Sometime on or about August 8th, IMAP access to Gmail stopped working for me. I don’t depend on Gmail so I ignored the error messages for 6 days. Then I simulated an IMAP session and was able to authenticate to Gmail, but after that, all IMAP commands timed out. So I looked to the Google Apps Dashboard which reported that everything was fine. Lies. Then I found the Gmail Known Issues page where I found this:
We are aware of an issue where users are receiving an error that ‘”imap.gmail.com” is not responding’ when using IMAP on their computers, mobile devices, or tablets. We are currently working on resolving this issue.
In the meantime, you can sign in to Gmail through a web browser. For Android and iOS users, you can also download the Gmail application in the interim.
Then I found the Gmail Forum within the Google Product Forums where many other users were reporting this issue. What I find interesting about this failure was that it took 7 days before my account access was restored and many users are still affected, 9 days later.