Owners of iPhones and iPads who use the iOS Gmail app may be in for a bit of a shock: Their legitimate messages may have ended up in their spam or trash folders, thanks to a bug brought on by a software update.
Google recently notified iOS users about the issue, citing a software issue update. Since the Gmail iOS app has not been updated since Dec. 5, 2013, it seems likely that this update issue was on the server side rather than in the user-facing program.
The issue is not very serious, but the affected users only have until Feb. 14 to fix it, since trash and spam messages get deleted automatically in Gmail after 30 days. Google has determined that the problem affected users between the dates of Jan. 15 and Jan. 22.
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If you were waiting for an important message between those dates and did not receive it, this would be the ideal time to check your folders. For most users, the consequences will be minimal, although those waiting for messages about, say, job interviews or travel arrangements may find themselves in a bit of a pickle.
Google has already repaired the problem on its end, so if you've been affected, making repairs is as simple as scanning your spam and trash folders for legitimate messages, moving them back to the inbox and replying — with some bowing and scraping for tardiness, as necessary.
Keep in mind that the problem only affected some iOS users, so there's a good chance that all of your email is exactly where it was supposed to be. If you use Gmail exclusively on a computer or Android device, you similarly have nothing to worry about.
Tom's Guide checked its Gmail accounts on iOS7 and discovered that we were not among those affected. If you were affected, just make sure you sort through your folders before Feb. 14. Otherwise, you might have a very unhappy Valentine's Day, for reasons entirely unrelated to love.