Samsung Captivate: Add a Google account

So I joined Google+; more on that later. I joined with one of my non-primary gmail accounts, thinking it would shield me from some things - the effectiveness of this strategy is up for debate, but that is what I did. I thought it would be great to download the Google+ mobile app, and that’s when I remembered how much I hate my Samsung Captivate.

Apparently, there is a standard issue problem with adding Google accounts (in the Gmail app) on Samsung Captivates after the Android 2.1 update. Since this is my non-primary account, I never bothered to add it, so here I am.

My experience goes like this:

  1. Launch the Gmail application
  2. Press the Menu button and select “Accounts”
  3. Press the “Add account” button
  4. Press the “Next” button to get started.
  5. Since I already have a Google Account, press the “Sign in” button
  6. Enter a valid Google username and password, and press the “Sign in” button
  7. “Your phone needs to communicate with Google servers to set up your account. This may take up to five minutes. [Loading bar]”
  8. It never takes five minutes, but after 60-120 seconds: “Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server. This could be a temporary problem or your phone may not be provisioned for data services. If it continues, call Customer Care.
  9. Could be a temporary problem. Or it could be one more problem with my castrated version of a Samsung Galaxy S that was released in the US.

I did find a tip on the Google Mobile support forums that suggests attempting to add the account through the YouTube application. I have not configured my YouTube application to sign in with an account, and I can not confirm whether this works if there is already an account configured in the YouTube application. So I went like this:

  1. Launch the YouTube application
  2. Press the Menu button and select “My account”
  3. Enter a valid Google username and password, and press the “Sign in” button
  4. Since I do not have a youtube account configured, I ran into all kinds of weird errors in the YouTube application. If you encounter these, just use your Home button to close it (Back was looping for me).
  5. Now you can relaunch the Gmail application and view your accounts, and the additional account is present.

One more thing that makes life difficult for Galaxy S users. As soon as I have a few hours, anyone interested can expect a post about installing CyanogenMod on the Samsung Captivate.

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