tested, and perhaps dozen I’ve used as my daily driver for some period of time, problems with outgoing mail seem to be a constant. The stall doesn’t curse every email, but I know it’s never far away.

Like the inability of new phones to browse the Market, I wonder how Google could overlook such a thing or fail to address the issue effectively. Is this a known bug? Has Google acknowledged the issue publicly? Not that I’m aware of. However, a search for instances of the problem makes it clear that Google has a widespread problem on their hands. When I asked all of you on Twitter if you had experienced the perpetual “sending…” status, I was hit with confirmation and remedies ranging from reboots, to clearing cache, to deleting and re-writing emails. Manual sync doesn’t do the trick for me, as it does for some.

And before you mention that the image above clearly shows an email attachment, let me assure the uninitiated that emails as short as the word, “yes” have been stuck in the limbo of my Android’s outbox for as long as a week! Size doesn’t appear to be a factor. I’ve had the problem on EDGE, 3G, 4G, and WiFi. I’ve experienced it with Vanilla Android, Sense, Blur, and TouchWiz. Phones from every major Android manufacturer on almost every major carrer (I can’t say I’ve seen it on AT&T, but I haven’t spent much time with their Androids) are affected, as best as I can recall.

So what gives? Am I doing something wrong when I send an email? Do new Androids need some time to break into their email “sweet spot” to function correctly for a brief period before entropy kicks in and the outgoing Gmail luck disappears? It doesn’t matter if the device I’m running is fresh out of the box or on its final march to ebay, Androids of every shape and kind have given me trouble when sending an email.

I’m not offering up any solutions here, just questions. I’m interested in what you have to say. Please leave a comment here at the site, rather than on Twitter, so others can benefit from your information. Maybe we can clarify the root of the problem and even find a fix. Maybe it’s a problem with my Gmail account. Thank you.

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